It’s a considerable achievement that agreement has been reached to hold the Prime Ministerial Debates. All involved in the negotiations should be congratulated.
Gone are days when we could go down to the local school, church or town hall and watch, listen and heckle leading politicians. Today, 24-hour television news dominates election courage and the focus will naturally be on the party leaders, as it has always been. At the end of the day they are ultimately responsible for how we are governed.
Bringing the three leaders together will attract a mass audience; may help to reengage the electorate in the political process and will, hopefully, increase the turnout.
Voters, many of whom pay little or no attention to politics between elections, have the right to compare the party leaders under the pressure of unknown questions. These debates will allow that to happen.
To those, like Tim Montgomerie, who argue, mainly from a narrow partisan viewpoint, against the debates the answer is simple. Live in the world of 2010.
Whatever your political persuasion, there is every reason why these debates should happen.