Completely Biased

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Election 2004 | Day 4 | The Debate

Crikey is reporting that there will be one televised debate, held on Sunday the 12th of September. So not this Sunday coming up, but the one after that. The rules are as follows:
  1. The debate is to be opened with a two-minute opening address by both Leaders.
  2. The moderator will ensure both Leaders are given equal treatment and time, and that the discussion flows.
  3. The independent journalists will ask questions alternately of the Leaders, but be able to follow up the responses of the Leaders. The moderator will also allow each Leader to respond to the points made by the other, if they wish to do so.
  4. There will be no strict time limits, but both Leaders are asked to restrict their answers to less than two minutes (the moderator will ensure both Leaders have equal time).
  5. The moderator will intervene to prevent either person from talking over the top of the other.
  6. The debate will finish with the moderator asking a general question to both Leaders to sum up.
  7. A coin will be tossed to determine who will make up the first opening statement. Whichever Leader makes the first opening statement will be the first to be asked the wrap-up question.
  8. The Leaders will use standing lecturns.
  9. A clean feed of the debate will be made available to all broadcasters, with no station identification on the set.
  10. The broadcast should be commercial free.
  11. There will be no "worm" or broadcasting of an audience response.
  12. The debate must be broadcast live.
  13. The Leaders may have a pen and paper to make notes, and may arrive with whatever documentation they wish (not to include props).
Aside from those rules, the only major change (aside from the rather questionable rule 11 which denies an audience response gauge) is that Ray doesn't get to do all the talking - he'll moderate, but there'll be five journalists asking questions (if any of them are Piers Akerman, I swear I'll punch my TV).

This set of rules seems more or less reasonable (which is surprising), but I can't help wondering why Howard would change them from previous years. Especially usage of the worm. Hmm.