Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Gordon Brown v. David Cameron at PMQs

Image:: PMQ, 17 March 2010, itnnews

Over on ThickCulture, I blogged about the upcoming May elections in the UK, which will feature 3 themed debates, a new feature in the campaigning cycle. Seen as taking a page out of the US political book, although several parliamentary systems also use debates, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Party leaders in the UK have to have a certain amount of rhetorical chops, due to the Prime Minister's Questions {PMQs}, a 30 minute Q&A session held every Wednesday that Parliament is in session.

This might be a preview to the upcoming debates, as Gordon Brown-PM {Labour} and David Cameron-Leader of the Opposition {Conservative} hammer out their differences on the Bristish Airways strike::

One can see the difference in styles between Brown and Cameron. This is just a snippet {there are others on YouTube}, but reinforces what I've read of their rhetorical styles. Cameron likes to go on the offensive and keeps things simple, which is somewhat expected given the political situation. Brown likes to access facts and offer detailed arguments. Here's the two last December in a PMQ clarifying issues regarding Afghanistan::

In a sense, I see both as vulnerable in a debate setting. I see Cameron as using the "crowd" to his advantage and he does have a dramaturgical flair. Brown could use a bit more polish on his delivery.

More importantly, I think the US could borrow from Parliament and start a PMQ-like Q&A between the President and Senate and/or House majority or minority leader of the "opposition" party. So, it would be Obama vs. Mitch McConnell {R-KY} and/or John Boehner {R-OH}, from the Senate and House, respectively.

Twitterversion:: PMQ videos w/Gordon Brown {Labour} & David Cameron {Conservative} may shed light on upcoming UK debates. #rhizomicon http://url.ie/5nl9 @Prof_K

Song:: Coldplay-'Talk'

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