Digital debates

I’d like to commend those with a spare half hour (or even less) to look at http://www.youtube.com/ukelection. It’s a collaboration between youtube and facebook, and ten questions posed and voted on by members of the public have been put to the leaders of the main three parties. All those questions have been answered in short video clips (only one of which exceeds a minute in length). It’s noteworthy not because the leaders set out their main policies, but because they engage with issues which the public is already concerned about and which they are not clearly addressing through more conventional communication channels.

You can vote for which leader gave the answer you liked the most, and can see which is the most popular from the votes of others. At the moment Cleggmania is clearly¬† continuing, and for 9 of the 10 questions Nick Clegg’s answer is easily the most popular, with David Cameron’s answer just more popular than Gordon Brown’s. Personally it struck me that Gordon’s answers were unconvincing, David’s were well balanced, and Nick’s pandered to public opinion regardless of how sensible it was. I don’t know yet who I’ll vote for, but this did nudge me towards the Conservatives.

The ten questions are about the following topics:

  1. Digital economy bill
  2. Banking crisis
  3. Special relationship with America
  4. Immigration
  5. Abuse of anti-terrorist legislation
  6. Protecting property from intruders
  7. Drugs policy
  8. Student funding
  9. Voting system
  10. Science funding

Ask the chancellors

Having watched Ask the Chancellors over breakfast this morning, I do feel a little more informed about the election debate which is currently ongoing. I thought Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable all did a reasonable job of representing their views, and I particularly appreciated Vince Cable’s assertion that the Liberal Democrats have a different strategy from the other two main parties. Whether it is better or not I’m unsure, but he did at least seem more specific in his plans, and came across as more confident that they will do some good. It was also refreshing to see honesty and cooperation from three politicians in the same room as each other!

Channel 4 seemed to struggle with the on-screen captioning at one point though…

Watching Parliament

My interest in politics continues to grow as I become more and more incredulous at what a mess some politicians seem to make of it. The more I watch activity in the house of commons, the more I am struck that John Bercow’s job as speaker of shares an important similarity with the teaching profession – a large part of it is controlling a large group of children. I have also found that watching parliament is much like watching a playground fight, but with slightly less danger of someone ending up with a bloodied nose.

I wonder if any adults will stand in the next general election?

BNP on Question Time

A friend of mine who I met on a UBM team over the summer holiday has just started a blog, and has put up some interesting thoughts about the BNP and the recent Question Time debate with Nick Griffin. As a free speech advocate, the BNP always produce a discussion which interests me greatly, and this one is no different. If you’re interested, the below links are to his blog.

BNP on Question Time – written before Question Time was broadcast

Did Nazi Nick win Question Time? – written after the broadcast