Friday, April 24, 2009

Stimulating Discussions on QandA

Last nights Q&A on the ABC was brilliant, even more so when combined with Twitter! The video is already available on the site, transcripts to come!

On twitter, the top trends for a while was people commenting on the show by including a hash tag "#qanda" in the tweets.

The range of guests was interesting, Julie Bishop, deputy opposition leader; Craig Emerson, Minister for Small Business; David Marr, journalist; and Cindy Pan, doctor and author; and of course PJ O'Rourke.

The discussion was wide ranging and once again, a right wing female liberal politician came off looking second best. Julie Bishop, like Rachel Fry, national president of the Young Liberals, was intelligently shot down by both David Marr and also PJ O'Rourke.

A few of my selected highlights were

  1. David Marr shooting down Julie Bishops attack on the Rudds Handouts @ 19:30, nicely broken by the Hamster comment from PJ.
  2. David Marr saying that opposition was good for Julie, because it gave her time to think
  3. PJ's passionate comments about refugees actually being good for a country rather than a burden
So I'm a leftie, I really do enjoy watching the right wingers squirm on such shows because it's one of those unusual moments these days where a politican can be properly challenged.

At one point some tweeted about PJ O'Rourke being the kinda of right winger than they thought (or was scared that) Malcolm Turnbull might be.

What was refreshing last night was watching some of the panellists thinking and talking, rather than falling back on blind belief. Personally I hate blind belief, we all have brains, we should all use them.

Even with religion, I personally view it more as an approach rather than a belief. When approached in that fashion, religion can be a very strong and powerful force for good. The moment you take your brain out of the equation and fall back on blind belief, things start to go wrong.

A little aside, but I am rambling, during the American Election, I remember watching CNN and the live twittering and when Obama was talking about health care, I tweeted something and someone commented back along the lines of, "so if they pay for our health care, should they pay for our food too?"

It reminded me of how lucky we are in Australia, far from perfect, but getting there!

So after you watch QandA, there's a good article over on the Huffington Post as well, Why I'm Not Now and Have Never Been the Democrats' "Rush Limbaugh"


eco said...

Yeah, I agree that there were some meaningful comments on last week's show - mainly from Cindy Pan. PJ O'Rourke remarked that the left finds problems with people whereas the right (which he labels himself) finds people useful. (This was following on from the refuge and immigration issue.) What a distortion of the facts. It’s the left that shows compassion for refugees and immigrants, and the right merely sees $$ opportunities at exploiting people wherever they can.

Overall, q & a presents itself as entertainment, and I must admit that I had a few chuckles the previous week with John Elliott's answers, but it has significantly dumbed-down political discussion compared to the forerunner 'difference of opinion' which really got stuck into a particular issue each week with a panel of for and against and some audience questions.

Zac Spitzer / Fastmovingtarget said...

I don't seem to recall PJ citing the left v right, (might of been distracted by the twitter stream) but I really think he articulated a really strong point which seems to be lost on a lot of people.

Between the audiences occasional round of applause for ideas which they agree with and their almost naked body language responses, it does make really good entertainment, especially when people get shot down.

The restraint and artful way that they respond is really refreshing. The reintroduction of dialogue into the political debate is a welcome change.

It certainly makes my blood boil at times!

Someone tweeted about the fact the show should be two hours long which I think is a great idea, one hour is just way to long...

It might be a bit dumbed down, but it remains perhaps the most accessible entry for people to political debate in Australia at the moment.

Eco Conscience said...

you have to listen out for those us vs them remarks because that's where they inject their spin...

Eco Conscience said...

fyi, o'rourke on smith: