Tonight is yet another Election Infomercial Debate, this time on the topic of the economy. It’s a Town-Hall style debate, which means that there’ll be bleachers and questions from the audience, but not as much interaction.
As I hinted at earlier, these debates are little more than chances to see the two candidates together and watch for gaffes (and fact checking). Seeing as that’s the case, and dreaming of a better system, I’d propose that I’d love to see a debate that had one of the five features.
Take the Gloves Off
In this style of debate, the moderator would announce the topic, but then would let the candidates battle it out in the realm of ideas. Each would have some time restrictions, but they would be only enforced if things got out of hand. The candidates would face each other, and talk to each other about the issues, the attacks, and we’d actually see what they truly had to say when confronted.
Fill the place with people pro each side and some undivided and let them react. Part of the problem with these town halls (because of lack of time, etc.) is that there’s no energy for the candidates to feed off of. Most of what we’re hearing (or not hearing depending on the state) from the stump comes from reaction to the crowd. Get the crowd involved and were more likely to hear gaffes and what the candidates really think—and what they think appeals to voters.
Bring up the third party challengers and have them discuss the topics that they think appeal to the public. I understand that the media values “likelihood” over all else, but we should have a debate that includes the other parties. It’s likely that they have an overlooked idea that the mainstream candidates can learn from.
Let’s see the two actually create a policy to address a fictitious (or current) problem. Have them present the single issue extemporaneously and work through it to completion. Afterwards, present the policy to the President.
Have the candidate, for each issue, point out the strengths in the opponent’s plan. Have them defend it. If they dodge the question, or don’t provide positive feedback, deduct time from a closing statement.
What do you think? Is there things that you’d like to see in a debate, or do you like the current formats?