Im having one of those instances where an idea has popped into my head and now my brain is refusing to let me fucking go to sleep unless I explore it to a satisfactory degree, so ima post it here to see if it does the trick and let you all toy with the idea yourselves.
Since the Dem debates for the 2020 election have been a bit of a train wreck (as also seen with the GOP debates in the 2016 election) thanks to an overcrowding of candidates running for president combined with media outlets trying to get memorable soundbites for ratings, I began wondering what it would look like if I was able to make a debate and how it would be designed? Right after that I began wondering what questions would be asked as well, and my mind has been running wild ever since.
So, here is how I would do things. (The first chunk of this is technical setup, the second half are the questions that I would have asked the candidates.)
Setup and general rules:
- 8 candidates max.... Thought about going with 7 to really limit things, but 10 is simply too much and absolutely eliminates the chance for all candidates to be able to chime in on a topic.
- On screen timers + stats..... A running timer on screen showing how much speaking time each candidate has gotten, plus a counter of how many questions a candidate has been asked. One of the only clear ways for a debate to be at least somewhat unbiased is if everyone has close to equal amounts of speaking time and questions asked to them. If a candidate really gets into their response on a question, rather then try to cut them off after some artificial amount of time, the next questions later on in the debate can simply be adjusted towards other candidates so that they can make up ground and keep overall speaking time fairly even..... This also lets the candidates really say what they want to say, rather then try to beat the buzzer and spit out whatever pre-rehearsed responses they have
- Other candidates mic's can be muted.... It's happened a couple of times in the last debates where 3 or 4 or 5 candidates all try to talk over each other in order to get screen time, so in order to prevent this from happening, the microphones of candidates who have already spoken a lot in the debate will be cut, allowing candidates with lower speaking time to be able to make a claim or an attack against someone elses response.
- Both specific questions and simple survey questions will be asked.... I do like some of the 'quick poll' questions asked in previous debates where candidates were asked if they would give up their own private healthcare for universal healthcare, for example, and I would use similar questions in this debate as well. I think its a great way to just get a reading on where candidates stand on certain issues that might not be important enough to really go into full detail over.
Thats all I really have for setup, though im sure im missing some finer details that would really make things operate better.
Here are some of the questions I would ask in the debate. I ordered the first 10 questions based on degree of importance to myself personally.
1 - Whats the most specific policy in your platform to fight against climate change that could be passed by Congress in your term?
2 - Whats your strategy for stabilizing central American countries that are currently causing the border crisis?
3 - Do you believe the US gives too much aid to Israel, just the right amount, or too little?
4 - Venezuela has also been in complete disarray as a country, what is your strategy for remedying that situation?
5 - Do you believe that the US should tax carbon emissions?
6 - Do you believe that the use of nuclear energy is part of the solution to climate change (my recent affinity for HBO's Chernobyl might have influenced this)
7 - Do you support the death penalty? (Quick poll question)
8- If you were to reduce the US military budget, what would you cut and why?
9 - Who do you regard as the US's most important ally, and how would you strengthen that relationship?
10 - Do you have a policy plan for raising the age to collect Social Security?
11 - Which candidate on the stage would you be most willing to have as your VP? (This one is mostly for fun)
12 - What proposals in your platform do you have that would help fight The Opioid Crisis that don't just throw money at the problem?
13 - Which of these do you think poses a bigger threat to Americans: Wall Street, Big Pharma, SuperPac money in politics, or the Media?
14 - What is the top education reform in your platform?
15 - What is one Obama policy that you disagree with the most?
16 - Which country do you think the US should pursue closer ties with (Bonus points to any candidate that picks Brazil)
What would you guys come up with if you were able to put together a debate? (If you're a conservative and want to design one as if it were for the 2016 election cycle, go for it)