Leaders debate

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In jurisdictions which use the parliamentary system of government or a similar system, leaders debates are often held, usually during a general election campaign. These debates are normally televised and are often organized by one or more television stations.


The success of early televised debates such as the 1960 American presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon would eventually spur the desire to hold similar, televised debates in countries under the parliamentary system. Television had quickly proven to be an excellent and efficient means of reaching out to large blocs of the electorate. The unique aspect of the parliamentary system which creates the desire to hold leaders debates is that the party leader is usually the party's presumed candidate to lead the government, because by constitutional convention he or she will usually become prime minister or premier if his or her party wins the most seats. However, a leaders debate is not technically a candidates debate in the same sense that an American presidential debate would be, because in the latter case the American political parties have explicitly nominated the named individuals as their candidates for president and vice president.

Leaders debates are often popular with voters, whose decisions might be greatly influenced by the outcome. Leaders have occasionally attempted to use prop (such as charts or signs bearing slogans) during a debate with varying degrees of...
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