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Free Speech - U.S. Election Special

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James Emtage James Emtage | 16:52 UK time, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

All eyes are Stateside right now as today is the U.S. Presidential Election.

It’s a two-horse race with the current Democrat President Barack Obama fighting to hold on to his position for a second term, versus the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who is hoping to pip him to the post and move into the White House.

Honouring the biggest democratic vote in the world, Free Speech are holding a U.S. Election Special in Colchester, Essex, with a stellar panel of presidential experts to debate us through the issues of the night. Introducing:


Panellist - Tristram Hunt

Historian, writer, and current Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, Dr Tristram Hunt MP.



Panellist - Sarah Churchwell

American journalist, author and Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding, Sarah Churchwell.



Panellist - Julian Huppert

Cyclist, scientist, and serving Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert.



Panellist - Tim Stanley

American obsessive, History expert and Tea Party supporter, Dr. Tim Stanley.  



Panellist - Joe Cooke

Controversial star of Young, Bright and on the Right, and former Oxford Uni Conservative Association chair, Joe Cooke.



The eagle eyed among you will have noticed five panellists instead of our usual four – meaning you’ll get even more debate to mull over for the night. Which can only be a good thing, right?

But, what will that debate consist of? Well, that’s up to you, as it’s your debate and needs your input. The four subjects up for offering this month are:

  • The U.S. Presidential Elections – who will win, why, and does it really matter
  • Voting – why don’t young people vote, and will giving the right to 16 and 17 year olds make any difference?
  • Abortion – do men have the right to have a say in when a baby can be terminated?
  • Jimmy Savile – have we lost faith in the BBC?

Something to say on any of those? Good. We thought so. ‘Cos in the last few weeks these issues have been ripped apart and put up for dissection by our hungry online audience through Facebook and Twitter. These debates have been flying around, and there’s been some pretty strong opinions on both sides of the argument so far.

For those who don’t yet know, Free Speech is more than a panel debate show. It’s a completely interactive programme that YOU control from your very own sofa through the appropriately named Power Bar. Find out how your opinions can affect the power bar.

Social Media expert - Tina Deheley

Throughout the live debate, the fabulous Tina Daheley of Radio 1’s Newsbeat fame will be sitting in the studio reading out as many messages as she can, bringing your debate at home in to the heart of the debate in the studio.

Got that? Good. See you at 8pm tonight on BBC Three when we’ll be opening with a question on the U.S. Elections.


Free Speech is on tonight at 8pm, live on BBC Three

* Additional note on 8 Nov 2012: Due to time constraints all of the topics listed in the the blog post were not covered in this show.  



  • Comment number 1.

    Britain has get their heads out of the USA ass they already lost many soldiers.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear people,
    Let me state that I would naturally vote for Obama.
    The main issue that faces the rest of the world is our environment.
    We need a leader that might carry the half of the US that is not convinced.

    Mitt Romney is a decent thoughtful pragmatist.
    The best candidate that liberals have had in 40 years.

    He might achieve things that is beyond Democrat.


  • Comment number 3.

    Do people forget that Obama has come through with many of the things he promised to do ? He is one of the men responsible for the death of Osama bin laden the man responsible for the deaths of thousands of American and british citizens this is something that should be taken into account !

  • Comment number 4.

    My mum lost a child at 23 weeks, the baby had already developed all it's fingers and toes. Why should it be right to kill something almost fully grown in our image?

  • Comment number 5.

    Dear Ryan,

    He has done well, indeed very well, for the the people of the US.
    Indeed, he has stabilised the economy, built the confidence of investors everywhere, and allowed the US to do what it does best; innovate.

    However, our problems are structural, and we need a US leader that can make extremely long-lasting decisions.
    No matter what Obama might do in a second term, he will never have consensual support.
    Romney is deeply principled, confronts big issues, and will be prepared to put himself on the line.
    Again, long-term issues will be best confronted by a liberal republican.
    I hope.


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