“A False, Binary Choice”


Posters for Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and  Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin in Dublin city centre


Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has written to Virgin Media objecting to the two-way debate, saying:

“As Sinn Féin director of elections I have written to Virgin Media in relation to their decision to hold a ‘head to head’ debate between the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, two parties that received less than 50 per cent support in the last election.

“I believe that facilitating a debate in the manner proposed is capable of affecting the outcome of the election by presenting the electorate with a false, binary choice between two parties with virtually the same policies.

“BAI rules acknowledge that broadcasters have a statutory obligation to ensure that all news and current affairs programming is fair, objective and impartial.

“How Virgin Media can justify excluding Sinn Féin and the people we represent from this debate is beyond me.

“There is no substantial difference between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Their policies are much the same and this can be seen over their past four years in Government together.

“I am calling on Virgin Media to make public the criteria applied in reaching this decision.

“They should reverse this decision immediately and have a debate that’s actually representative of Irish society.”

Pearse Doherty TD writes to Virgin Media objecting to Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil head to head debate (Sinn Féin)


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14 thoughts on ““A False, Binary Choice”

  1. Eoineyo

    Oh dang, I was really looking forward to hearing the differences between FG and the other party that has been keeping them in power for the past 4 years, ah well sure I will just vote FF anyway, it’s not like there are any other parties to vote for.

  2. Liam Deliverance

    And not just Sinn Fein, other party leaders also, c’mon Virgin Media, get with the program

  3. Rob_G

    Are Sinn Féin even running 79 candidates, or whatever a majority would be – I understand why he is saying that, but come on, one of those two leaders will be the next Taoiseach.

    Mary Lou will get to take part in the 7-way debate – I bet Doherty won’t be complaining then that Aontú or the Workers’ Party or whoever don’t get invited to that one.

    1. Pat Mustard

      Comparing SF to any of those parties you mentioned is a false equivalence.

      But you know this already.

      1. Rob_G

        How is it? Those parties’ TDs have a mandate from the electorate, same as SF; surely Doherty should be lobbying for their inclusion in the leaders’ debate, too.

        1. Cian

          A second poll puts SF and FG neck-and-neck.
          Based on this, Mary Lou should be invited to a three-way debate..

  4. GiggidyGoo

    “I am calling on Virgin Media to make public the criteria applied in reaching this decision.“
    Good luck with that. Varadkar, Martin and Kenny having a few dress rehearsals beforehand to make sure they get the acting correct.

  5. The Dude

    Pat Kenny is a disgrace, as are RTÉ and Virgin.

    This is an eye-opener for the public as to who really is in control.

    Here’s a toast wishing death to anti democratic censorship forces.

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