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Criss-cross debates

Each presidential candidate debates opposing VP candidate
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In 2000, the vice-presidential debate was more interesting than the presidential one. It seemed that the VP candidates had more to say than the tired platitudes that came from both of the presidential candidates.

I would suggest that the debates could be improved by replacing the VP debate and one of the presidential debates with a pair of criss-cross debates; they should be recorded simultaneously and broadcast in random order. In each debate, a VP candidate would debate the opposing party's presidential candidate. Since the VP candidates are often more interesting than the presidential candidates, this would expose the presidential candidates in a more interesting setting than the normal debates.

supercat, Sep 04 2008

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       I'm not sure this would change these debates from being rather dull, set-piece, point-scoring affairs. They'd still have about as much relevance to someone being a good president or vice-president as if they'd been playing Wii Tennis instead of debating.
hippo, Sep 04 2008
  

       It would be nice if they'd use a true debate format, instead of the current beauty pageant approach.
normzone, Sep 04 2008
  

       I'm not a big fan of TV political debates, especially of the one-on-one type. They are generally pretty well stage managed and the boundaries are set in advance. The BBC's 'Question Time' program isn't too bad though, with a panel of five or six politicians and the odd celebrity thrown in. This lends itself to a rather more broad ranging debate.
DrBob, Sep 04 2008
  

       I'd like to see more of a "cross-examination" format for the debates. Instead of having each candidate answer the same (third-party) questions, let the Republican candidate interview the Democrat for a fixed amount of time. The Interrogator can ask anything he/she wants, BUT can only ask questions, and cannot state opinions at all.   

       After an hour of this, the roles are reversed.   

       Then there could be closing statements or something.
phundug, Sep 04 2008
  

       +1 better than no debate in UK
po, Sep 04 2008
  

       /"cross-examination" format/   

       The candidate should write the questions down and have them be asked by a third party. Otherwise the asking of the question itself becomes an opportunity for grandstanding.
bungston, Sep 04 2008
  

       ...And the question should be read by a Stephen Hawking type text-to-speech thing, to eliminate any partisan inflections. So too the answer, perhaps.
Texticle, Sep 04 2008
  
      
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