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YP Letters: Political TV debate plans don’t go far enough

Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown took part in leaders' debates in 2010.
Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown took part in leaders' debates in 2010.
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From: Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon.

ADAM Boulton’s campaign for public debate between party leaders prior to a General Election deserves support (The Yorkshire Post, September 27).

Mr Boulton answered a number of familiar objections to holding such discussions. His reply to the argument that Prime Minister’s Questions already serves the purpose was, if anything, understated.

Adam Boulton: Don’t let our leaders duck election debates

These occasional visits to Parliament on Wednesdays might justifiably be renamed ‘Thirty Minutes of Evasion, Trivia and Irrelevance’.

However, the broadcaster’s case for democratic debate would be strengthened by an alteration to the approach of his employer.

At one time, his programme permitted viewers to challenge the politicians and alleged experts appearing on it. They were even able to speak on the programme by telephone. No longer. Instead, viewers watch and listen passively to the experts and career politicians.

Perhaps – in addition to his national campaign to extend democratic debate in respect of General Elections – Adam Boulton could persuade Sky News again to include members of the public in discussions about current affairs? When people have seen their views ignored for five years, why would they suddenly rush to a ballot box?