Monday , 18 December 2017
The host's performance revealed by the course of the first TV broadcasted debate held on December 4th 2013 between the two finalists of the presidential election, Jean Louis Robinson and Hery Rajaonarimampianina, did not really constitute a cause for praises, did it? unfair political debate aside, the technical blunders impossibly concealed when broadcasting live were the laughing stock of the audience.

Presidential debate: is the host, the TVM channel, up to the job at all?

A few days away from the debate’s part two concerning diplomacy and international matters, as such supposed to be conducted in French, the winner of the debate’s first part has not yet been clearly unveiled. Newsgroups were presenting their own forecasts, in accordance with their own personal political allegiance. The global outlook from an apparently neutral newsgroup reveals no stalemate. Advantage: Robinson, leading Rajaonarimampianina by 2-1, the TVM channel: 0.

So why would Jean Louis Robinson be entitled to a tactical victory at all? The presidential candidate did well when recalling the positive national impact of the previous ruling power’s Madagascar Action Plan program interrupted by the current ruling power’s putsch back in 2009, and ruined by its four years long comparatively disastrous rule. Building on such a launching pad, he brilliantly challenged the realism of his rival’s electoral promises.

Hery Rajaonarimampianina had to play in defense from scratch, and tried to blame the aforesaid disaster as much on the Ravalomanana sphere as on the Rajoelina ruling power due to both parties’ involvement in the capitalization of the crisis settlement Roadmap. Commendable attempt, but shot in the dark anyway. The current ruling power has to pay dearly his unwillingness to concede share any power with anyone else. So did Didier Ratsiraka prevail over Albert Zafy long ago.

Then, Jean Louis Robinson turned the sabotage of his microphone to his own advantage, namely by displaying the right measures of outrage and satirical humor which clearly pushed his rival to seek refuge in his deepest battlements. The accountant’s retaliations based on quite sharpened technical expertise met but a wall of simple and understandable facts from the doctor. Hery Rajaonarimampianina had to unsheathe his best skills to regain lost ground at any price, but Jean Louis Robinson successfully resisted his onslaught that night.

And what about the TVM channel? a mere puppet in the hands of the transitional communication department minister serving Hery Rajaonarimampianina’s cause, was it? Everyone focused on him when something fell through with the famous microphone. Candidate Jean Louis Robinson burst in anger when realizing that his microphone failed him over half an hour. The second reporter, not from the TVM station, could not be heard either. Actually little but Hery Rajaonarimampianina’s speeches and the TVM channel’s journalist’s questions filtered.

So what the hell went wrong with these bloody microphones? Arguably mindful of a fair restitution, a sound engineer would have turned the volume up when Jean Louis Robinson began his speech. The background noise subsequently ruined everything. The TVM channel’s reported rather poorly managed the debate, and did not improve when having to deal with the technical “incident”. He actually surged against Jean Louis Robinson in defense: “your campaign staff and the Electoral Commission were involved in the organization of this debate, were they not?” although a handful of minutes would have proved enough to repair the microphones.

The transitional communication minister did not willingly donned the scapegoat’s suit either. He too blamed the technical failure on Jean Louis Robinson’s endless movements on his seat, although he clearly did not a microphone is basically supposed to resist such an eventuality. The director of the ORTM found a more original though no better excuse: candidate Jean Louis Robinson came late; technicians ran short of time to install his microphone correctly. They call them excuses and expect the whole world to swallow them, do they not?

The TVM channel produced an even poorer performance when it came to the debate’s conclusion. It saw to it that a candidate Rajaonarimampianina gets the last say. His last message addressed to the Malagasy voters frontally attacked his rival. The TVM’s animators kept silent when exchanges were largely deviating from basic topics. As a matter of a fair assessment, what developed on that evening could hardly be called a debate, at most a couple of rival candidates answering the same questions. Dr. Robinson’s goofy fun and fiery outrage at least fortunately made this evening less boring than it was deemed to be.