Political party leaders to undertake Digital Debate

9 Feb 2011

Newstalk Radio and YouTube have teamed up to host Ireland’s first Digital debate, giving citizens a chance to ask questions to Ireland’s political party leaders.

The online forum will let radio listeners and the general public pose questions to political leaders. The top 10 questions will be sent to each leader, who will then upload a video response to these queries.

A public vote on the response will decide who is the winner of the Digital Debate.

“All political parties have agreed to take part so voters will see the responses of the five party leaders to the issues voters believe are most important in this election,” said David Graham from the YouTube team.

“Enda Kenny, Micheal Martin, Eamonn Gilmore, Gerry Adams and John Gormley will all put their positions to the public in a very accessible way. There was a phenomenal response to a similar Digital Debate held during the UK general election and we hope to repeat the success in Ireland.”

“This is the first time that an online digital debate has taken place in Ireland,” said Frank Cronin, CEO, Newstalk Radio.  

“We have collaborated with YouTube to provide a different type of platform that will allow voters to be in charge of the questions asked.  

“The public vote on leaders’ answers will then be a strong indication of how ‘in touch’ with voters the leaders really are. We hope to enable as many voters as possible from all across Ireland to take part,” said Cronin.

Questions can be submitted between now and 15 February in the categories of economy, jobs, health and education, political reform and other issues.

The leaders’ responses will be posted to the Newstalk YouTube Digital Debate Channel on 18 February and the public will vote on the responses from this date to 24 February.

The Digital Debate Channel is available on YouTube.