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Old 05-01-2005, 09:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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UK Elections and TV coverage

i caught a few tv spots on cspan...

what interests me is the way the candidates are presented to the public. since i'm used to the american debates, which are very scripted and uninformative, i find the tv coverage of the british candidates to be surprisingly candid.

i've seen part of an interview on bbc newsnight with blair, the host interrupting him any time he diverged from the question. sometimes the questions were asked repeatedly, the host beginning to get condescending to blair (all while sitting uncomfortably close to him).

then there is a program where a large crowd asks the candidates (gasp) whatever they want, whenever they want. they were quite hard on the two i saw (charles kennedy and blair) and sometimes made them squirm. one young man cited recent documents and called blair a liar to his face. here also, the host quickly interrupted whenever a question was not being properly addressed.

it is truly a foreign experience to see so much of the BS removed from pre-election press events. i'm not sure if what i saw is typical for the UK, but i wish the american press was this tough on major politicians before an election.

Last edited by trickyy; 05-02-2005 at 08:41 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yea i'd have to agree that the debates here in the US are a complete joke. They're scripted, and uninformative like you said, but not only that.. they don't even include all the candidates. Hell, even in the debate where the audience got to ask questions here, they had to be pre-approved, so they ended up asking the same crap that was already asked and no one learns anything. And even if someone DOES ask something that the candidates arent prepared for they just avoid answering the question alltogether and just go off on their pre-scripted line.

The vice president debates were actually done a little better, they both got rather snippy with eachother, i was highly amused.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's very refreshing to be able to watch some interesting political debate, if you ever have a chance to watch the british parliament debate on tv its quite hilarious also.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah the political debates are good to watch here, keeps it interesting for all. I'm sure even the politicians like questions coming abit left field. Keeps them on their toes.

Newsnight questioning has always been known as relentless and probably about as hard as any interview will get. Audience participations are always good, remember this will be the only time we ever have the chance to question blair and the rest of them.
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Old 05-02-2005, 04:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea, i hope you guys drill Blair, but also anyone who wants to replace him. I see Blair as a lapdog to America (unfortunately), but as one who (imo) does not want to be. He gives in so easily though, from what i can see, like he's Bush's bitch, yet he seems to resent it.

As an American who doesn't agree with Bush on MANY issues (pretty much anything except his "'Moon, Mars and Beyond' plan .. and even then i don't like it all, like cutting out stuff like Hubble, and lack of maned missions to the moon and/or mars) I would love to see someone in the UK that wouldn't bow to the wishes of the US so easily. I sort of see the UK as the "check and balance" for the US in the international arena. We're such close allies that i see the UK as our brother country, a VERY close second only to Canada (If Canada weren't so close geographically and economically it would be a tie or even the UK in the lead with Canada as a close 3rd.) I would prefer to see the UK as more hesitant, or even defiant on certain issues.. sort of the way Canada is now.

This deviates well off the path of the original post but I thought I would just throw it out there. If anyone from this board in the Uk gets the chance to ask a question in a debate over there (yea, i know.. probably not a good chance of that happening) I hope you ask the candidates questions that are imporatant and actually make them think about the good of us all. After all, that is their job, yes? They serve us, not the other way around. That is too often forgotten in the US.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
is awesome!
 
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It's true, American democracy is pretty anemic in comparison. I'd like to see what kind of leaders would be elected if our politicians were actually required to think on their feet.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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yeah, i remember one of the debates where peter jennings interrupted bush and it seemed scandalous.

the bias of the american media seems to be more elitist than liberal (although journalists tend to lean left). they do pose tough questions, sometimes, but the politicians usually aren't obligated to say more than they planned beforehand. there's the classic quick answer to a question, rough segway into whatever they DO want to talk about. politicians seem to get their message out regardless of what the media halfheartedly tries to get them to address.

and about uk keeping us in check, i remember hearing speculation that blair got on board with the war in order to influence bush to join him on other issues. i'm not sure if blair got anything out of it, though. we haven't joined any new treaties lately.
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