Ed Miliband has resigned. Nick Clegg has resigned. Nigel Farage has resigned. If the General Election were a gladiator-style battle, David Cameron would now be emerging from the arena, covered in his rivals’ blood to the shrill cheers of Daily Mail readers. That’s what this election felt like – a vicious attempt by all the parties to battle for Britain’s soul, with clearly varying degrees of success.
The final televised political event before the election took place last night, as each of the three leaders faced questions from a live audience and host David Dimbleby. Frustratingly, Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg were all in the same building, but did not meet or speak face-to-face in front of the audience, and no cross-party debate actually took place. What follows is not a transcript of what took place, but a short assessment of each leader’s performance.
The election is only 34 days away, and party campaigns are in full swing. What follows is not a transcript of the things that were said during last night’s 7-way leaders debate, but a summary and explanation of how each leader performed.
(The three alternative parties meet in London to plan a tripartite attack on Westminster. Left to right: Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe)
Contrary to popular belief, democracy is not just a matter of showing up to the voting booth every 5 years or so. A democracy consists of people making decisions based on popular votes, national sentiment, and the decentralized collective decisions of various masses. We must be allowed to do more than tick a few boxes once in a while, if we wish to call ourselves a democracy.