In debates between political opponents, the media almost always say that the Leftist "won". The Australian media certainly did so in reference to the debate last night between Prime Minister Howard and challenger Kevin Rudd. But not the BBC. Their report below:
Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his opponent, Labor leader Kevin Rudd, have faced each other in a TV debate as the election approaches. The two sparred over economic policy, climate change and troop levels in Iraq in the live, 90-minute clash. Both politicians grew more irritable as the debate went on, but the BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says neither was able to land a knock-out blow.....
The two also sparred over Mr Rudd's commitment to pull Australian forces out of Iraq by the middle of 2008, even if it damages relations with the Bush administration - a commitment Mr Howard argues will embolden terrorists.
But our correspondent says neither man was able to claim outright victory in the debate. Current opinion polls suggest Mr Howard, who is seeking a fifth term in office for his Liberal-National coalition, trails his Labor rival by between six and eight percentage points, with five weeks to go before election day.
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