Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bravo La France!

Yesterday the French deserted their city streets and sat for 2 hours and 40 minutes listening to their two top presidential candidates debate in an open format. Seated with two moderators, the two candidates had a substantive debate and were allowed to address each other. The initial time allotted was 2 hours. However, no one complained about their favorite TV show being bumped in order to extend the debate. Bravo! This is how it should be! All networks in this country should be made to air debates for free, and they should do it willingly! It won't hurt their billion dollar profits that much and the airwaves belong to the public!

85% of French voters participated in the first round of voting. It is estimated that 20 million people in France (a nation of 61-64 million people) watched the debate and I can tell you that several of us in my office, French and otherwise, watched it as well. It was an incredible show of quality politics and debate. These are two very professional candidates who appear to have some level of conviction about their programs. The French are taking this election very seriously and the results will be close. But I think Sarkozy will take it.

The take away message for Americans, GET SOME DEMOCRACY! Watch debates, let them run long, learn something, make candidates be substantive, let them address each other, force them to interact! How they interact with each other will tell you how they will handle interaction in the White House. And for God’s sake, drop this win/lose mentality. It isn’t about who wins a debate and who loses. It is about educating voters and allowing voters to choose for themselves. Win of Lose should be saved for election day. I am tired of politics being compared to war and sports events. We have to improve the semantics in this country to elevate the exercise of our campaigns and elections.

If only we could see our candidates in a similar debate, if only we could shut down our nation for a night to watch these debates, then maybe we could create a cohesive nation of informed citizens!


The Law Talking Guy said...

The USA has more elections in one year than France has had since 1789. Seriously. We go to the polls at least once a year, often twice, to elect everything from the water district to quibbles over a 1/4% sales tax.

If we had elections like the Summer Olympics, as the French do, it would be different.

USWest said...

I originally posted my response yesteday and it has disappeared. Weird.

I think LTG was responding to my all caps "get some democracy" comment. I wasn't implying that we don't have democracy. We do. But do we have quality democracy when we see one or two presidental debates limited to 1 hour each where the candidates can't address each other and all the questions are known ahead of time? Is there quality where candidate say nothing because they have to rehearsed their repsonses that our debates are more like theater? Each one gets 1 minute and then 30 sec to rebutt. Spare me.

My comments were really meant to be limited to presidental elections. Every 4 years, we hear the networks cry because they have to give up airtime for conventions and debates. Well I say tough. Perhaps if we had had some real debates in the last two elections, people would have seen things more clearly.