Elections and The Leaders’ Debate

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    Lisa and I sat down to watch the Leaders’ Debate late last night after hearing about what a success it had been last week.

    I believe this is the first time we’ve had something like this in Britain, and it was an eye opener to see Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg going head to head over some tough issues.

    First up – I thought I was getting a little more conservative as I got older. I have a lower tolerance for crime and a lower tolerance for the sort of big government legislating us within an inch of our lives that’s sprung up in the last decade. So, initially I thought I’d be interested to hear what David Cameron had to say. Sadly, he came across as a bit of a car salesman – I got the impression he was saying what he thought his voter base wanted to hear. He got a couple of good shots in at Gordon Brown though.

    Nick Clegg was a revelation, wasn’t he? I kind of expected the leader of the Lib Dems to be slightly cowed in the presence of the two entrenched “older parties”, but he turned that weakness into a strength. Even if he did repeat that point a few too many times. He came across as far more qualified than I ever gave him credit for, with some good ideas.

    And Gordon Brown. Clearly he’s the guy in the driving seat, because Brown had a real working knowledge of the issues of the day. Both Cameron and Clegg to a large extent spoke in broad ideological terms unless they were in their comfort zones (I felt), but Brown was able to get down to the specifics of running the country. He name-dropped European leaders and talked about the minutae of current affairs. And came off better than his terrible Piers Morgan interview. What he might lack in PR spin, he seemed to make up for in competance.

    Anyway, that’s my spin. As a fairly apathetic voter – and from Northern Ireland to boot, which means we can’t vote for ‘real’ political parties – it was refreshing to see some intelligent political programming has got the nation talking for once.

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