Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Wheat and the Chaff

I have never been a particularly political animal, and normally the prospect of a general election would not excite me. But for some reason, this year's election has sparked my interest - and it has a lot to do with Twitter and the televised Leaders Debates.

In the past, elections have probably been won or lost through propaganda, and by the way the press has portrayed the candidates. But for the first time in the UK, the general public can see the leaders of the main 3 political parties standing side by side and make their own judgements. And that's got to be a good thing, right?

Not only that, but thanks to the wonders of Twitter, online forums and opinion polls, people can share their opinions 'live' and in the moment, sparking conversation, thought and debate. And that's got to be a really good thing, right?

For the past 2 weeks I have eagerly awaited each of the live Leaders Debates, and with my laptop poised have commented on, and read other people's thoughts on, proceedings. Some of the debate is trivial "Isn't his face shiny" (Cameron), "Aren't his ears big" (Brown), "Wow, who's the new boy?" (Clegg) but other times people with far more political insight than me are highlighting the potential flaws in policies, disputing facts and figures, and generally bringing the whole process of government and politics to life.

Before I watched the first debate I, like everyone, had my own preconceived ideas. I thought Gordon Brown was a good, decent man but lacked the charisma to win an election. I thought David Cameron was a smooth-talking orator who would beguile the public with the promise of 'change'. And Nick Clegg - well, I didn't even know what he looked like til about 2 weeks ago!

But having watched 2 of the 3 debates I have already changed my mind - there's nothing like a good honest debate to sort the wheat from the chaff! Gordon Brown seems an extremely knowledgeable, passionate orator. David Cameron has seemed surprisingly uncomfortable and easily ruffled under pressure. And Nick Clegg - well, who would have thought it!

No one of the leaders has completely won me over yet and I'm still considering which way I will cast my vote. But whichever way I swing, I feel happier that this time I will have been more actively involved in the decision-making process, and not just swayed by the press, or the most impressive PR campaign.


Anonymous said...

I think alot of people feel the same way with this election and it is great that so much interest has been sparked.
Great post x

Post a Comment