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Europe

Brown, Cameron and Clegg grilled in televised and digital debates

©

Text by Maria Camila Perez

Latest update : 2010-05-05

For the first time in British history, the leaders of the three main parties agreed to participate in pre-election televised debates, prompting Facebook and Youtube to join forces in organising an interactive digital political debate.

In the past, due to a lack of agreement between the main political parties, British voters have been denied the possibility of watching their leaders debate the main points of their election manifestos.

This year the British public will be able to watch the main candidates cross swords over the course of three live televised debates, which start on April 15 on ITV. In addition,  viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions directly through a digital debate organised in partnership by social networking site Facebook and Google’s video sharing platform, YouTube. 

Facebook and YouTube says they plan to democratise the political debate in the country by organising the country's first digital interactive debate.

From April 12 to 28, the joint initiative allows Internet users to submit questions through the Facebook page Democracy UK and at youtube.com/ukelection. Five categories have been set up: the economy, health and education, law and order, foreign policy and miscellaneous.
 
Questions will be submitted either by text or video, and will be displayed to Internet users who can vote for their favourite questions. The two most popular questions in each category will be put to the leaders on April 28. Candidates' answers will be recorded by YouTube and posted on the video-sharing website as well as on the Democracy UK page on Facebook. No candidate will have access to the other answers before submitting his own.

The Facebook initiative in the UK builds on YouTube’s increasingly active role in political

YouTube's debates

discussions. The video-sharing site had already served as a link between voters and political candidates in countries such as Israel, New Zealand, Spain and the US.

Using Facebook’s existing network, the joint initiative aims to reach out to a wider population. Two days after the launch of the feature, users had already posted 1,183 questions, which received 49,337 votes.

 

Date created : 2010-04-14

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