Saturday 16 December 2017

TV debate must be three-way

TELEVISION debates between party leaders have become a staple of the electoral process in many democratic countries since the famous encounter between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon in the United States half a century ago.

Thursday's event in Britain broke new ground when it featured three contenders instead of the previous two. Has the time come for a similar departure in Ireland?

The answer surely must be yes. The Labour leader, Eamon Gilmore, has proclaimed his ambition to lead the largest party in the next Dail. His chances of succeeding in the endeavour may be remote, but they cannot be dismissed out of hand. One has only to reflect on the comparison with the British Liberal Democrats' Nick Clegg.

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