The PJ Tatler

Should we change the Republican candidate debates?

An article about debates among candidates for election as Venezuela’s president made me wonder whether this is a good idea:

This week Globovision started a new series of shows, with a real debate that is not a debate. In short: they taped on the same day the 6 candidates with more or less the same questions and without the other ones knowing what the heck they replied. And they are playing these shows every night at 8 PM starting last night with Diego Arria. I suppose the format is better in that you do get to see the candidate more in depth than the previous “debates” . . . .

That couldn’t be much worse than our current debates; even having them moderated by stars of Daily Kos and Team Obama might be an improvement — at least they might feel a need to seem objective.  Strike that; they wouldn’t.  In any event, the Globovision format could be an improvement over the absurd ways in which our presidential candidate debates have generally been conducted.

Globovision has long been anti-Chávez and has, therefore, been under heavy fire from the regime to the point of nearly being put out of business.  That may yet happen and it seems unlikely that the folks asking the questions will be head over heels in love with el Presidente. It does seem likely that the candidates will be given roughly the same amounts of time to respond to the questions.  In addition, the need for the candidates to answer the same questions in a vacuum, unable to make debating points by distorting the responses of the others, would be refreshing.

What have we got to lose by trying it?