Party Leaders on Question Time

BBC Election BusSo, the three party leaders are to go live, one after the other, on 'Question Time', bring grilled by members of the public. The public interaction is much better than the US presidential debates, which are so stage managed it's unbelievable. Question time has a good history of party leaders being thrown curveballs by the general public, and the public has a good history of throwing them.

From Margaret Thatcher's 'Belgrano' to Tony Blair's 'handbagging', this could shape up to be a good spectacle.

I hope that one of the first questions asked of each politician is 'So, why no head to head debate, are you scared?' That would make for some interesting squirming from some parties.

Having said that, I would not want a US-style debate. It's much too controlled.

With the public asking the questions, it doesn't eliminate the stage managed aspect (which dominated the US 'debates'), but it does reduce it markedly. We see precious little of the leaders defending their positions, and if they don't get put on the spot by the public at election time then it is never going to happen.

I'd like to see a second question time, with Dimbleby moderating, and all the leaders on stage at once. THAT would be a sight to see.