The debate was a good result for Ozblogistan, however, with Larvatus Prodeo and The Greens live-blogging the event. I even got a question to Bob Brown answered at their Canberra HQ and broadcast on YouTube! Basically:
Q: Given that this election is being fought on Greens issues, why is the vote not increasing?I can't see Howard agreeing to another debate, unless he gets so desperate that he figures he's got nothing left to lose. Maybe a debate including the minor parties would be a good idea? You know, real democracy... real audience... real questions... maybe even some real answers?
A: A major issue is the fact that the media is ignoring us because they are fixated on the two party system. We can’t dictate fair coverage, but we work on it. We are also doing everything we can to get out and meet people.
Still on the debate, I am surprised that nobody in the media seems to have picked up on Howard's throwaway apology to Aboriginals:
Of course I'm sorry...Rudd let that one slip, too. Also, Rudd didn't seem to have an answer to Howard's big-naming about his fabulously close relationship with President George W. Bush. Rudd should just point out that Bush is polling in the gutter, his administration is busy fending off lawsuits and investigations, and the Bush GOP will be as dead as Howard's Liberal Party by the end of next year.
As for his failure to discuss climate change with Bush, here's what Bush said recently when asked if he would ever see "An Inconvenient Truth":
"Doubt it."Rudd also let Howard talk up the importance of the recent APEC meeting, even though international observers all agreed it was an incosequential waste of time. Sure, Rudd wants to keep friendly with both sides of US politics, and doesn't want to denigrate APEC - but if he wants to win the election, he shouldn't give Howard a free pass on these issues.
UPDATE: Milne this morning excels himself in wankery:
Glenn Milne from the National Press Club says Channel Nine knew the conditions set before the broadcast began.In other words, if they really want free speech, they shouldn't broadcast the debate. How Orwellian!
"I can understand Nine being upset about that," he said.
"I can understand it being considered an infringement of their broadcast rights, and you could even take it further and say it's an infringement of free speech and journalistic reporting.
"But if Nine felt seriously about this issue, they should have walked away from the negotiations and the debate at the point at which the Liberal Party insisted the worm not be used."
But wait, there's more:
"My view is that there should be independent debate commission in Australia, we should have an independent body that sets the terms and conditions for these leaders' debates," he said.Oh yes, ladies and germs - let's all put Glen Milne in charge of a US-style commission. That's exactly what we need. Maybe Janet Albrechtsen can also be on the board?
"Let's face it, they are now entrenched in the Australian process. They should set the way the debates are held, not the political parties. The National Press Club ought to be the institutional venue for the debates as defined by that commission - that's the way they do in the United States, that's the way we should do it here."
UPDATE 2: Milne exposed as the man who killed the worm:
Mr Howard on Monday denied any involvement in the decision to stop the feed.
"The decision about the feed was taken by the National Press Club," Mr Howard told reporters.
"I don't have any comment. If you want to talk about that, go to the National Press Club."
NPC vice-president Glenn Milne, from News Ltd, said Nine had broken an agreement not to use the worm.
"When Nine walked away from that agreement and used the worm it breached an agreement it had with the parties - not with the National Press Club," Mr Milne told ABC Radio.
Nine news chief John Westacott denied the network had made any agreement not to use the worm.
Veteran Nine Network journalist Laurie Oakes, who was on the question panel for the debate, angrily attacked the NPC's decision.
"With a name like National Press Club, you'd think it would be out there defending the free press and the rights of the media," Mr Oakes said.
"Instead, it rolled over supinely when John Howard said you've got to ban the worm. That was the problem last night."