September 20, 2007

Fight Face

Although I doubt that the United States is the only country lacking in exciting political debates, it certainly proves interesting to compare are structured, organized political debates to similar debates in other nations. France for example, which just had a presidential election last May, takes a very different approach to its presidential debates.

As can be seen from this clip, the debate between presidential candidates Segolene Royal and Nicholas Sarkozy was quite heated. The two candidates face each other and in many cases fire questions directly to their opponent. Emotions here seem to run a bit higher than in our presidential debates.

The next clip comes from the British House of Commons. The clip is taken from shortly after Gordon Brown assumed his current position as prime minister. The House of Commons is known to became quite rowdy, and Mr. Brown faces a fair quizzing, in this case from the opposition leader David Cameron.

The third clip is taken from the Australian House of Commons. Prime Minister John Howard and and opposition leader Kevin Rudd blatantly insult each other in this short video.

In comparison to these three clips I have chosen to also include a clip from the presidential debates of 2004.

The difference between the first three clips and the last one is quite shocking. Granted, there are one or two similarities. The French presidential candidates like their American counterparts are situated in a formal setting. However, outside of this, there are very few similarities that can be drawn between the first three clips and the last one. It is unfortunate that political debates in the United States or not as open-ended as debates in other nations. If politicians were forced to face the tough questions Americans would be able to gain a better understanding of each politician's platform. Forcing politicians to answer the tough questions would also make them a hell of a lot more accountable and therefore, possibly, potentially, maybe a little more responsible.

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