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UK Debate: Lib-Dem Sparks Interest

  • April 16th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

uk-debate-rte.jpgPolitical commentaries and early polls indicated the centrist Liberal Democrats party — headed by Nick Clegg –  got most out of the  first British party leaders’ TV election debate (16.4.10).

Mr Clegg got the most nods of approval, with his attack on the two major parties for being complacent and allowing corruption to take hold – condemning the widespread gross rorting of expense allowances.

clegg-nick.gifUnder the “rotten system in Westminster”, he said, abuse of privileges was directly linked to the party system, which provided MPs with “jobs for life”.

The Lib-Dem leader took full advantage of the whiff of political oxygen made available to him, in being able to share the national television forum with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (Labour), and Opposition Leader, David Cameron (Conservative Party).

He’s hoping that disillusionment with politics will provide a break-through, to give the Lib-Dems many more than their present 63 seats in the House of Commons, (646 members, of which    Labour has 362, Conservatives 198).

The numbers are less than their primary vote (22% nationally, last time) would indicate, but as the third party, they suffer under the “first-past-the-post” voting system, in single-member electorates — often running second in individual constituencies, much less often getting to the front.

The party has been demanding electoral change to a more proportionalised system, almost since the time its precedessor, the Liberal Party, was last in office, during the First World War.

There will be two more of the American-style leaders’ debates, put on at the suggestion of the Opposition Leader, before the elections on 6.5.10.

Reference

Bigpond News, Telstra, Melbourne; “Clegg emerges as winner of UK debate”, 16.4.10. (www.bigpondnews.com/… (16.4.10).

Iain Martin, London; “Leaders’ debate a win for Clegg and a problem for Cameron”;Wall Street Journal, NY; 16.4.10.

Liberal Democrats, Home. http://www.libdems.org.uk, (16.4.10).
RTE, Dublin; “Nick Clegg impresses UK voters in TV debate”, 16.4.10. (www.rte.ie/news/… (16.4.10).

Pictures

Top, left to right, Clegg, Cameron, Brown, (rte); Clegg (lib-dems).

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