Hey voters, there are candidates out here who want to be your MP. Thousands of us - many been striving to catch your eye for years. Was all this effort of no consequence after all? You really would think so if you were to take today's media at face value. The only thing that counts is 'The Leader's Debate'. The record of delivery, or of probity, or even character of individual candidates is to be set aside. All that matters is a televised debate amongst party leaders. Well, I just don't buy it. And if it is true, we might as well hand selection of our MPs over to the National Lottery.
I watched last night's debate. It was better television than I expected. I thought all three came over quite well - except perhaps Gordon Brown when he tried to focus too much on attacking David Cameron, rather than telling us about his own policies. Nick Clegg seemed the most relaxed. He had not much to lose, and because even he does not think he's going to be the next Prime Minister, can say what he likes. David Cameron and Gordon Brown both believe that they might be Prime Minister, and can say only what they will deliver. Some people seem to think David did badly - but I thought he did really well. And I think he'll do even better next time. I also think Gordon Brown will be better, and Nick Clegg will 'bomb'. Now that we know he's a competent debater, he might be asked to explain some of his policy. His stance on immigration is particularly daft.
Must admit that I was disappointed when it was agreed that these debates would happen. I've always been unhappy with them - mainly because of the danger that they might devalue the worth and effort of individual candidates. But its too late now. These debates will be a dominant feature in all future General Elections. I want the people of Montgomeryshire to decide where to place their mark on the basis of which local candidate they think will represent them well - and the choice includes candidates whose leaders were frozen out of things last night. But I did think it good entertainment, and I'll watch next week.
There's something about politics in Montgomeryshire. Today has been another interesting day. Montgomeryshire's Assembly Member has been told that he will face charges of common assault, and his party has relieved him of the party whip. I suppose that means that today is the first day that Montgomeryshire has not been represented by a Lib Dem AM. And I hear rumours that more news may emerge over the weekend. And to cap it all, I hear that someone has declared that he intends to stand as a National Front candidate (not even BNP) in the General Election. Maybe there is something special in the local water.