Nick Clegg: Don't leave the Liberal Democrats out of it

Share
Related Topics

It seems the Prime Minister is the only person left in the country who thinks there shouldn't be a televised debate between party leaders at the next general election.

It would be an opportunity for transparency, to reinvigorate political debate, and to put party manifestos and leaders up against one another in a fair competition.

Gordon Brown says there's no need for debates because we have Prime Minister's Questions. But, despite nearly always descending into farce and name-calling, at PMQs, opposition leaders can only ask questions about government policy. In a proper debate, each leader would be able to question both the other parties' policies as well as championing his own.

Our politics is marred by profound unfairness. Big donations mean far too much is decided by which party has the biggest coffers. A televised debate would go some way to correcting that.

A debate wouldn't advantage a party; it would advantage the people. It would be the voters' opportunity to see the leaders competing to be Prime Minister promoting their policies and answering difficult questions about how they'd change the country.

It would bring in a wider audience than leaders could reach otherwise, giving more people the opportunity to make up their own minds based on the facts.

If Gordon Brown believed in the Labour party and his own record, he would be champing at the bit to hold this debate. I'm eager because I want people to know about Liberal Democrat policies, and I want the opportunity to explain why Labour and the Conservatives would take us in the wrong direction. Labour's time is up, and the Conservatives think it's automatically their turn, but I think in these difficult times we need to do something altogether different.

The author is leader of the Liberal Democrats

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Port Eliot Festival  

How to keep it real in the digital age this summer

Simon Kelner
 

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on