21 July 2010
In a time honoured tradition the Prime Minister has agreed to only one leaders' debate in this election campaign.
When in Opposition Julia Gillard along with her Labor colleagues argued consistently for three debates and claimed John Howard was keen to avoid scrutiny by agreeing to just one.
In fact it was Labor policy before the last election to establish a debates commission which would set the rules and number of future debates, at arms length of Government.
The first term of the Labor Government has come and nearly gone and no such commission has eventuated.
The reality is that Prime Ministers don't enjoy affording their opponent the same stage. One on one debates inevitably elevate Opposition Leaders.
The recent British election saw the emergence of Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg through a number of strong performances in the UK's first election debates.
He's now Deputy Prime Minister in a Coalition British Government.
Debates also carry inherent risk for a leader. While Julia Gillard is a formidable communicator mistakes can and do happen in this type of forum and if politicians can minimise risk in an election campaign they will.
The good news is this Sunday's debate will be moderated by my colleague David Speers, Sky's Political Editor.
I know I'm biased on this but David is the right choice, he's fair and forensic and both leaders will need to be at the top of their games. They know it and preparations for Sunday's debate are well underway.
It's also an extremely well respected panel of journalists who will work with David.
Laura Tingle from the Australian Financial Review, Malcolm Farr of the Daily Telegraph and Chris Uhlmann from the ABC are all top class political correspondents.
This leaders' debate might not enjoy the ratings of a dancing or cooking show but this will be compelling contest.
Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been approved.
vholt, who cares (21 August 2010 9:22PM) wrote:
that news guy is so labor biased he is making your station a joke. It's not news when it's not objective. We will be ditching you and our subscription
Roger, Canberra (1 August 2010 11:15AM) wrote:
I find it ironic that the PM this morning mentioned that this campaign and upcoming election should be about who Australians want as the next PM - Well Julia, that's what we did in 2007 when we elected Kevin, why then did he not get the chance to complete his full term as OUR elected PM.
Peter Wills, Canberra (29 July 2010 10:06PM) wrote:
Tony Abott has promised free ironing boards and irons for all Australian women and girls. Mr Abott has said womens ironing skills have become absolute crap and need sharpening. When asked whether the policy was costed under charter of budgetary honesty Mr Abott replied he was not sure what the concept of honesty was.
sandra , Sydney (28 July 2010 12:26PM) wrote:
If Ms Gillard in her press conference said that she only raised concerns and asked question because of the amount of money that was to be paid, then can someone please ask her why she did not have the same concerns with overspending and failed policies ie Pink Bats, Green Loans, BER we could go on and on you might remind her that 3 young men are dead but not a word just SPIN SPIN.I think you people should start asking her to answer question's along with all the other Labor peoople you have on your show and MAKE them answer.
Ross W, Airlie Beach (28 July 2010 10:38AM) wrote:
Why can't reporters ask the most obvious of questions. Gillard said in the Press Conference that she was 'Angry" when hearing of the leak. Why? Seens to me you could only be angry if you knew it weas true and it was let out. Any normal person would just laugh it off if it was totally untrue and wonder where on earth these reporters got their info from. Yep she is angry alright because the truth hurts and she has to find a way to deny it. Come on guys...get to the nitty gritty, Ask why she was angry? Does it not convey that she knew it was the truth..
Louis, Adelaide (28 July 2010 10:03AM) wrote:
It is clear from day 1 that most of the political commentators at Sky News is Labor. I must acknowledge Paul Murray that is the only one that is neutral! It is ashame that reports take sides as they need to give holistic approach to the election. With this kind of indoctrination it shows that some still believe in the Communist system by telling people just one side of the story. I hope in the days that come that Kieran Gilbert, Peter van Onselen and David Speers will show courage to hammer Julia as well on what she will do to get us back to a positive bank balance by 2013. No one has asked her that question how she would get it done by then. I suppose she will side step that question as she do in most occasions - she is the master of that and she is not in parliament to give a faigue answer.
Peter Wills, Canberra (28 July 2010 8:39AM) wrote:
I hope MR FAULKNER is not the Labor cabinet sieve.
Peter Wills, Canberra (28 July 2010 8:04AM) wrote:
Abott is giving Australians a bad name internationally over his right wing asylum seekers policy;The Director of International Protection and the High Commissioner for Refugees, Erika Feller bluntly described Australia’s detention policy; ‘this tendency and these practices are outrageous. Full Stop. Totally unacceptable.’ (http://www.austlii.edu.au)
LINA WATERS, BRISBANE (27 July 2010 4:04PM) wrote:
I found that Sky News commentators are so biased towards LABOR it is quite sickening why can't you have a fair go to both political parties even if you all are so obviously in tandem for a Labor win'
Ann Taylor, Qld (27 July 2010 1:05PM) wrote:
I have just been watching recorded segment on am Agenda with Keiron moderating between Brandis and Emmerson. WHY Kieron do you not stop Emmerson from interupting all the time, you obviously have no control over him. I think you need to put one of those elec dog collars on him, every time he barks it will ZAPP him..... Please moderate your interviewees, and let them complete their answers (try not to be like Yodda)
Peter Wills, Canberra (27 July 2010 8:49AM) wrote:
We had better watch what we say and how we handle boat people, Tony Abott is representing Hansonism, a right wing approach to humanity that is being looked at by The United Nations. We may lose our good reputation internationally at this rate.
Craig Wood, Brisbane (26 July 2010 8:55AM) wrote:
Kieran, please send Graham Morris to empty my sick bag. Mine filled as soon as I heard his pseudo-blokey whines emanating from my speaker.
Peter Wills, Canberra (26 July 2010 8:22AM) wrote:
Has anyone realised that the Liberal Party has really stuffed up by putting Tony Abott in as leader; he has the political baggage and negativity that makes an easy target for Labor. Did the Liberals honestly think a man that quotes ‘ shit eating grin’ at parliament house and ‘that’s bullshit’ as well as ‘ global warming is crap’ as a Prime Minister? Most people in the Liberal Party know Tony Abott punched Joe Hockey in the face during their Sydney Uni days. The Liberals are mad, or is it that the rednecks in charge cannot find anyone else? Peter Wills
leeann james, broken hill (25 July 2010 4:21PM) wrote:
Labor taking us forward . What a joke "same dirt different shovel" This country cannot afford another term of this mob.
Mark Demos, Sydney (23 July 2010 12:42PM) wrote:
Just watched a discussion with John Mangos, Sue and Comrade Gilbert. It's amazing ti see the bias by Gilbert relating to Gillard.A very easy unbiased question asked by Mangos to Gilbert about the lack of details/substance in the Climate Policy by Gillard and then Gilbert answers as if he was a Minister in the Gillard Govt and also say the lack of policy give by Abbott. SkyNews has now to 2 Labor commentators with their apprentice Ashley Gillian not that far behind. PLEASE PRESENT THE FACTS!!!!!!! Your opinion is not really sorted as reliable due to your bias. To really show if Abbott is up to the task, the debate should be hosted by Comrade Speers & Comrade O'Brien and no Gillard. With Gilbert's expert commentary at the end!!!! Try having fair dinkum Liberals on your panel discussions not Lefties like Hewson, you have enough "very regular" Lefties like Howes and Hawker. If Australia had a channel like FOX NEWS you guys would go by the way of CNN. Unlike Speers,Gilbert and Gillin I'll gladly state I'm a LIBERAL voter!!!
Peter Simmons, Creighton's Creek Vi (21 July 2010 3:57PM) wrote:
Not one of these people has said a good word about Abbott, but, have conversely done nothing, but gush praise on Gillard. What a biased panel and host. This 'DEBATE' will be a Gillard promotion as all involved are ALP sycophants, especially Uhlmann and Tingle. Their joy at the election of Rudd proves their Bias. Speers is clearly Left and Abbott will not get a fair go.