Politicians "debating"

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by SmilinSilhouette, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. SmilinSilhouette

    SmilinSilhouette Registered Member

    In our state the two candidates for govenor can not seem to come to terms for a face to face debate. The local radio station had a call in discussion about this and it was brought up that political "debates" are rarely of substance. I had not thought of this before but I tend to agree. The candidates rarely answer questions directly, instead they reframe the question to regurgitate their talking points and throw in a couple of zingers along the way. I have rarely heard anything of substance during one of these "debates" and I can't recall having heard anything that sways my opinion one way or the other.

    Do you find that politicians debating provides any useful information and does it help you come to a more informed decision?
     

  2. Hiei

    Hiei The Hierophant

    Absolutely not. I don't think that politicians give a straight answer on anything. The only thing that you can do is just analyze them the best that you can do and choose the lesser of the two evils.

    It's basically been a running joke for some time now that politicians don't actually answer questions so much as dance around the problem talking about everything except the question at hand. John McCain is particularly good at that, I must say. He can not answer a question with the best of them.
     
  3. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Judging from the debates I've seen, it doesn't really help in terms of giving more insight on the topics debated, or background information -- in order to do that, you need to read papers, maybe books about it. Expert debates will always give more factual insights than debates about politicians.

    But these debates between politicians may give you a good overview about their respective stances, if you don't have the time or guts to read through their platforms. And it may give a superficial impression of their rhetoric skills, which in itself isn't the most important thing.

    When you additionally also read articles about public opinions and according polls, it gives you an idea if the stances of the respective candidate have a sound factual basis, or if he/she just advances them in order to win cheap votes based on a misinformed or emotionalized public.
     
  4. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    I'm not going to lie, I don't watch many Politicians debates, but don't they usually say what people want to hear and make false promises most of the time? I might be off with my sentiments, but that's what I take from a few of them.
     
  5. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    To some extent. But you shouldn't blame politicians (at least not for telling the people what they want to hear). They don't have the slightest chance if they don't do that. That's how the system works.

    Strictly speaking, they often don't make false promises, but just declare goals. When they finally, in office, don't make it to realize them (and if it was maybe unrealistic to expect them to solve them), that may seem like lies. But you shouldn't blame the politician, but the public for unrealistic expectations that makes them say these things in the first place.

    And a true problem is when politicians abandon a certain limit of decency when telling the people what they want to hear, even when experts and those politicians themselves know these public opinions are wrong. Think about Muslim-hating or politicians who otherwise capitalize on the ugliest basest instincts of the population.

    But a politician who always speaks his mind, tries to give sufficiently complicated answers to complicated questions, and has sound ideas that cannot be communicated in a few short lines, will hardly ever have a chance of winning an election.
     
  6. SmilinSilhouette

    SmilinSilhouette Registered Member

    @ Sim: Our current governor (who I voted for, unfortunately) said during her campaign "in 5 years you'll be blown away". She was right! Although I'm sure no one expected that "blown away" meant like a tumbleweed blown to the southwest looking for a job! Our unemployment is currently one of the worst in the country.
     
  7. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    In 2008 McCain had one of the best ideas I'd heard for campaigning. He offered to debate Obama every week for 2 months. This may not have been the exact schedule, but similar. Mac offered of because he knew Obama had more money and the media on his side, but still it was a great idea. 1-3 debates is just going to be nothing more than what you've laid out SS, but when the number of debates increases I think you can really draw out the distinctions between the 2 candidates. It is also a great way to take money out of campaigns and make them more issue oriented.
     

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