Leaders Debate

I didn’t watch the leader’s ‘debate’, as I was on a plane flying to Cairns at the time. However, I doubt I would have watched it anyway. The Prime Minister is obviously happy to have a debate when he sets the rules and the nature of the audience, and only allows questions from political journalists.  That’s his choice of course, but it doesn’t make for anything very interesting or enlightening as far as I’m concerned.

I have attended over ten public debates and candidate forums in the last few weeks, and only two of them have had a Liberal attending, and I get a similar story from many other candidates around Queensland. It appears there is less interest in turning up to something outside of a stage managed environment, which I think is a pity. I often find these events a useful way to find out what other people think, and to get a better feel for other candidates’ views, abilities and interests. For example, I am far more confident in Wayne Swan’s interest in and understanding of climate change issues after hearing and watching him answer a few questions at a public climate change forum recently, than I have been from hearing his responses and comments in many media interviews over a long time.

There are many real debates and discussions happening around the country every night throughout this election period. They might not have the ‘star power’ of the Prime Ministerial contenders, but they also are more direct and unvarnished.. This will also often make them less entertaining (although as I suggested at the start of this post, stage-managed media debates usually leave me pretty cold), but if you’re wanting something authentic, I suggest getting along to one in your area. Who knows, you might even get a chance to ask a question directly, rather than hope a journalist asks it for you.

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11 Comments

  1. I found it pretty rough going. I watched it because as a candidate I figured people will quiz me about it.

    But between the tedious serial lecturing, the maniacal repetition of Key Messages and the fact I yelled at the television during the 24,424 occasions during which one or the other proposed a daft policy, I found it very taxing indeed.

    I don’t know how you put up with it Andrew.

  2. he does it for a living, as you will if successful. politics is a guild craft here, not the concern of the hoi polloi.

    like the sex workers they resemble, pollies have to do some repugnant things in the course of their trade, and repetition makes it tolerable by abrading away ethical standards.

    you’ll get used to it, too. can’t think why you’d want to, though.

  3. Did not watch it — if the audience had not been hand-picked and if question time had been 50% of the time, I might have watched it. Possibly. As it was, I prepared ESL lessons, did needlework and hugged my Husband. Much more useful ;-)

  4. Speaking of hand picked I just heard the end of Alexander Downer being questioned by a staff member of Lismore, about the local National Candidate.What apparently friendly people the ABC are, and how easy it is to earn an income being friendly.But is it journalism or disc-jockeyism,because it seemed neither …more like PR!?.Still I guess that is being Professional!?I like what Jacques has to say.Not only will he have to occasionally take it on the chin, but puff his chest out as well!? I mean ly to liars with gusto…and he will meet a few along the next few weeks.

  5. The ‘repetition’ has nothing to do with making ‘repugnant things’ more tolerable Al, its to do with trying to communicate simple core messages to people who don’t normally pay a great deal of attention to politics.

    It is the emptiness or dishonesty behind some of the core messages and the lack of interest of many in the media in actually digging into the substance which is rather dispiriting and disenfranchising.

    I “put up with it” by not watching it Jacques – it just irritates me. If it created positive anger it might be worthwhile, but it mostly just creates negative aggravation, so I usually stay away from the stage managed stuff as much as I can. I can get all the real information I need to know from the internet, including public reaction.

  6. I watched some of it with my family but we got bored and switched it over to Kath & Kim. I’m a candidate in this year’s election but I don’t think that watching a couple of clones talk about tax and the economy is going to assist my campaign in any way.

    And what was with that stupid worm? All Kevin Rudd had to do was open his mouth and the worm was going off the chart. My family had more fun talking about the antics of the worm than anything else.

  7. I don’t understand people like togret complaining about the hand picked audience. They were just spectators. Prettyy much 50/50 Coalition and Labor… non participants.

    The worm was it’s usual biased self. Exclusively entertainment value.

    I don’t understand though why people interested or participating in our politics do not take in as much of it as possible. Bob Brown made some mileage for the Greens out of commenting on the debate.

    Andrew, are the Dems being ignored by the media?

  8. I watched it, and yelled at the TV as well. I think it gives my blood pressure some ‘exercise’. Perhaps the worm was an indication, that people are just SICK TO DEATH OF LISTENING TO HOWARD! I know I am. Can’t stand him. I listen to the radio during the day, and when I watch TV during the evening, mostly ABC or SBS,(don’t have to put up with the ads then) I just flick him off these days. He repulses me now!If I want to watch commercial program I tape it, ff the ads! Great!

    I’d have liked the horrific facts about Iraq addressed by Kevin Rudd. That’s why there should be 3 debates.Over 1 million dead Iraqis, 4 million displaced, kids suffering serious psychological health problems, the country destroyed, up to 100,000 in jails, including boys of 14-just for objecting to the occupation usually (which they are legally entitled to under the Geneva Conventions)Afghanistan is almost destroyed, and the people are being killed when they had nothing to do with anything(but have reserves of oil and gas in Caspean Sea)-nor did the people of Iraq!

    Why are there diplomats and embassy staff in Iraq? Didn’t happen during the world wars, Vietnam or the Korean war? (wish someone would ask Downer). No mention of the stealing of billions over next 30 years via oil sources.Why is the US building the world’s biggest embassy in Iraq, costing $800 million? Apartments, small city in fact. The invasion was planned months before 9/11. I’d like those questions asked and someone demand answers. The media are pathetically weak! Hardly a word from Howard???

  9. I just tried finding Australias YouTube and founs porn sites instead lucky me. I logged on the computer earlier today to find short people seem to show up as pedophiles.My problem is last time I perved at someone obviously younger than me by 4 decades and more she was taller than me!? Still I know what I think,so smack bang in the middle of the porn is this rather short female figure,a child, and some tall what is it really,,,, adult males.Yeah!? And if these listing are not all down under stuff, and googled as to embarass and shock I suppose well what are they then.!? Alphabetical listings of similar.Thankfully I am never surprised,even by my own feelings of being attracted,as yet not too someone no taller than my knees.And some somewhat shorter than me, will in this Brave New World have to now prove they are non molestors where many tall teenagers rule the roost and the streets. Worms often do not measure up to a size of a toe,and other things.Happy election.

  10. Geoff- my reasoning was that supporters of one side or the other are not so likely to ask interesting questions as people who genuinely have not made up their minds. And although it was billed as a debate, had there been genuine questions for half the time, we might have seen something of how the candidates handle real people, as opposed to the converted of one side or the other, i.e. trying to persuade, to explain, rather than just setpieces.

    What I have heard of Costello’s behaviour (from 3 separate liberal supporters) confirms my decison. The man’s puerile behaviour offends me – I am a long way from high school lunch-time debates. Apaprently it was hard to see that in his demeanour. I prefer to be treated as an adult.

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