With the U.S. presidential election this year, we’ve already been “treated” to numerous debates between candidates for nomination. We’ll eventually be privy to debates between nominees. However, many are not satisfied with the quality of the debates themselves. Perhaps changes in the rules could help things a bit.
Here’s an idea: arrange things so that each candidate has a microphone, and can’t be heard without that microphone. Give the moderators an “on/off” switch. If the candidate exceeds the alloted time, the moderator switches off the microphone. Voila! No more candidates going on and on and on and on and …
Here’s another idea: instead of giving candidates a limited time to answer each question, given them a limited total microphone time. If the candidate uses the entire allotment to answer a single question, the remaining speaking time … for the rest of the night … will be zero.
Yet one more: treat this like an episode of “Jeopardy!” not by requiring them to put their answers in the form of a question, but by having a panel of judges on hand. The judges aren’t there to judge answers, they’re there to fact-check ’em. Whenever a candidate makes a statement which is demonstrably false, a buzzer goes off. A rather loud and grating buzzer.
Re the previous: when that buzzer goes off, a counter behind the candidate’s podium increases by 1. A rather large, prominent counter. As the evening progresses, viewers will be treated to a running total of the number of falsehoods the candidate has uttered.
Not only would such rules make for a higher quality of debate, they would provide a far greater opportunity for entertainment. In particular, the candidates would have an opportunity to “crash and burn” right before our eyes — something that should capture the attention of NASCAR fans accross the country.
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