Given I am now running as a Greens candidate, I suppose it is no surprise that I am indicating my agreement with a comment that Bob Brown made today. But I would also say that it isn’t any secret that I haven’t agreed with every public comment that Bob has made, and I would agree with the following comment about the schoolyard level nonsense regarding another possible leaders debate even if it had been made by Steve Fielding:
“What we’re seeing now between the two leaders is an absolute farce and people everywhere are rolling their eyes at Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard not having the maturity to get together to agree to the series of debates which would have enlightened the electorate,“
It is a joke and a sad reflection on the optic and image driven nature of political media coverage in Australia. A couple of weeks ago, there was a three way debate at the National Press Club on important ICT issues such as internet filtering, broadband and wider communications policy. As far as I know, this was the only pre-election debate which features a Greens spokesperson – in this case Senator Scott Ludlam – alongside the Liberal-National and Labor spokespersons.
It was an informative engagement which required all three participants to demonstrate a wide ranging grasp of the many technical issues involved in this policy areas. I think I can safely make the objective assessment that the Greens’ Senator Ludlam easily held his own against the other participants.
I think people would see a similar thing in three party debates on most other policy issues. Apart from anything else, the dynamism and expanded perspectives which result from having three dimensions, rather than two, would naturally enhance almost any debate.
It is well past time not only to have an independent organisation to oversee and determine the formats for pre-election debates, but also to ensure that they are three dimensional rather than two dimensional events.