Allan Takes Aim Blog

Q&A: a political TV snack

Posted on: 23 July 2013


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Q&A: a political TV snack

Although it took a long time, friends (yes I still have some) persuaded me to watch Q&A a panel show on ABC Television., which is chaired by prominent political commentator Tony Jones. They assured me this was a must watch programme for people, like me, who are interested in politics. Taking them at their word I sat down today, Tuesday, 23rd July, to watch the repeat of the show of the previous evening.

Question master Tony Jones chaired a panel of prominent people: Associate Professor Dr Michelle Foster, Director of the International Refugee Law Research Programme in the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School; Bill Shorten, Labor MP and Minister in the Rudd Government; Arthur Sinodinos, Liberal Senator; Louise Adler, prominent publisher; and The Hon Tim Fischer former National Party MP and Deputy Prime Minister and former Australian Ambassador to the Holy See.

Because the audience seemed mostly young people, and with the Government mired in controversy over the Prime Minister Rudd’s latest display of his own genius on how he  guaranteed stopping people smugglers from selling passages on decidedly on savoury boats to asylum seekers that would give them unauthorised access to Australia, I expected the panel to face passionate and fiery questions.

I was disappointed. The audience questioned the panellists with less passion than the panellists answered, particularly Foster and Adler, while Mr Shorten and Mr Sinodinos carried on their own battle based on the political positions of their respective parties with regard to stopping the boats.

At the end of the programme when I totted up my score of the battle between politicians Shorten and Sinodinos, I had the latter ahead on points on the basis of his responses to questions. On the other hand I had Foster and Adler ahead of them by a mile.

That said it seems to me the panel was missing an important ingredient: why no Greens panellist? Had there been a Greens panellist not only do I think the session would have been feistier and more interesting it also mitigated Mr Jones’ many irritating interruptions.

At the end of the program the suggestion was made that Q&A could be seen as being in the mould of a town hall debate. When I heard that suggestion my immediate reaction was that to think that with programs like Q&A, little wonder people are apathetic about politics.

I have since spoken to some of the friends who persuaded me to watch the show: some agreed with my views, some didn’t.  No doubt some readers will have the same views.

Comment welcome.

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2 Responses to "Q&A: a political TV snack"

We can only assume the panellists will wind up proceedings around tea and biscuits. Before everyone sets off for an evening at the pub, in the time-honoured tradition of all Canberra talkfests.

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