Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Date is Set

So, the waiting and speculation is over and the date of the General Election here in the UK has finally been announced. Gordon Brown went to Buckingham Palace this morning and asked The Queen to dissolve Parliament, and hence fired the metaphorical starting gun for the General Election campaign. The country will go to the polls on Thursday May 6th.

This election promises to be very different from any that has taken place before. We now live in the digital age, and as Barack Obama did so successfully in 2008, all of the parties will be trying to make the best use of Twitter, Facebook and the other social media that have come to the fore since the last election. That’s not to say that there won’t be some old-style campaigning taking place, and the old ”Battle Buses” are sure to make an appearance during the next month.

The biggest difference this time round though, is that there will be three Prime Ministerial TV Debates. Whilst the US has been having Presidential Debates since the days of Kennedy and Nixon, this will be the very first time that it will happen in this country. Previously it has been impossible to get agreement for any debates from the leading parties, mainly because the favourites to win would always see it as a way to slip up, rather than an opportunity to seal a win. This time, however, the race is close enough that everyone has something to gain from taking part in the debates. They will be taking place on April 15th, 22nd and 29th and will feature the leaders of the three leading political parties. It promises to be a very interesting addition to a British election campaign.

So, we have a month of campaigning to go through when I will not be answering the door to anyone, and will be avoiding strange people on the street with over-sized rosettes. But, that’s not to say that I won’t enjoy it at all. Democracy in action is a wonderful thing, and something that not everybody in the world has access to, so I certainly honour that fact. The debates will also be something new and fascinating this time round to look forward to.

Let the campaigning begin!!

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