Friday, 13 November 2009

The Debate: Results

There I was last night popcorn in one hand, oversized soft drink in the other eagerly anticipating the contest between the three people vying to become Wales’ next First Minister. Aside from the cries of “get a life” from my housemates and girlfriend I must say I quite enjoyed the programme despite the candidates rehearsed answers to some of the questions.

So who came out on top? Well I think it was a pretty close run thing. There’s not all that much to separate the three on policy (bar a couple of notable exceptions), there was a lot of “well I agree with a lot of what Carwyn / Edwina / Huw said there but can I just add...” so I think the decision will come down to style and personality.

So what of their style – Huw seemed relaxed, didn’t read from notes and came across as the most down to Earth. He did however fail to deal in specifics and generalised a lot. His performance last night wouldn’t have done him any harm but it’s fair to say that he lacked that aura of a First Minister – a nice, well meaning, idealistic politician – yes. First Minister? Probably not.

Edwina Hart has warmed somewhat to the camera’s over the duration of the contest. She has tried and been fairly successful I think at shedding her traditional grouchy image and showed some wit and humour in places last night. She did fidget with her pen a great deal and read a lot from (what I assume to be) pre-prepared notes. Mrs Hart did however tackle the questions asked (bar the one on health) fairly directly and didn’t go off on one without referring to the original question too much. She wasn’t afraid to stick her neck out and disagree with the questioners position and did receive the most applause from the audience.

Carwyn seemed the most composed of the three, as you’d expect from an ex-barrister with more public speaking experience. He didn’t rely on notes too much (although there were definitely a few pre-prepped tid bits in there). He is evidently comfortable in front of the camera’s and probably quite enjoyed the experience. But was he too safe? Was he too boring? Was he too much like the politicians that the public have turned against? With the Labour party needing an almighty great big rocket up their backsides before this upcoming election are his ‘safe pair of hands’ likely to provide it?

So there we are, on balance I think Carwyn Jones shaded it – but the other two by no means disgraces themselves. And I'm sure that their camps will disagree but there we go!

I do sometimes wish that they weren’t all so nice to each and really had a go at one another –I enjoyed last night but my housemates and better half who were forced to watch alongside me found it all rather bland. Not at all like the West Wing they said....

What did you think? If you're a Labour member who are you voting for and why?

Dewi Un


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