Sitting here reading the news as I eat my Fruit and Fibre, I have learned that David Cameron will not commit to the TV debates. I imagine he thinks his public image would be better served by not debating anyone. I think that if he is proud of what he has done to this country over the last five years he should not be afraid to stand up and explain his position to the electorate and to defend his record.
In America, televised debates are the norm. There is a format for them. My husband informs me that they are hosted by NPR. I can’t imagine a Presidential candidate saying “debate? nah… don’t think I will thanks.” Part of being a politician is about being a good orator; about being able to convince voters that you are the best candidate for the job.
I realise that these debates are a new thing for British politics but I think that from now on there should be a similar format to the U.S. Politicians should just know that they will be doing the debates and should not be allowed to refuse to do it. Either there are TV debates or there are not. Why should politicians get to pick and choose? It shows a profound disrespect for the British people for our Prime Minister to refuse to a debate that will help some members of the electorate decide who to vote for. Not everyone will read the party manifestos, but a lot of people watch TV.
Politicians were (ostensibly) elected to represent us and I think that the British public deserves to hear what our would-be leaders think, where they stand, and how they come across in a live debate. We should get to see what we are voting for and our PM should not be afraid to defend his record, indefensible though it is.
I will be emailing him to tell him so. If you feel so inclined you can also do so here.