Debates – Time for a Change?

NOTICE: PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE ON MOZILLA FIREFOX ABOUT A PROBLEM WITH IT

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To anyone who abhors reading/discussing politics on personal blogs, I apologize. You can skip this one if you like. But this is not about ideology so much as format.

There is a radio talk show host called Bradley Jay on a local Boston radio station, WBZ-AM radio. He does the overnight stint, and as a person who very rarely gets to sleep, I have my radio and headphones next to my bed and I quite often plug in to the few shows I can get on my old fashioned AM/FM radio.

Over the last year or so, when Bradley Jay has come on, I’ve enjoyed listening to him. He does off-beat topics, whatever interests him, and a lot of times it’s those weird personal topics that make for a good call-in radio show.

Anyway, the point of this entry is not the hosts of talk radio but rather a subject Bradley Jay was discussing the other night. He will put out his topic(s) at the beginning of the show and really only wants callers to weigh in on these topics. The topic was

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE DEBATES FORMATTED?

I thought that was a good topic. I have a hard time watching The Debates and I think it’s because of the style of them. Two rigid people standing at a podium spouting out rehearsed jabs and barbs. I also don’t like audience participation in debates, except of course in Town Hall Debates where audience participation is necessary.

So I thought about this, and the other day an idea dawned on me for the debate format.

A Charlie-Rose-Show format!

A round table debate. No one is right or left, and the moderator, Charlie Rose of course, would just be sitting at the table, like he does on his own TV show.

I love his shows. I always will stop what I’m doing to watch his whole show, and it usually goes for a full hour. I learn so much from his shows. No matter WHO he has on, Charlie has a way of interviewing people that pulls out interesting and unknown tidbits about their lives and their ideas. I can remember once he had a whole series of shows on The Brain. There were a bunch of Neurologists and other doctors there, and it went on for about a week, all quite detailed medical ideas, and although my main occupation over the years has been medical transcription, and in the recent years Neurology transcription, I was never formally trained in medicine – I just taught myself how to do it. I was glued to those shows all week long. Fascinating stuff.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/nPH8TctMRXY?version=3&hl=en_US

So, back to the topic at hand – The Debates. The other thing I’d like to see changed is I’d like both candidates from each party to be at the round table. Candidates for President as well as for Vice President, all sitting around a table and equally contributing to the conversation. Charlie would have rules, of course, like no going on and on with predigested rhetoric, and they would have to answer the specific questions he puts to them and not say anything they wanted to espouse. Charlie is a master at leading a conversation like this.

There would be back-and-forth between all four (or more! I’m in favor of including the Libertarian and/or Green Party candidates at this table, as well), of the candidates. They are told to be civil, no name calling, and no bold-faced lying. Charlie would have previously told them that he has fact-checkers working off to the side of the stage, and if anyone were caught telling an obvious lie, like SOME pols have been doing at a regular clip lately, then the fact checker will have a direct line into Charlie Rose’s earphone and he will call that person out on the lie right away and asked them to explain it.

I would also like to see this kind of debate at the round table take place once a week for the months of September and October. Like maybe Saturday night when most people can be home to watch it. It could be broadcast on the internet, as well, like on YouTube so you can catch the whole thing if you missed it. I think 90 minutes would be good, especially as there are more candidates at the table than just the two.

So that’s my suggestion to the Universe. I think I’ll send the link to this blog entry to Bradley Jay and see if he thinks my idea would be a good one – you know, for future years. I know this year is just about cooked. Maybe I’ll also forward it to Charlie Rose – couldn’t hurt, right?

All I can say now is that I just hope and pray the Best Man Wins this election. And I think you all know who that might be in my opinion anyway!

Anyone else have some good ideas of a new way to format the Debates?

Cheers,

Bex

P.S. When I was surfing the web, I found that they did do a round-table debate with the Republican candidates back in September of 2011. I never saw that one, so I apologize if this idea of mine is not a new one. I still think it would be better than the format we have seen recently.

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4 Responses to Debates – Time for a Change?

  1. Sue says:

    But who will check the checkers?

    Like

  2. Anna says:

    I think politicians should be selected like jurors. There’d need to be some kind of entry-point demonstrating proper, analytical ability – a degree proper Bachelor’s degree for example, though not exclusively. Every year, 25% would leave, so people would sit for four years, earning the national average salary. No more vested interests and power-mad individuals – the types that want to run the place are the last ones that can be trusted to look after the peoples’ interests. Global. The way you guys carry on looks mental from here (UK), which is not to recommend ours IN ANY WAY.

    Like

  3. l'empress says:

    Oh, yes, fact checkers to referee debates would be great. But I have seen so much — true and false — twisted out of proportion that I wish we could do away with the whole thing.

    Let’s have a limit on wasting money for radio and television time. If the candidates really want to raise money, let them raise it for those in need in that town. I am absolutely horrified at the amount of waste I see, and no one is benefiting except the owners of the broadcasting stations.

    Like

  4. Crochetlady says:

    I like the idea of the fact checkers! What a way to stop the bald face lies.

    Like

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