Last night’s debate will go down in history as the day the British political system became presidential. With all the media attention on political party leaders – and of course their wives – focus on image and the fact that all the political leaders have sought advice from American debating professionals, it seems the UK’s political system is becoming increasingly Americanised. But back to the debate . . .
The main winners of the night were definitely democracy and Nick Clegg. Democracy as, by taking part in the debate, it is the first time all three major political parties have actually addressed one of the biggest challenges facing the UK’s political system – apathy. Like it or not, giving each political party the chance to discuss major issues in contemporary politics on TV in a popular time slot, will ensure that a large proportion of the voting public will engage with the various policies and proposals of the main political parties.
The Liberal Democrats were victorious, because this debate would have been the first time many of the electorate have had the chance to hear Nick Clegg speak and he definitely made the most of the opportunity. Making an unrelenting attempt at securing the ‘disillusioned vote’, Clegg positioned the Lib Dem’s as the only party that could truly change Britain.
Though obviously adversarial in its tone, throughout the debate all three leaders seemed to play by the rules and while Brown has been criticised by some for his condescending tone, Clegg, Brown and Cameron all got the opportunity to communicate their party’s policies.
In short, it will be interesting to see if the same manners and decorum are shown in the remaining two debates. . .