Both Iain Dale and Sunder Katwala have called for the live TV debate on Thursday to be screened on a terrestrial channel such as the BBC, ITV or Channel 4. As it stands, the debate between Brown, Cameron and Clegg will only be shown on Sky News. That could mean as little as 1 million watch the debate compared to the peak of 11 million that watched last week.
The second live TV debate will be moderated by Adam Boulton for Sky at 8:00pm on Thursday evening. The location is Bristol and the debate subjects include International relations, UK defence, Climate change and International Development. In the name of democracy, one of the big three terrestrial stations must reschedule!
The main UK political parties have all made manifesto pledges in relation to cutting emissions. However, the leaders’ debate last night added a new dimension to British politics. The televised debate is likely to become a mainstay for years to come and may diminish the importance of the traditional manifesto pamphlet and pledge card.
Even before the debate last night that focused on issues such as immigration, crime and the armed forces George Monbiot reckoned that the environment had been sidelined as a policy issue in the election campaign.
There are two more televised leaders’ debate before polling day. It remains to be seen if there will be a real debate over future environmental policies. Grassroots campaign websites such as 38 Degrees may yet play a part in raising the “climate profile” over the coming weeks.