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Stabroek News

Those debates
published: Tuesday | August 28, 2007

The Editor, Sir:

I have watched, listened and read comments and analyses etc., with regard to the three debates. Clare Forrester, in her article of August 15, seems to be in sync with my line of thinking, as I also wondered if the analysts/commentators had watched the same debates I had watched. Her article is a good perspective of the debates.

However, the Rev. Devon Dick in his article of Tuesday August 14, hits the nail on the head. I was myself asking the question "What debate?" and also concluded, especially after the encounter of Golding/Simpson Miller, that what we were watching were 'mere discussions' and more akin to a press conference and not a debate at all. There were indeed very few statements to rebut and candidates proceeded, as Rev. Dick stated, 'to make statements unrelated to the rebuttals'. Some of the panellists/analysts felt that Simpson Miller lost ground when she stated that 'there was nothing to rebut', and I marvelled at this sentiment from the learned panel, as there was clearly nothing to rebut.

In my view, there were no winners in the Golding/Simpson Miller debate/press conference.

It is felt that Shaw/Golding outdid Davies/Simpson Miller. The fact is Shaw/Golding was more vociferous in their delivery; so was Phillips against Baugh. I wonder what would have been the outcome if Simpson Miller had not adhered to her advisors, it seems, to keep her answers short and to the point rather than being herself, showing the passion that she is known for, in the earlier part of the debate. All in all, nothing new was said.

The organisers tried to match the standards of international debates and this has laid the foundation for meaningful 'debates' in the future.

I am, etc.,

F.M. WATSON

watsonf@hotmail.co.uk

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