A Mere Distraction.
I'm not sure about you but I really couldn't care less if we have televised debates between all the leaders of the UK's major political parties.
Firstly, none of the leaders, of any political party, have the charisma remotely matched to previous leaders like Harold Wilson or Tony Blair. Nigel Farage is the only leader with any modicum of resonance with the demographic of his party, mainly because he drinks a pint convincingly, as opposed to Ed, Dave and Nick all supping on their ale like it's poison. William Hague once tried to woo Mr White Van Man by 'admitting' he used to down about 8 or 9 pints in one sitting, in the good old days of course, before it was pointed out by his local that he was a 'bit of a lightweight'. So it seems for politicians to be popular in this modern age of 24 hour news, smartphones and blogs, it's more down to whether one can drink a pint of real ale without looking like a toff as opposed to any articulation of a political policy on a podium.
My main opposition to televised debates is down to our style of democracy. We have a parliamentary democracy with an unelected head of state. WE do not elect our Prime Minister. It makes perfect sense for there to be American televised Presidential debates when the population elects their leader directly. At what point does public support become great enough to warrant a place on the debate for a UK political party leader? So far it seems OFCOM have quantified that as party membership, number of seats and projected support in the future. The idea of UK televised debates became a farce this year when one leader refuses to participate when another party was to be included and another omitted all because it was felt there'd be an unfair advantage to the main opposition party. So now we have political leaders and parties trying to dictate participation through politics.
And lastly, these debates give unfair advantage to large parties. The independent for any constituency will be at a huge disadvantage. Smaller parties too will lose out unless their support in the next election is projected to sky-rocket. So not only do we have well established, large political parties dominating the media waves, we also have a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation in OFCOM, determining who deserves to be heard based on votes that have not yet been cast. All this in the name of spectacle.
I agree with David Cameron, this is a distraction and it prevents true political discourse at local levels.