I have never spent time on politics. I don’t read about it, don’t discuss it much and don’t listen to it either.
That slightly changed when in 2016, I stumbled across the 1st debate between Mr. Trump & Mrs. Clinton on YouTube. I can’t remember how it all happened, perhaps I was searching for some gadget reviews.
I was hooked. And that too, with the politics of a country I am not a part of – the USA.
Besides having consumed American entertainment & internet services, I don’t have any other connection with the country. In my life, I haven’t had that many American contacts either that would promote my interest in their country’s politics. I did interview 4 Americans this year though on my podcast channel. I haven’t even travelled to the USA. Would love to one day though.
Let me clarify – I am not into American politics but just the US Presidential debate. It’s LIVE action & has some sort of a reality TV buzz to it. For some reason, I understand politics better when in a debate or a discussion format.
At this point in time, I know more about US politics than I know Australian politics (my country of residence) or Indian politics (country of my birth). Shameful, I know.
But I just don’t find the political leaders anywhere in the world inspiring enough to warrant my attention on them, say compared to business leaders, sports heroes, spiritual seekers or community builders.
Yet, here I was watching the US Presidential debate. I wasn’t looking for inspiration or ways to improve my life productivity but just wanting to see 2 important people argue on LIVE TV (or YouTube LIVE) for a prestigious & powerful government job of their lives.
Today, I continued my “duty” – by watching the 1st of the 2020 Presidential debate between President Trump and Ex-Vice President Joe Biden. So, how did it go?
Trump: Confident, loud, interrupting & speaking over others.
Biden: Good manners, tired/worn-out look, unable to match the speed of talk of Trump, didn’t bite back enough but losing patience.
Wallace (moderator): Confident, nice tone of voice, knows his subject matter, couldn’t control Trump, feeling sorry for Biden too much, didn’t cross examine well.
I feel for the moderator though. Perhaps, they need a school teacher to maintain an argumentative atmosphere better.
Anyways, I don’t think debates of this kind, where each participant gets 2 mins to respond works. Every one ends up arguing & interrupting. And the citizens have no idea how to benchmark the candidates either.
- What’s the candidate’s or the party’s policy?
- How are you going to fix the key issues facing the country?
- What will you do for the countries of the world?
- What will other countries do for you?
- How will you manage Earth?
How can the candidates discuss these vital questions in detail when each wants to usurp the other? You can’t blame them when the debate has been devised to make each of them confrontational. Good TV – sure. Good for the country – No.
Now, I have an idea.
Manoj’s US Presidential Debate Format for the future
- Have a team management dugout on either side.
- Important members of each side sits here.
- Vice President or the nominee for the role must be present too.
- Camera will focus here also.
- We want to know the team behind the candidates.
- Toss a coin on who starts first.
- Done by the moderator.
- Shaking hands with each other – a good start but optional.
- 30 mins presentation by each candidate
- Only 1 candidate is presenting meaning the other side is not in the room listening. They have no idea what each are saying. They sit in seperate rooms during presentation.
- Powerpoint, Excel, Infographics welcome.
- Use memes & emojis sparingly.
- Both candidates must answer the 5 questions I listed before.
- 1 hour break
- Drinks & snacks allowed.
- Toilet breaks allowed, including shower.
- Same clothes though unless it has become badly soiled for some reason.
- Each side is given the recording of the competitor’s presentation to watch.
- They prepare their counter arguments.
- The candidates need to shortlist top 5 items they have an issue with from each other’s opening presentation.
- Both candidates get on stage for a showdown
- The one who lost the toss in the beginning is given the chance to start this time.
- Questioning time is 2 mins. Opposition has 5 mins to answer.
- Once the opposition has answered it, the candidate who asked the question, now gives a clear answer on what their own policy would be. This is 5 mins.
- No interruptions or counter arguments from the other side. Mic turned off.
- The candidate then proceeds to ask the 2nd, the 3rd etc in the above fashion.
- Once all completed, candidate 2 starts the same process.
- Once candidate 2 is done, the debate is closed.
- The candidates go back home/office to prepare for the 2nd of the 3 debates. Each debate builds on the past debate.
- Citizens rate!
- While watching all of the above, citizens can rate the candidates on the overall performance, the opening presentation and the showdown.
- Survey Monkey polling is fine. Its open while the debate is in progress and closed 30 mins after the debate has ended.
- Top discussion points, nationwide Survey Monkey poll stats & the TV recording is available on the debate website for people to refer to.
What do you think? Let me know in comments how you would fine tune the above or perhaps share your format!