Archive for 'debates'

NeuroPolitician has some things to say about the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate in Spokane last week.  He did not like it much.  I have to agree.  Political debates usually put me to sleep.

Candidates rarely say anything interesting.  Candidates know that debates rarely influence the outcome of races, except when one of them screws up big time.  Therefore, in this era of gotcha politics, candidates are incredibly cautious in debates.  Typically, one or both sides insist on no cross questioning, no outside cameras, and no questions from the audience.  Consequently, political debates usually end of being exactly as NeuroPolitician describes below. You can read his entire post that was prompted by the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate on his blog.

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Debates and Non-Debates

When is a debate not a debate? When it is a joint press conference!

Because that is what passes for a debate for candidates these days. It is a collection of one minute and thirty second sound bites that some candidates handle with varying degrees of success.

The point is that we learn very little about the candidates grasp of the issues or their overall philosophy in these little snippets of information.

In a classic form of debate the opponents ask question of each other and put forth their assertions in blocks of five minutes or more. In that kind of format lightweights like a certain congresswoman we know would run out of gas before the time was up. The major disadvantage of longer blocks of time is that television doesn’t accommodate very well, an attention span of anything longer than an eye blink. The other part of that is that there are few candidates who are interesting to watch and listen to for more than 60 seconds.

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