Sunday, November 06, 2005
OK... so if you didn't watch West Wing you missed a November sweeps special. The live broadcast was entertaining but it lacked something. As AP points out, it was fantasy. Americans can only wish for the kind of informed, disciplined exchange that they saw in a fictional drama tonight. Canadians know only too well that a "no rules" or "low rules" debate rapidly degrades into a chaotic disgrace, leaving voters wishing for a whole new slate of candidates.
But there was something missing from NBC's program tonight. It wasn't the format; it was the choice of topics. Would that the American voter could make a decision based on what was presented in NBC's fantasy debate. Where was the question of religion and the separation of church and state? Where was the question of nominees to the Supreme Court of the US and other US federal benches? Where were the questions of accountability?
Is it possible these questions are too tough for NBC? Is the current Presidential administration viewed by the producers as anomaly, or are they just wishing for a return to times when the real issues facing government were the ones that took centre stage?
West Wing is a good drama, but let's face it, it's television. It's good entertainment but a long way from the reality of US politics.
As for dramatized Canadian political debates, one cannot do better than to keep an eye on Royal Canadian Air Farce.