Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Have TV debates before election

The following suggestion as published in the ST Online, by Mr. Lee Seck Kay, is a good one.

In my own opinion, all parties should have equal air-time to an open debate, which should not be correlated to the number of candidates the party can field.

This is the type of radical "CHANGE" in the he electoral process a more educated and matured electorate is looking forward to. The election process should also be fair to the electorate, and not just the opposing candidates alone.

And not just about silly strutural changes like redrawing electoral boundaries and the number of NMP or NCMP to be allowed in Parliament ...which in my opnion are disguising for a "CHANGE".

We are talking about "productivity" for Singapore at large and I would think this is "productivity" applied to POLITICS. Give the electorate a chance to judge the candidates.


The following article is reproduced from ST Online - Forum.
Apr 26, 2010

Have TV debates before election

ALTHOUGH the next general election is not due until early 2012, there are signs that political parties are already gearing up to do battle. Now may be the time to consider and prepare for a television debate as part of the anticipated political contest.

What I have in mind is Britain's unprecedented series of American-style television debates in which leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties stood toe to toe in front of a studio audience debating issues of national importance.

By all accounts, the 90-minute sessions were a resounding success and one more will follow before polling day on May 6, by which time Britons will be better informed about the parties' manifestoes, their strengths and weakness, and the calibre of their leaders.

We could do something similar to complement the usual campaigning. To be held under a similar format and with rules agreed by all major contesting parties, each debate could be presided over by a moderator to ensure orderliness.

The proposed TV debate would reach out to a far larger audience and put all the rhetoric of the campaign trail into sharp focus. What the parties stand for, their thoughts on the road ahead for Singapore, and their views on issues such as the cost of living, health-care costs, the ageing population and national assets would all provide the basis for the voters' decision on Polling Day.

Let's first dispatch a team to Britain to study how to organise such an event that could well turn out to be a watershed in our election history.

Lee Seck Kay

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