I tried to watch the McCain/Obama debate Tuesday night, but I just couldn’t do it for very long. It was boring, pointless and I find it hard to believe that someone could watch it and still believe that whether McCain or Obama wins really matters.
The easiest way to spice up the debates would be to have more candidates to participate, but that is also the most boring and unrealistic way. I mean, do voters really care about hearing more than two similar views on an issue? There’s no evidence that they do.
More entertaining possibilities are…
Turn the debates into a sword fight. This is self-explanatory. The two candidates fight one another with sharp swords that fit whatever reasonable rules the two campaigns can agree to. (The shins and throat cannot be made off limits, just to be clear.) I want to make it clear that this will not be a fight to the death. A doctor and/or referee will have full authority to end the fight once one of the candidates is determined to be unable to continue.
Turn the debates into a pie fight. This is not nearly as much fun as a sword fight, but it is more likely to happen.
Allow a random selection of voters to ask the questions. This should not be hard to understand, but probably is. Twenty or so registered voters are selected at random and then they each get to ask whatever question they want. There will be no filter. Some of the questions these people ask will no doubt be as boring as the questions that are currently asked. Some, hopefully, will be good and cover the kind of topics that are not addressed in the mass media. And some questions will probably be about aliens or whether or not the Leprechauns we all see around St. Patrick’s Day are really just Bigfeet children playing dress up. Some might say such questions would detrimental to the political process. To which I respond:
1) I don't care and in fact I sort of root for whole system to collapse.
2) It is more harmful to have, as is presently the case, people ask questions that the candidates have already answered multiple times verbally, in print and on their websites.
3) If you can’t trust voters to ask questions, should you trust them with votes?