Question Time


Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Tuesday, 2 November 2004

What you've said: 28 October 2004

Find out what you had to say about Question Time on Thursday, 28 October, 2004 from Miami.

The topics discussed were:

Watch the programme

Almost 2,000 comments were received from viewers in the UK and around the world. Those published below reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

Bin Laden

Audience question: Who do you think Bin Laden would like to see become president?

You said:

For Osama Bin Laden, it may make little difference whether Kerry or Bush wins. If Bush comes back to power, Al Qaeda's ranks would continue to swell and his policies would harm America's interest most. Kerry may do less damage and may even regain some of the good will for America. He is not going to concede Bin Laden's demand (hands off Muslims) to any significant level.
Roy Mathew, Kerala, India

The panel and the population overlooked the fact that Bin Laden does not care who is in power due to the fact that his beliefs are against all democracy. His fight is against democracy because he believes that it corrupts Muslims and the Muslim faith. It's nothing to do with a personal war it's a war against democratic society & individual rights.
Simon Shadbolt, St Albans, Herts

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Nothing would make the terrorists of this world more happy than a Bush victory. A second Bush term would continue to divide the international community at a time when it should be united in hunting down al-Qaeda and the other extremists. If I was an American voting on Tuesday, John Kerry would be getting my vote as the candidate who could unite the world again in the real war which needs to be fought.
Paul, Cardiff

If Osama Bin Laden was found asleep in a cave, would he be shot down or would he be arrested, given representation and then put on trial?
Sam Sibeko, Leeds

Osama Bin Laden probably doesn't give a damn who becomes the next president of the USA. It wouldn't make one iota of difference as to who was president, either past, present or in the very near future, because Bin Laden sees the Western world as the enemy, not just Bush Esq. I am sure Bin Laden might sit up and take notice of an election race between Tony Blair and Charles Kennedy... as comedy value of course !
Ken, Glenrothes

Will John Kerry make a difference or is he just a "get Bush out of office" vote? Is there a real people's candidate rather than yet another rich, privately educated 'politician'?
Andy, Bideford

Osama Bin Laden is probably dead but it suits the Bush/Blair partnership to keep the people in a state of fear. We should get rid of both these liars.
Colette, Glasgow

Bush obviously never went after Osama Bin Laden. He was hell bent on going for Saddam Hussain.
Andy Curtis, Stanley, County Durham

Text: What's Osama got to do with the elections?
K, West Yorkshire

Kerry has to win. Bin Laden will fear whichever leader the US has. Bush has lost Bin Laden twice, he wasn't taken because Bush wanted to go to Iraq.
Mark, Northants

Osama Bin Laden is clearly dead otherwise we'd have seen the videos of him cheering on the decapitators. Michael Moore is better on polemic than facts but could someone ask him why he's interested in propagating the myth that Bin Laden is on the run?
Johnny, Manchester

The watching world is terrified at the prospect of Bush as president for even one day more
Jim Moores, Heywood
The watching world is terrified at the prospect of Bush as president for even one day more. How can he still maintain that there is a link between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein when an official report has discredited the idea utterly.
Jim Moores, Heywood

Text: Is Kerry not just the lesser of two evils? When will America have a president to be proud of?
Imogen, London

Who really cares who becomes president, as I cannot see one being any better than the other, American politics are the same as ours, you will never get an objective party and opinions as most people will try to appease the majority.
Kevin MacDonald, Dundee

Do you think Bin Laden is alive, as he enjoyed having videos of himself and now there is only voice tapes of him?
Mark Castelino, London

Text: I hope Kerry puts a star spangled spanner in Bush's works!
Alison, Preston

To Michael Moore - It's quite simple. Your opinions are of little value and carry no weight. Your arguments are flawed and are based purely on your personal opinions, not fact. If as I suspect, you are ashamed to be an American under George Bush, then your country does not need your type. If you are not ashamed, you should be. The best thing you can do Mr Moore is get your white flag out, as your type usually does under the cover of political correctness.
Jez Wood, Durham

How will John Kerry be able to restore international confidence in the US should he become president?
Ryan Duffer, Great Yarmouth

Text: Kerry might not make the world better, but Bush would make it ten times worse.
Gavin, West Midlands

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Audience question: Should President Bush apologise for invading Iraq now that no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found?

You said:

I enjoyed being in the audience here in Miami yesterday. I would like to comment on the question of whether President Bush should apologize for the war. He believed in good faith that Iraq had WMD. John Kerry must have believed it too, since he voted for the war. Should John Kerry apologize for his vote?
Debby Darby, Miami Beach, FL, USA

I thought the most striking comment was by Sidney Blumenthal who said that 70 per cent of 'likely' Bush supporters still believed that WMD would be found in Iraq and that there was a link between Saddam and Osama. Which makes me thoroughly distrust the President's pledge to improve education when ignorance is such a powerful ally of the Republican party.
Kristjan Maris, London

I don't know that George Bush and Tony Blair should apologise to the Iraqi people but if the figure of 100,000 dead is real they certainly should. They should definitely apologise to their own people and the world in general however for (a) taking worst case scenarios from the intelligence organisations and building their case for war by presenting those scenarios as facts; (b) failing to plan for the end of the war and allowing chaos to spread; (c) injecting more stimulus into the recruitment of terrorists to anti-western causes in one year than Osama bin Laden and his like have been able to do in 20 years.
Vincent Wells, Guildford

I am an Iraqi doctor who left Iraq after the invasion. I seriously think you should speak to the Iraqi people and see all the misery they are going through and what they have suffered since the Americans arrived, instead of speaking to brain-washed American people thousands of miles away who have no idea whatsoever of what is really going on. Get down to earth
Haydar Alathari, Manchester

George W seems to be saying that the electorate should trust him because he is the president. 'To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.' Theodore Roosevelt, (1858-1919)
Bill Healey, Liverpool

I think it's just deplorable that no one mentioned the fact that approx 100,000 people have died in Iraq since the invasion. They debate this and that but however you look at it it's just plain wrong - Blair and Bush should both stand accountable and Kerry should be given a chance - after all he's actually experienced war and i think that counts for everything.
Simon Garrett, New York

George Bush and Tony Blair should not apologise for invading Iraq but they should apologise for the reason they gave for invading. If they had said that he had in the past gassed his own people and had killed thousands of men women and children who had gone missing they would gave gotten the approval of the UN and would have got the mandate to invade.
Richard Gandy, London

Why is Michael Moore ignoring Saddam Hussein's links to terrorism? Did Saddam fund his movies? Or was it Fidel? Saddam's diplomats funded as is well known the Abu Sayyaf here whose bombing attacks - before the invasion of Iraq - killed 22 people and injured over 150. Mr. Moore sounds as offensive as he looks and he should take of that hat with an American flag.
Dinah Libunao, Manila

David Frum and others state that George Bush was right to invade Iraq because he was a tyrant and brutal dictator. Given this stance, do they believe that the US should continue this doctrine as the world's policeman and invade North Korea, Iran, and any number of other totalitarian states in Africa?
Murray Robinson, Vancouver

Lets hope the next US government has the guts to really ask the toughest question of all. What have I/we done wrong to deserve attacks and a bad global reputation?
Ivar Nielsen, Allinge, Denmark

Does America have the right to attack any country whose regime it does not like. Talking about WMD, America is the only nation to have used them.
Vikas, Calcutta

Are there any international laws which George Bush respects?
Nick Booth, Birmingham UK

Would Michael Moore prefer Saddam Hussein and his sons Uday and Qusay to be in power?
Jeremy Wells, Hove

My husband is serving in Iraq and I pray we can make things better for the Iraqi people but what the hell are we doing there in the first place without UN support. Michael Moore is right.
Janet , Sevenoaks, Kent

David Frum said that post 9/11 the USA's aim was to prevent anything like 9/11 happening again but surely the US and Bush have repeated this tragedy by killing thousands of their own troops and innocent Iraqi civilians during the war. There is no difference, except that now Bush is the terrorist with the justification of being the President of a Western country with a democracy.
Philip Wallace, West London

When Mr Moore won his well deserved Academy Award for 'Bowling for Columbine', He said: "We live in a time when fictitious election results elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons." If Bush had any sense he would take responsibility for his unnecessary actions and apologise, if he wants to regain any faith in the American public.
Nathalie Slater, Torquay, Devon

3000 dead in 9/11
1250 dead US/UK solders
At least 70000 Iraq's dead
Bush/Blair should try reading their Bibles better.
James Bateman, High Wycombe, UK

If the heads of states i.e. George Bush, Tony Blair, etc are not adhering to international law, then how do you expect the public to adhere to laws that they create. It is all so hypocritical. They are creating nothing but a world full of liars, bullies and killers. I think Bush is a dictator just like Saddam, does that give me the right to go attack America or the White House, no, but it is said he was elected democratically, that's another debate in itself.
Hussain, Birmingham

There is no need for an apology from Bush or Blair, they were right to go to war, they were only finishing a job that should of been completed years ago.
Daryl Pentecost, Cornwall

Text: Yes Bush should apologise he made a huge mistake!
Victoria, England

Why does no one talk about the real reason America invaded Iraq. It was to secure a cheap supply of oil and reduce their dependence on Saudi oil. They underestimated the level and ferocity of opposition but are prepared to see it through as the oil is in the ground and is banked so to speak.
Patrick Lyden, Clydebank

George Bush said, in response to Kerry's accusations regarding the missing explosives, that: "A commander in chief shouldn't jump to conclusions when all the facts aren't available...". Isn't that exactly what he and Blair did when invading Iraq? They jumped to several huge conclusions, despite what the people were telling them. Their "conclusions" have resulted in thousands of innocent civilians and brave soldiers suffering horrible deaths because of their desire to control the oil!
Andrew Clure, Manchester

Text: Question Time should be renamed Iraq Time.
Alex, Harlow

Bush and Blair both strained at the limits of their mandate to go to war. Given that they can both be replaced at the next election, is it not obvious that Iraq may inevitably be left high and dry (by a new administration), making a mockery of their determination to 'see this thing through' at all?
Lisa Harmey, London.

Having done nothing to solve the problem in Iraq how much money has Michael Moore made out of it?
Keith, Northampton

The only country which needs a regime change at the moment is the US. This administration is fuelled by chaos and anarchy in the world. They must also be tried for war crimes.
Mohammed Latif, Huddersfield

In the age of terrorism and Bush's pledge to stamp it out should he not take a look in the mirror and realise that most of the problems stem from the gung ho size 10 feet of America. They believe they are the policemen to the world and have caused more problems than help sort out.
Rob Perkins, Abingdon

I would like to ask the panel, no matter who wins, will America pull out of Iraq and stop an unjust war?
Paul Blair, Glasgow

US election

Audience question: This election is expected to be extremely close. What assurances are there that the vote count will be accurate?

You said:

The US has the best democracy money can buy, go to sleep and stop worrying
Martin, London

I honestly cannot believe that the audience booed when Michael Moore suggested that whoever won the popular vote should win the White House.
Matthew Browning, Liverpool

Democracy as I learned about and have believed in all my life is on the run
Victor Ferreira, an American
As an American, I have already voted this year with no idea whether my vote will be counted. Democracy as I learned about and have believed in all my life is on the run. What has happened to American's sense of fairness? I have been told by my compatriots that I am "un-American" if I don't wholeheartedly support my government, right or wrong. I remember hearing the same thing back in the days of Vietnam when it was my life that was on the line. I am hearing this kind of thing again.

What happened to that America that really did believe in doing the right thing and was willing to change if we found out it wasn't right. What happened to the America that always tried, though it sometimes took time, to be fair and continually improve American democracy? How can we be so arrogant as to think that our brand of democracy is so perfect when all you have to do is look at what is happening and has already happened? Great model, eh?
Victor Ferreira, Wassenaar, The Netherlands

How can a country unable to have a complete democratic election impose the process of democracy in another.?
Mottagui, Sweden

After the chaos of the 2000 election, and now with the ballot papers going missing in Florida, I think UN inspectors should be sent to the USA to oversee the election so that it is fair and not corrupt.
Martin Holroyd, Halifax

How can the US preach about introducing democracy to Iraq when they seem to struggle with it on their home soil?
GB, London

Is it not ironic that President Bush and his supporters are claiming that Iraq will be a better place for having an American style democracy when it is becoming ever more apparent that their election system is horribly flawed causing the election result to be very questionable?
Clemency Wells, Gloucestershire

By the time the US election has been decided, over $600m will have been spent on campaigning. At what point does the vast sum of money spent become morally reprehensible and how is this democracy?
Ian McHutchison, Scotland

Can any panel member explain what is going on in Florida with thousands of ballots gone "missing" (again)?
Matthew Winslade, Reigate

Recent reports regarding 58,000 missing absentee votes in Florida is extremely worrying in the run up to the 2004 US elections. A full independent investigation is now necessary. How can Mr Bush and his big business friends bring democracy to Iraq when they hold contempt for democracy in Florida. I hope the American people remember this when they cast their votes.
Patrick, Belfast

Can we have a question asking the source of all these polls that have both candidates neck and neck? They are all much of a muchness yet everyone I know in the US is planning on voting for Kerry. I read somewhere that the pollsters only call existing voters. What about asking all the first time voters their opinion?
Gordon Jones, Aberdour, Scotland

Should it not be deemed necessary in view of the past election, that other world powers be present to adjudicate the forthcoming elections? Does US democracy extend to democratic, fair, choice?
Linda, Crowthorne, Berkshire

One of the greatest failures of American politics is the current voting system. Inconsistent across the 50 states, this indirect and arcane method only weakens the "democratic" process with its inability to embrace contemporary technology. How is it that Americans can pay their taxes over the phone or on the net, but are still often confined by paper ballots and relatively narrow time scales.

I believe a complete overhaul is the highest priority in American politics today. This should allow more variety in voting methods, lengthened poll opening hours (why only one day, why not a week?), a mandate on citizen voting with penalties for those who don't, and most importantly, increased impartial (non-partisan) candidate/issue information.
Ben Edmonds, London (US citizen)

Text: How pathetic. The world superpower has a third world electoral system.
Soraya, Birmingham

Does the panel think the Florida vote can be fair and accurate, when it is reported that nearly 60,000 postal ballot papers are missing?
Javaid Latif, Glasgow

With the American people being fed on a diet of fear and lies by the current administration, the likes of Michael Moore are absolutely vital. He will deserve a fair slice of the credit when the American people (hopefully) vote out the gormless war-mongerer and restore some sense and credibility to the White House.
David McCarthy, Manchester

I'm an American (Democrat) living in the UK. I was wondering if the reason I haven't received my absentee ballot to vote here is the same reason why the 50,000 voter registrations are missing in Florida?
Nicola Boccongelli, Norwich

Isn't it a foregone conclusion that George Bush will win the election?
Joe Gibson, London

In view of the 'shenanigans' in the last presidential elections and the way things are shaping up presently, Would the UN be justified in appointing 'independent observers' at these elections?
Charles Kearney, Glasgow

Presidential powers

Audience question: In a country which allows us freedom of religion, should a president make decisions regarding such crucial topics as stem cell research, abortion, and marriage based on personal religious "faith"?

You said:

I believe in God but I do NOT believe I am capable of making decisions based on his words and what's more I do not believe I have the right to speak for him, nor does anyone. I find it sickening that a person, no matter how sincere their faith can use their personal belief to shape the lives of millions of people. Religion is a personal matter. If leaders like George Bush allow their faith to determine policy then is the United States any better than a theocratic state like Iran?
G. Saunders, South Wales

Religious and moral views are inseparable. But moral views are also subjective, and so the President's moral view are not necessarily correct or incorrect. But it is surely not his place (whoever he may be on 20 January) to decide other people's moral views. Everyone should be allowed to make their own decisions on whether or not they take advantage of stem cell research or abortion services.
Barry, Aberdeen, Scotland

The president shouldn't have to choose over the subject of stem cells and abortions as it should just not be done no matter what.
Allister Monaghan, Omagh

In response to David Frum, it matters fundamentally whether moral decisions taken in the political sphere are made based on the bible or "the teachings of Plato and Aristotle" (or, I assume, any philosopher) because the teachings of philosophers are not based on divinely revealed knowledge. Policy explicitly based on faith undermines the separation of church and state, a central tenet of the US constitution, or indeed any democracy.
Jeff Davey, Cardiff

You may call me crazy, but I always thought God's word was more important than man's. I know it's silly to think that the divine ruler who created the whole Universe and knows the best thing to do in every situation, is perfect and has no evil inside is a better judge of what's right and what's wrong than a corrupt politician who is paid by oil companies, or a two bit film director who I have yet to see being in favour of anything- but that's just the way I think.
Martin Connolly, Glasgow

It seems religion is more important to them than common sense.
Scott Dougall, Addlestone

I think we must be careful to view the absence of a religious opinion to be preferable to expressing one. Both contribute to our behaviour as a person. It is a dangerous, and discriminatory stance to assume that the absence of expression of faith is a quality of a better policy leader. Mr Littlejohn states he would prefer to not have statute dictated by those with religious belief. It must be recognised that many would have statue by those with an active faith.
Chris Chiswell, Birmingham

Didn't Bush stop stem cell research? Didn't she get that the wrong way round?
Scott Dougall, Addlestone

Text: Your faith is private. Don't ask others to change theirs to suit yours.
Clive, Chesterfield

If Bush cannot separate his religious belief from decisions affecting the whole country, where not everyone is the same religion, then you should not stand as president
John McCombe, Newcastle

In responding to the woman who broke her back and, thanked god, Bush as the first president allowing the stem cell research. The reason is that there wasn't any technology that is available to do the research, stem cell research is a very, very new thing. I am sure whoever is the president will approve this kind of research not because he is Bush. The only people she should be saying thank you to are the scientist.
Eve, London

Do the panel not think that maybe stem cell research is the least of the world's worries amidst war and global warming. Are there not more fundamental issues that need our attention than unproven 'miracle' cures which may have no purpose when there are no patients left to treat by the time their individual technologies are perfected?
Andrew Bowes, Bromley, Kent

Text: Religion has no place in a secular state. It is too diverse and too restrictive.
Tracey, Newcastle

On the subject of politics mixing with religion, one can still have a religious ethical approach. My opinion about stem cell research, for example, is motivated not by religion but by my ethical belief in the dignity of human life, although this is only my personal opinion and I can understand the government support of abortion or stem cell research because this is the only possible political approach. On a collective level, one needs to think about these issues in a relative, practical way.
Myriam, London

Surely if, from what people on the panel have said, the faith and religious beliefs of the president should not be reflected onto all people in the form of laws from the constitution, then in the same manner, the president should not take religion away in the form of religious laws, from the people, either.
Muhammad Dharas, London

Bush has to represent everyone. He is president of a country, he has to take the whole country into consideration and not only himself. He has responsibility to make the right decisions for his country, and these decisions should not be based on his own religious faith and views, but what is right for America.
Casey, Twyford

Text: If stem cell research is an inevitability then why stall progress due to dominant ideology?
Pat, Ardrossan

Tony Blair

Audience question: How do you feel the 2004 presidential election could affect Prime Minister Tony Blair's public standing if the outcome was a Democratic victory?

You said:

Michael Moore says Blair is the best friend of any president. Best friend or lap dog? When will we stand up for ourselves?
Matthew Berry, London

Text: Blair needs Bush as the next president.
Paul, Preston

The people of Britain want Nader or Bush, it has been proved on UK radio polls.
Stu, Belfast

It is not that the British people want to see John Kerry elected, it is that they don't want to see George Bush elected.
Oliver, Kent

It will be bad for Blair if Bush gets re-elected. I think we'd be happier to have him as Kerry's bitch rather than Bush's. I know I would anyway.
Tor, London

A women said that the people of the UK wanted John Kerry. I know this is wrong as I have spoken with many of my friends and we want Bush to win because Kerry has said he will pull the US troops out of Iraq, if he does this it will look bad on him globally and will land our troops in more trouble.
Graham Jump, Manchester

Text: Would Kerry be tough enough to put Blair in his place?
David, Ipswich

General comments on the programme

You said:

I assume the members of the panel have university degrees. How on earth did any of them pass their examinations when they appear to be incapable of answering the questions as set?
Prof C J Hughes, Felixstowe, Suffolk

Michael Moore seems to be the only panellist who not only answers the questions put to him but answers them with intelligence, honesty, integrity and humour! This is the only time in 50 years that I have ever felt ashamed to be British.
Botwood, Great Missenden, Bucks

There really is a feeling of actual drama - this is wonderful to see.
Scott Dougall, Addlestone

Firstly, although obviously impassioned it was unfortunately very evident Americans find it difficult to listen to other people's point of view without constantly interrupting, which is played out in their own politics nationally and internationally; they must learn to listen! Secondly why oh why did we have to have 'Littlejohn' as the only British person on the panel. Hopefully Americans watching will not assume he represents many of us.
Ruth Scriven, Lockeridge, Marlborough

It's a pity that the most odious and ill-informed member of the panel tonight was our own Richard Littlejohn. It was completely disingenuous to have him represent the UK position.
Geraldine Horan, Windlesham

Who was that Richard Littlejohn? Why on earth was he on the panel representing British points of view?
Jaime Glassby, Sheffield

I thought this evening's QT was quite exciting and well-balanced. But was appalled that Britain was represented by Richard Littlejohn, editor(?) of the lowest rag that calls itself a newspaper. I suppose that he was chosen to maintain a right wing balance, but couldn't we have found someone who more truly represents British views?
Doris Phillips, Colne

Dear American Voters, please please please GET RID OF BUSH. In return, you can have Richard Littlejohn - what an embarrassing representative of the British public.
NM, Middx

I think that it was an appalling error of judgment that the BBC choose a panellist such as Richard Littlejohn to represent British opinion on tonight's programme. It only served to comfort Bush supporters, who remain ignorant to the fact that a significant portion, (probably the majority) of the British population, not least the rest of the world is horrified at Bush remaining in office. Not least for our own safety, wouldn't the BBC producers have come across as less biased if they had chosen a panellist who was much more in tune with what the British public is thinking as opposed to someone who attempts to determine what we all should think?
Ben Hodgkinson, Manchester, UK

It is absolutely exemplary that the BBC is holding Question Time in the USA at this time. The BBC is the greatest news organisation in the world and shows US citizens how to hold a proper exchange between the public and politicians and popular figures in the media. I would like to wholeheartedly applaud the BBC for their efforts to hold up the true values of free speech and free press. You are the very best!
Daniel Ansari, Hanover, USA

What a hair-raising hoot watching Question Time out of America. As an American living in England for the past 6 years my worst fears are still confirmed - the inability of Americans to enter into the spirit of debate or be bothered by the notion of tolerance was thrown up in bold relief. What would be wonderful is if the regular broadcasts of Question Time could be broadcast on American network TV! That would be one of the most subversive and effective ways of bringing Americans to what's left of their senses. Michael Moore acquitted himself beautifully. Thank god at least one American was shown as having some wit and a sense of humour. There isn't a program even remotely like Question Time in America.
A. Churchill, Hove

I was pleased to attend the Miami Question Time edition. It was generally a congenial debate, given that we are the Divided States of America. I was very interested in the first-class panel and what they had to say. Unfortunately, while this might not appear on your TV screens, the entire event was ruined by the woman in the row behind me, who screamed BOO! (how articulate) at any panellist who spoke up for Kerry; NOT YET at any comment on how we have not found the WMDs, and so on and so on. I couldn't hear the discussion. The UK participants were the savviest, wittiest of us all. Duh.
Kerry McHugh, Florida, U.S.

I am utterly astonished that for such an important debate, Question Time chose, of all people, Richard Littlejohn to be the UK Representative on the panel for the Miami show. An absolute embarrassment, I watched the programme through my fingers. Dreadful.
Anna Caswell, Preston Lancs

Was it Question Time from Miami or the Jerry Springer Show!!! I find America a very scary place
Joan Davison, Clevedon North Somerset

What the Israeli woman in the audience said yesterday (28/10) about the so called 'Arab mentality' was probably the worst most despicable kind of unadulterated anti-Semitic bigotry and ignorance I have ever seen or heard, especially on national T.V., but the fact that not one member of the panel, or of the audience or even Mr. Dimbleby himself chose to challenge or even comment on her statements unfortunately says a lot about the level of complacency and acceptance of anti-Arab racism nowadays.
Ali K., London

An American Israeli woman was allowed to express blatantly racist views on British national television last night. These comments passed UNOPPOSED and were in fact met with rapturous applause from the American studio audience. They were concerning the "mind set" and characteristics of Arabs, and were very crude and offensive. Had an Arab made the same comments of Israelis, cries of anti-Semitism would have been heard, and I am SURE they would not have passed unopposed. If this is the 'mind set' we are dealing with, how on earth do you expect any progress in the Middle Eastern problems.
Fazel Butt, Manchester

Great to see Question Time broadcast from Florida. Made me wonder if there could perhaps be regular, if infrequent, such broadcasts from different places in USA, transmitted both in the USA and UK? It would be a great way to foster that transatlantic ┐Special Relationship' between the people of both nations, rather than the heads of government, and facilitate dialogue, insight, understanding and exchange of views and perspectives from both sides of the pond at this critical time in world history and politics.
Tania, Wales

Land of the free! Upholders of free speech! I DON'T think so!

What a QT that was. Is it just me or did anyone else get annoyed by the constant booing and cheering from the audience? Poor old David Dimbleby just couldn't seem to get across what are the requirements of any good debate, ie preparedness to listen to the other side's arguments before coming out with reasoned comments of your own. Everyone seemed to be wanting to just shout down anyone who didn't agree with their own views. For me it put America in a "bad light".
Stewart, Barnsley

Oh dear. The sole "voice of reason" from the UK was Richard Littlejohn - how embarrassing. To any Americans reading this - don't worry, we're not all like that....
Dave, Manchester

Richard Littlejohn is entitled to his opinions. That is the price of democracy and freedom of speech.
Dave Godfrey, Swindon

As US citizens, resident in the UK, registered voters in Broward County Florida, we had many reasons to be interested in last night's Question Time broadcast from Miami. It was painful to watch. The election has become more like a sporting event with two teams, only one of which can win, as opposed to an election of a common leader. What came out most strongly for us was the intelligence and clear thinking of Lida Rodriguez-Toseff who consistently answered the questions coherently. I was embarrassed by the majority of the audience who were barely articulate, often rude and not willing to listen to other points of view.
C Hanegraaf, London

I found the experiment of having last night's show in Miami positively painful. I don't mind the Americans - love visiting their country - but gosh, I really felt for you when you constantly had to remind the panel to ANSWER THE QUESTION!! Personally, thinking ahead to 2008 (have no doubt whatsoever that this outstanding BBC Prog will still be on the air) and the US Elections then, I'd hold it in London with some informed, learned Americans based in the UK or ship them over.
Terry Murnane, Burnley Lancs

I watched Question Time over the web, and I was surprised at some of the choice of panellists, especially Richard Littlejohn. If you had someone like Senator Lugar from the Republicans and maybe Seymour Hersh on the left, I think we could have had a really interesting debate. Frankly I'm not surprised and a little disappointed at how rude the audience was. Everyone is tense over this election, especially with the GOP tactics to try and suppress the vote (especially in Florida and Ohio). On the other hand, you would be amazed at how rare its been in the past year for the public with beliefs on both sides to be in a room and able to ask questions to a cross section of pundits. So from that perspective it was quite interesting. I think if the program had been set in New York or Washington, the audience might have been a bit better behaved as these two states aren't in play. As a Brit who is still waiting for his US citizenship, I just hope that the Republicans, if they lose, don't try a scorched earth approach but actually try some of the bipartisanship they claimed they would try when they first took power.
Paul Guinnessy, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

The last thing the misinformed American public need at this time is the bigoted and narrow minded right wing views of Richard Littlejohn.
David, Bridgen

Some faults but very interesting none the less. This programme really showed the differences between UK politics and the US. It doesn't really matter that everyone argued and did not have the ability to conduct a proper discussion. The programme showed us the political fervour that exists in the United States and has probably got us into this predicament in the first place.
Jim, Birmingham

Some of the audience applauded the Israeli/American lady whose comment on the "should the US apologise" question was:
a) Arabs are malicious
b) You in the West are so naive; you think they're humans like us but they're not.
Not a single panellist, nor the moderator, bothered to say anything about these remarks. Had an audience member made the slightest disparaging remark about "Jews", how many people would have protested the "Anti-Semitism"? Why the double standard in the rejection of Anti-Semitism?
M. Fahmy, Geneva, Switzerland

Of course there are some intelligent, decent Republicans. But the Republican members of the audience too stupid to listen just made me at first laugh, then want to cry. They keep going on about how we'd all be speaking German if it wasn't for them, but they don't remind me of the Allied side in the last world war...
Brian, Berlin

Why is it so simple for US politicians to simply say that something is true or isn't true and so many "patriotic" Americans believe it without question? Here in Europe people question everything the politicians say, but I have the feeling in the US when someone like Michael Moore mentions basic facts that we all know the American public believes the speech writer who says, "Not true!"
Joel , Berlin, Germany

Pundits in America aren't forced to answer tough questions
Katherine Brown, USA
Watching the American guests on Question Time, I was again reminded that there are countries with real journalists. I am sure UK listeners noticed the Americans frequently did not answer the questions posed and the moderator was forced to repeat the questions several times. The reason is because pundits in America aren't forced to answer tough questions. On American television, politicians and other public figures get on TV simply state talking points and rarely answer questions. If you watch enough American cable television, you will hear the same statements made every hour. American journalists rarely ask difficult questions and never challenge any statements made by political figures even when they are obvious lies like the swift boat veterans for the truth. I know many Britons have difficulty understanding why people vote for Bush; the truth is the US media doesn't report the truth just the spin.
Katherine Brown, Raleigh, NC, USA

Question Time from America - what a treat. The debate felt much more balanced than usual, with searching and thought provoking comments from members of the audience to an articulate and passionate panel. So different to the usual experience of watching uneasily, waiting for any panellist who dares to utter an politically incorrect view on, say, the Iraq War to be silenced by the shouting of the audience.
Fran, Nottingham

Michael Moore should be president, simple as that!
Victor Von Doom, Cleveland

I am ashamed that Richard Littlejohn has been chosen to represent the British point of view. He is a disgrace.
David Janes, London

It's amazing the ability of the entire panel to NOT answer the original question.
Ivan Clements, Brighton, UK

This is fabulous entertainment - we should go to the States more often - sad that we are there because the world is in such a mess because of them.
Scott Dougall, Addlestone

I find it quite strange that bearing in mind the controversy surrounding the African American vote during the last Presidential Election in 2000, that you could have no such representation the panel on this special edition.
J. Hinds, Reading

I'm afraid to say the Miami QT was an intellectual discourse disaster. With all sides just pushing their highly polarised views formed from the polarised media. The amount of simply wrong and "made-up-on-the-spot" statements made is ridiculous. This was bound to happen so close to the election.

I hope if QT goes there again it will brief the audience not to 'ouh ouh ouh' and 'wuuuh' all the time. I can get the same one-hour viewing pleasure going to the zoo.
Mike, Malaysia UK ex-pat

I looked forward to the programme from Miami with great enthusiasm. However, it is difficult to offer useful views since the programme was chaotic. The panel seemed able only to deliver party propaganda to any question put to them; they ignored the chairman's direction, and talked loudly against each other. The audience seemed infected by the same procedure, too. As a model of democratic debate it was really sad.
David Anstis, Chichester, West Sussex

What a treat! Direct and fact-based answers without the waffle and spin of UK panels - Frum excepted(?). Any chance of a regular US programme, say every two months?
Ed Lavery, Devon

The worst Question Time I've ever seen. The panel talked in one dreary tone of voice and lacked charisma. The audience would have been better placed in a fringe TV chat show. It was so bad I switched off half way through; I've never done that to Question Time before.
Robert Leeds, Berkshire

Of all the people the allegedly "fair and balanced" BBC could have chosen to represent to the USA, and the rest of the world, the voice of the British public (who overwhelmingly opposed the Iraq war and like the majority of the planet back Kerry in the US election), they chose a Murdoch man - the rabidly pro-war Richard Littlejohn. Absolutely disgraceful.
Moira Govan, Cheltenham

Why is Question Time broadcast so late? Is it not meant for working people? This is one of my favourite programmes and I look forward to it for the whole week only to find myself dozing off in the middle. Could it not be shown earlier as in Robin Day's time?
Mrs Ratna Shownkeen, Cambridge

I'm a little confused as to what the viewers really want from Question Time. Most just want to have a laugh. Very few seem to require a mature intellectual debate on issue. Rather a good hand bag slinging bout of moral and ideology polarization. As for the guests. No politicians. NO POLITICIANS. Please. Just read out the latest promotional leaflet each party prepares on topical subjects. Lastly, and I'm not going to be very popular here. Is David Dimbleby, a well turned out chap with a full head of hair and cuddly good looks enough to provide a sensible debate. I see him far more as a basic TV presenter rather than a chair-person.
Anthony Phillips, UK

I am not a member of any political party, and I would like to see an edition of Question Time where the word 'America' is not mentioned and we concentrate on UK matters.
Graeme S, North

I loved Michael Moore in "Team America - World Police". Boy, he'll do anything for publicity!
Mary Kuchlenz, San Francisco, California

Any chance for us internet viewers of watching future programmes in better RealAudio/media quality? You would think that an institution such as the BBC could afford better playback.
Zack, London

I would like to see this programme. How about showing it on BBC America?
Joanne Farley, Huntington Beach

Text: Littlejohn on at last, it's about time!
Craig, Harrow

Why is Richard Littlejohn on the Question Time panel for the US edition of Question Time? Don't dumb things down just to get figures! You're funded already, your job is not figures, nor is it ratings! Your job is quality TV. Including Richard Littlejohn for the sake of the Sun reader belittles your expertise. Try again!
Toby Stokes, London

Text: Nice little holiday for Dimbleby! Eh?
Andy, Edinburgh.

Why doesn't Michael Moore run as a president/governor. Let's say to oppose Arnie?
Colin Arnold, Stafford

Why is Moore wearing a hat indoors?. Didn't his mother teach him anything?
Bernard Kerrison, London

What is wrong with Americans? They can't seem to listen to both sides of any debate without booing those who don't share their pre-decided views, or cheering the others. They deserve the quality of debate and politics that they get. Shame, because there are many intelligent people and politicians - but they get actors and sock puppets.
Ian Finlay, London

Text Best line up ever!
Simon, London

You can cut the atmosphere with a knife in the audience and I'm thousands of miles away. Brilliant show so far, if a little predictable. (PS Long live Michael Moore)
Chris Saul, Wrexham, North Wales

Can we have QT from the good ol' USA every week please!
Leslie Wells, Stockton

Text: People who think Americans are stupid must be pretty confused right now.
Pete, Corby

Perhaps the BBC would have been better off employing a zoo-keeper to keep the Miami crowd under control. Poor Mr Dimbleby.
Tauseef Mehrali, Birmingham

I want to hear less from the audience and more from the panellists. What a rowdy lot!
Phil Dott, Edinburgh

Text: This show has already turned into an episode of Jerry Springer!
Mick Jenisson, Bristol

An excellent programme. Just one minor complaint it should have run for 30 minutes extra.
John Gibson, Oxford

Within the first two minutes you could see the BBC had fixed the panel with four Kerry, one Bush and Littlejohn. For public service broadcasting, you should be ashamed.
Richard Lumb, London

You'll have to be tough with them David, looks like they are a shouty bunch!
Andy Heath, Liverpool

BBC One: Thursday, 28 Oct 2004 at 22:45 BST
BBC World: Saturday 30 October at 0810, 1410, 2110 GMT; Sunday 31 Oct at 1810 GMT

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

Question Time in the USA
28 Oct 04 |  Question Time

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