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Question time

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posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 06:16 PM
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Did anyone watch question time this evening on BBC 1? I thought it was very entertaining and informative, and has partly renewed my faith in the electoral system. I believe Charles Kenedy was the only one who came out on top of the three leaders. Mind you, he did get the easy questions.

It was worth watching just to see Michael Howard and Blair squirm at the questions about the Iraq war. The funniest part was when Blair made his entrance and got boo'd on stage


After watching the program I have decided Lib Dems this election, despite the fact there's no chance they'll get in this time. I think they'll become a stronger party in the future and possibly have a chance next election. I hope they do because this country needs a change from it's current two party system.

Vote Lib Dem!




posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:41 AM
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sadly, i missed it.
My girlfriend wanted to watch something else



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 07:55 AM
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Me too; real life got in the way!


(......but I have to say from the clips I've seen it was pretty much as expected; pretty staged and about as far from genuinely informative as it's possible to get; each party leader looking and sounding good and bad at different times on different points.

Just why some people in the UK imagine copying the US 'debate' experience is going to be any kind of 'progress' is beyond me.)



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Just why some people in the UK imagine copying the US 'debate' experience is going to be any kind of 'progress' is beyond me.)


I agree with you that we should avoid US-style debates, or indeed anything US-style when it comes to politics.

Yet at the same time our leaders need to be held accountable. There does need to be debate in this country when it comes to politics. And with parliament practically deserted half the time, the media has become the primary arena for political insight and debate.

I know the media rarely does a good job at this but there does need to be some way of questioning the decisions of our leaders. Or would you rather they hid behind closed doors and only answered to 'select' commities, just because this 'debating' doesn't fit in with your idea of progress.

I happen to like Question time. The questions are actually from members of the public and many of them are intelligent and insightful, something you never see in those 'US style debates'.



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by Abstrakt
I agree with you that we should avoid US-style debates, or indeed anything US-style when it comes to politics.


- Glad we can agree on that.

If you want a non-debate there is the 'pattern' for one.


Yet at the same time our leaders need to be held accountable.


- Great, of course.
Who'd argue about that either?


There does need to be debate in this country when it comes to politics.


- Well it's true that this is so but I don't see why we should tolerate (and worse applaud) the manner in which tv 'does politics' as the (almost) sole way.
It's so inferior and second rate at achieving this.

Because of the manner in which 'the (tv) media' operates it would be almost difficult to deliberately devise a method which dumbs-down better than the current tv shows like QT.

Given the manner in which they are done the serious business of politics just doesn't lend itself to these kinds of shows too well IMO.

It seems we are only to be served up dry as dust 'serious' shows or lightweight pop shows.
I think that is regretable and not something to cheer on.....especially when one sees the low viewing figures.


And with parliament practically deserted half the time, the media has become the primary arena for political insight and debate.


- The main debating chamber of the HOC might look deserted quite often but that hardly reflects the level of business going on at the HOC now does it?


would you rather they hid behind closed doors and only answered to 'select' commities


- No, I think there is scope for several approaches......and since when was a select committee "hiding" and "behind closed doors"?

Many political commentator agree that - by far - the most serious work holding the gov to account is done in select committee.
There you will find genuine informed and experienced experts in their respective fields brought in to advise and help grill ministers, a real examination and not the usual useless 'style over substance' we so often get on tv.

I find the 'weight' given to a tv appearance is ludicrous given that it is almost always the inferior arena when it comes to informed comment and questioning.


just because this 'debating' doesn't fit in with your idea of progress.


- My problem with pop tv shows (and yes, I consider even a show like 'Question Time' pretty 'pop') is that they do not actually do this.
They are not actually forums for any serious debate and l would say that the idea that a tv show 'holds anyone to account' fairly overblown and laughable.

Just because some part of the audience might 'cheek' a politician (as TB was last night) or ask a question which very obviously makes the politician look awkward (as with Howard over Iraq and Kennedy over LibDem taxation policies last night) is hardly conclusive proof of it's 'worth', is it?

Sorry but IMO there's got to be a bit more to it than playing to the gallery and a series of approving/disappoving noises from the audience.

I have no problem with a good deflating heckle but if that is pretty much the only type of contact we get with our politicians then that is IMO to simply head further down the road where politics is reduced to some thing akin to blind and slavish football support, incapable of examining the issues and facts seriously and consumed about whether 'their man or woman' looked good and the other guy(s) didn't.

(......and as someone so clearly supportive of the LibDems Abstrakt I would have thought you'd be pretty critical of a show like QT which does nothing but reinforce the adversarial nature of UK politics - or is it ok when it's someone other than the LibDem getting the kicking?
)


I happen to like Question time. The questions are actually from members of the public and many of them are intelligent and insightful, something you never see in those 'US style debates'.


- I'm not saying that this never happens on QT but I am saying that when seriously informed political information, opinion, comment and criticism needs to be brought before a wider audience the QT type tv show as it currently is is probably not the best vehicle.

(The one singular bit of value and worth that did come out of the show from what I have seen was the comment about doctor's appointments - getting the facts and info of what is actually going on like that from the public to the senior politicians is very worthwhile......but how often does that happen?)

By the way for those that missed it you can see the show here (on the top right of the screen just below the 'don't miss' in red 'video Question Time' ) -
news.bbc.co.uk...#


[edit on 29-4-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on May, 4 2005 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
It seems we are only to be served up dry as dust 'serious' shows or lightweight pop shows.
I think that is regretable and not something to cheer on.....especially when one sees the low viewing figures.

I agree that politics in the media is pretty much a joke, but it does need to be there. A good media system should give an informed, educated, and completely unbiased report on everything that happens in politics. Unfortunately this rarely occurs, so yes, like you, I am very cynical of the way politics is reported in the media. The reason I was defending question time is because I percieve it as the best we have, which doesnt say much.




And with parliament practically deserted half the time, the media has become the primary arena for political insight and debate.


- The main debating chamber of the HOC might look deserted quite often but that hardly reflects the level of business going on at the HOC now does it?

I wasn't questioning the level of business at the HOC, just the level of public debate, which is vital to our democracy.




would you rather they hid behind closed doors and only answered to 'select' commities


- No, I think there is scope for several approaches......and since when was a select committee "hiding" and "behind closed doors"?

Many political commentator agree that - by far - the most serious work holding the gov to account is done in select committee.
There you will find genuine informed and experienced experts in their respective fields brought in to advise and help grill ministers, a real examination and not the usual useless 'style over substance' we so often get on tv.

I agree that select commities do a lot to hold politicians to account. But at the same time who has the time to wade through select commitie reports in order to find out what is actually going on in our government, other than academics, professionals and dedicated followers of the political process. How many of these reports have you read?

This is where the media is supposed to come in and whittle the information down to the most important points and present it in a way that is informative, unbiased and easy to read and comprehend, without being patronising. At the same time the media should also provide more in-depth analysis for the more intelectual among us, and present each point of view as having value, not just dictating a single view as being correct. Unfortunately, as you say, we get 'style over substance' and very little in the way of balanced points of view.




just because this 'debating' doesn't fit in with your idea of progress.


- My problem with pop tv shows (and yes, I consider even a show like 'Question Time' pretty 'pop') is that they do not actually do this.
They are not actually forums for any serious debate and l would say that the idea that a tv show 'holds anyone to account' fairly overblown and laughable.


I would say a TV show has the potential to hold our politicians to account. TV is the best way of communicating to, and informing the masses, and yet it's potential is entirely wasted. QT simply showed more promise than the rest of the garbage we are fed.



Sorry but IMO there's got to be a bit more to it than playing to the gallery and a series of approving/disappoving noises from the audience.

And this is exactly what happens in the HOC with the drone of farmyard noises that follow every statement.


I have no problem with a good deflating heckle but if that is pretty much the only type of contact we get with our politicians then that is IMO to simply head further down the road where politics is reduced to some thing akin to blind and slavish football support, incapable of examining the issues and facts seriously and consumed about whether 'their man or woman' looked good and the other guy(s) didn't.

Couldnt agree more. Like your metaphor 'blind and slavish football support'. Thats exactly how I percieve the current slugfest between Labour and Tories. Thats the sad reality of politics in our day and age.


(......and as someone so clearly supportive of the LibDems Abstrakt I would have thought you'd be pretty critical of a show like QT which does nothing but reinforce the adversarial nature of UK politics - or is it ok when it's someone other than the LibDem getting the kicking?
)

I'm a mild lib-dem supporter at best. I simply take the cynical view that they are the lesser of three evils. Doesn't mean i'd hate a TV show that took them apart completely. I wouldnt defend them like your friendly neighbourhood hooligan would defend his football team, put it that way.




[edit on 29-4-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



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