THOUGHTS ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: I just know you thought this article was going to be a “rant” about the personalities and politics of 2012, but you are WRONG! I want to take on the process itself, which I find to be both necessary in the provision of consumable information to the electorate and ridiculous in its operational mechanics, in other words like many things our government is involved with and managing, I find it broken.
The problem is with the format and management and I believe it is easy to fix. Hence my proposal as follows;
- There should be 3 Presidential debates and 1 Vice Presidential Debate, televised and broadcast without cost to the candidates or the federal government by any and all stations desiring same;
- The Federal government as the administrator of the electro-magnetic spectrum owned by “We the People” should mandate that each user, to which it licenses use, provide, without charge, every two years 1 hour per night of Presidential political coverage time slots to be allocated based solely on the proportion of support enjoyed by each (perhaps determined by a poll) and prohibit all other TV and Radio commercials, in order to bring the cost of politics back from the brink of the disastrous wholesale marketing of “access.”
- Each debate should be 2 hours long, and consist solely of questions (to be equally divided between the camps on the same basis as above) to be asked by one candidate to the other, to be preceded by the question and a statement of the asking candidate’s position on the issue, with all questions and answers to be of equal time length.
- Strict and equal time allocations should be enforced by turning off the “mike” automatically at the end of each person’s time.
- In lieu of moderators there should be a referee or judge from each camp who’s sole function is to verify the time allocations with no speaking role whatsoever.
- The candidates should be prohibited from talking over each other, approaching each other or otherwise being impolite by gesture or body language.
- At the debates end each participant will have 5 minutes to make their case or summarize their position.