A good point on the TV debate and our parliamentary democracy generally:
"That message is that you the voter, on polling day, are voting for a Prime Minister, not for your local MP"
"Amongst all the corruption in Parliament exposed before the summer, there were a few examples of notably bad and surprisingly good behaviour. Cameron’s school chum Bill Wiggin MP managed to use Parliament as a cash machine, withdrawing £250 per month as petty cash and a further £400 per month for food, regardless of whether he was in his Leominster constituency or his Westminster second home and none of which reconciled with a single receipt. Laura Moffatt on the other hand made the news when it emerged she sleeps on a camp bed in her office rather than using her second home allowance."
"Party leaders already get plenty of air time and more than their fair share of newspaper column inches. Already, the overwhelming majority of people vote on party lines rather than on the strengths of their local candidates. Providing a TV debate as the locus of the election will make it more likely that Moffatt will lose her seat in spite of her strengths and less likely that Wiggin will lose his seat over his personal greed."
"It’s because of this conspiracy to get people voting nationally instead of locally, in conjunction with an electoral system that promotes parties instead of candidates, that we have 400 safe seats in a parliament of 646 MPs. And it’s this overwhelming proportion of safe seats that gave us a festering culture of unaccountability in Westminster, creating fertile ground for the expenses scandal in the first place."