Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A worm in the debate

First I let me say I really don’t see any real value in election leader’s debates. They have the potential but that would mean the participants forgoing the carefully staged, safe debate mode.

When John Howard – conservative (Liberal/Nation coalition) and Kevin Rudd – labor, met on Sunday night it was in an extremely regulated environment. For a start, it is very early in the campaign, presumably to allow Howard a buffer for a poor showing. He’s never won one of these debates.

Questions were carefully vetted to exclude more controversial issues, and the worm was banned, again by Howard. But one channel ignored the ban on the worm and had its feed pulled twice during the broadcast. They ended up taking an alternative feed.

By the time I switched to the word channel, bored with the actual ‘debate’ the feed issue was resolved. I muted the TV and concentrated on body language and the worm. John Howard was obviously having problems remaining calm and controlled. Rudd was more self assured and neither was in any real attack mode.

I missed the audio of Howard’s Liberal deputy being told to shut up and stop interjecting. Perhaps that even added to Howard’s unease. The worm was constantly neutral to negative for Howard and above the neutral line for Rudd.

So the words weren’t worth listening too, but the visuals were very interesting and telling. Following a rise in the polls for the conservatives last week there has been a correction published today which puts Labor on 51% of the primary count.

Here in Lyne we are looking at another positive of this leadership dynamic. If there is a growing swing away from the government we have an opportunity to grabbing some of it as it moves across. The downside here is that Labor is virtually as conservative as the conservatives – nice and safe.


abi said...

I would have loved to see a worm used in the US presidential debates.

Do the worm results usually line up with the outcome of the election?

Cartledge said...

I'm not sure what the worm really shows. But this one does reflect polling.
Funny part is thee is more fuss over trying to censor the worm tan over any result.

D.K. Raed said...

I'm lost on what the worm is. Is it an instant poll graph line? Hope it's not something to do with the body language you described cuz I can see where Howard wouldn't want that broadcast.

I see your "debates" are as real as our US ones are. All staged with chopped up & dumbed-down questions, answers limited to a sound bite, no conversation between the debaters. Oh sure, real issues get raised, but the canned generic solutions offered seem to boil down to "vote for me & I'll handle it" or "don't vote for him, he can't handle it". worst of all, it's not even entertaining. I don't know how they expect to reel in those American Idol junkies.

Cartledge said...

d.k. tried to find a graphic, but failed. It's just a continuing line graph picking up studio audience reaction.
Most people vote on perceptions and not issues, which is why I looked at the non verbals.
Both major parties are simply meeting each others promises here this time, so words don't mean much anyway.

enigma4ever said...

too bad they are not on YouTube....ahhh the Worm Turns...