Monday, May 02, 2005

someone else's paradise

I'm following the up-coming British elections with much interest. Unfortunately most of what I know comes from listening to the BBC news late at night, so I'm sure many of my gut impressions are slightly off. Tony Blair's voice doesn't help me get back to sleep nearly as quickly as Bill Clinton's dulcit tones, for example.

Last night CSPAN aired the BBC's answer to a debate between the Prime Minister candidates. Each man had about half an hour to respond to questions from the audience and occasionally from the moderator as well. Unlike the 2004 debates in the US, the audience got to boo and hiss to accent their points - fun to hear hisses and applause at the same time.

Immigration, at least to my notice, recieved very little attention in our last election, and I can't recall hearing a single word about people seeking asylum. (Then agian, I live in Indiana, which is losing population, so I suppose we worry less about it than other areas.) Yet the topic came up several times, with lots of nuanced queries and pointed remarks. This, to my mind, was the most interesting part of the evening.

Words Written: zero
Lessons Graded: two


Anonymous said...

Yes - I watched the show when it was originally aired here in the UK.

It'd be great if we could have proper head-to-head debates between the three candidates but it never happens.

At every election the two main challengers call for such a debate and at every election the incumbant Prime Minister (of whichever party) always refuses because the accepted wisdom is that it's only the challengers who can stand to gain anything by such a debate - the incumbent can only lose ground by debating. Of course under the UK system one of the Prime Ministerial candidates is always a defending incumbent. So no debate.

The idea has been floated by the broadcasters of simply saying "right - we're holding a televised debate on such-and-such a date. All three main candidates are invited but if one of you doesn't show we'll still go ahead with it anyway." That'd be controversial though. lol

If you enjoyed the show you might also enjoy the Paxman interviews - where each of the leaders went head-to-head against Jeremy Paxman, Britain's toughest political interviewer.


John B. said...

Tony Blair's voice has the same effect for me that GW BUsh's often makes me want to puke.

Blunt yet true.

torporific said...

What you most likely watched was Prime Minister question time. If so, the audience was the rest of the members of the House of Commons.

Also, Indiana's population is growing, but not at the rate that some of the sunbelt and western states are growing. Our growth rate is only at a rate of 1 percent. Arizona and Washington will probably be larger than our state by the end of the decade.

lemming said...

Nope, not PM's Question Time, though I very much enjoy watching that as well! This was a one-time only event with voters in attendence.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what Lemming watched and it certainly wasn't Prime Minister's Question Time. lol

It was a 90 minute TV show histed by David Dimbleby.

As a point of interest, btw, parliament doesn't actually exist during an election period. It's dissolved at the start of an election campaign until the next one is elected.


Anonymous said...

I meant "hosted", not "histed" ...


torporific said...

Oh, I missed that. I haven't had much time for television viewing lately though.

I do enjoy PM question time. I think it is must-see TV for Sunday nights. If only our legislative body were so interesting...