Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome Leaders

Yes news is emerging that talks about a Prime Ministerial televised debate with the man who interviewed Richard Nixon, Sir David Frost emerging as a favourite to host such an event.

Sir David of course is a respected political commentator on both sides of the Atlantic, having come a long way from the political satire that made his name in the sixties with That Was the Week That Was. He is being touted by advisers of the three main party leaders as a respected and neutral host that would be needed to host and chair such a debate. TW3 ironically was pulled from the air in 1963 in the lead up to the 1964 election as it was thought it would influence voters.

However, as watchers of the West Wing will know the discussions about rules of the debate, channel it will be hosted on, also the number of debates and type of issues to be discussed if more than one debate is to be had are all up in the air. As is the subject of the host, although consensus may be galvanising around Frost for that one. The same issues and questions have been a stumbling block in the past for the UK following the example of other countries notably USA and Australia, the former starting televised Presidential debates back in 1960.

The success of the London Mayoral TV debate may well be one factor that swings the wheels of electoral procedure the way of having a debate next time. Once it is in place it will hard for any of the parties to put up an argument to stop the juggernaut of holding one in subsequent elections. The shape of our Election broadcasting may just about be going to catch up 50 years with the USA.

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