Political Debates: What are they good for?

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  • Author(s):
    • Mikael Pelz
  • Included in: Capital Commentary
  • Published: December 7, 2015
  • Publisher: Center for Public Justice

Although we are months away from the first votes being cast in the presidential nomination process, the American public has already experienced nearly twenty hours of political debates among all of the candidates vying for this office. Eleven more debates are scheduled over the next four months (for a full schedule see http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com/2016-debate-schedule), holding out the prospect of many more hours of political theater. A majority of these debates will take place among Republican candidates, who still number in the teens. Even with the dominance of Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, the Democratic Party has several more debates scheduled. Why is so much energy devoted to debates? What role do they play in our political discourse? How should voters use debates to evaluate the candidates? This article explores the evolution of political debates and discusses the current, often detrimental, conventions of modern debates. It also offers some constructive ways citizens can engage with the debates and avoid the negative trappings we’ve come to associate with debates today. - See more at: http://www.cpjustice.org/public/capital_commentary/article/1316#sthash.2xU9jcyt.dpuf



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