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With early voting in place in 37 states and the debates often devolving into little more than just stump speeches these days, do we even need a third debate? Everyone always says in politics, a month is a long time to go, but in this day and age of constant streaming information, haven't they already said pretty much everything they could say (over and over and over) again?


( Comment )
glassthorne wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
For those of us who have been following the political race since practically its inception, this third debate is a moot point. Most of us have made our decisions and we're sticking by them, barring some huge earth-shattering revelation made concerning one or the other candidate. I myself am one of these folks, and I already have plans to go the the polls as soon as early voting opens up in my home state of Texas.

However, for those folks who are just now starting to get interested in the presidential race, these debates are probably very important to them, as it's their first time really sitting down and listening to what the candidates have to say. Some of them are not avid followers of the evening news, and there are others who still do not have regular access to the internet, so are unable to follow that way and are not caught up in the constant stream of information.

So for them these debates might mean everything in their decision come election day.
unsilenceddream wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. I, too, have been following since the beginning, and so these debates really don't mean anything for me, as far as deciding who to vote for. I've already decided, and, barring some major event, don't intend to change my vote.

For those who have caught on late, though, these debates are perhaps a bigger deal, especially for those who are still undecided.
jeffxandra wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
As far as I understand
There is very little shift between late September polling and November results in the States. So in that respect, I suppose it does not help.

That said, the debate formats to date have not been terribly substantial either and in that I blame both campaigns). While they appeal to the soundbite nature of current news coverage, they fail to seriously address issues beyond a few sentences. But I can't solely blame the campaigns on this.

If we had a significant discussion on a single topic for an hour, would people watch? Would the networks be satisfied? Would it be CSPAN?

While the electorate, so far this year, appears to be more involved in the issues of this campaign than they have been in a long time, are we really prepared, as a country, to wade into any single issue so deeply? The consensus of the news media is that we are not and I have to admit the viewing ratings concur with their analysis
mightyafrodite wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I made the following comment on a previous journal entry, but it is most appropriate here:

We have the presumption in this country, out of a love for our own importance perhaps, that these debates are a fundamental tool to understanding a candidate's position. They're viewed as a forum to hear substantive information about platforms, policies and a grounding on the issues. These exchanges are billed as linchpins of the political process, a necessary hoop through which the candidate must pass en route to the final outcome in November. Voters, and the media representatives among us, all sit and try and decide which candidate won, whether they were giving answers with substance or blowing smoke, and how their performance affects the eventual outcome.

I wonder, what's actually flawed here: the candidates, or what we expect from a debate?

Contrary to what we want to tell ourselves, debates do not serve their highly vaunted purpose. They are not a forum in which the candidates are fully able to give a decisive, comprehensive presentation on their platforms. They are not a chance to hear a complete articulation of where they stand on the issues of the day. These debates are part of the pageantry of the presidential election cycle, an opportunity for voters to see how the candidates articulate themselves, how they answer questions and stand against their opponent. They offer a chance to see how a candidate maintains his or her composure in a formal debate setting or in a "town hall meeting" format. Perhaps in the age of politics before television, these gatherings were more substantial, offering a chance for candidates to go into greater depth, perhaps not. In the television era, however, there is no such opportunity to do nothing more in an hour and change but to demonstrate to the public how much each candidate knows about the issues and give the candidate a chance to connect with the viewing audience. Within the allotted time the candidates will answer questions to the best of their ability, dodge the question entirely, or answer it in a way that fits within their platform. They may do so well or fall flat on their faces, but it's what they do. Often an answer sounds like a stump speech; then again, the debate format caters to that tendency. Where these debates actually have an impact is on the potential "undecided voter" who is sitting on the fence and is pushed into one camp over another by something that goes beyond an appeal to the issues, that being how the candidate connects to that segment of the population.

The complaint about lack of substance in a debate does have validity, then, but only up to a certain point. There is no place that will give anywhere near as comprehensive of a view as most of us want than the candidates' platforms. These days, a candidate that hopes to make a major showing in the polls will have their platform available online. Those of us generally able to complain on this or other forums have the wherewithal to check into it. Rather than relying on the debates to get the information one complains is lacking, perhaps navigating to one of their websites would provide the answers? Most campaigns will also mail a copy of the platform, or local party offices will have them. There are also plenty of forums in which to check the facts. One has to be aware of whether or not "fact checkers" are in fact partisans in objective clothing, of course.

In other words, there's really no excuse not to know about a candidate's platform, unless he or she simply refrains from supplying one. These debates are not, and should not be the primary source from which a voter seeks an understanding of a candidate's position. If, however, that is the only means by which a voter tries to become informed, who's really the one to blame? If you want answers, they're easy to find. They may not be the ones you want, their mileage may vary, and you may still have questions and issues that require clarification. Yet it's certainly more proactive--and responsible--than waiting for the information to be spoon fed to you, only to get cranky when you're burped on the teats of a lesser cow.
thelivingword wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
I must admit I am becoming weary, though I have enjoyed watching all of the debates so far. Maybe it is the dire financial situation we are facing, but I think when the election is over I am going to take a vacation from the nightly news for awhile. Anyone else experiencing burnout?
mightyafrodite wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Burnout
I'm right there with you! By the way, I've enjoyed our discussions, even though we disagree. May I add you to my friends list?
thelivingword wrote:
Oct. 9th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Re: Burnout
I would be honored.
unsilenceddream wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Burnout
Yes, I'm becoming burnt out, too.
wolfwyndd wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Burnout
I got burned out on all the election coverage before the freakin' primaries were over. I can't WAIT till the elections are over so we can talk about something else!
zumayabooks wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Not very
I just viewed an AARP straw poll of it's members and more than 80% said the debates will have no impact whatsoever on their vote.

If they were real debates, they might have some impact; but as near as I've seen they're just another episode of "he said/he said." Or she, in the case of the VP exercise. When one of the "debaters" can start the proceedings by literally stating she has no intention of actually answering any of the questions unless it suits her, that's not a debate.
wolfwyndd wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'm becoming jaded in my old age, but I have yet to see a 'debate' in a political campaign in quite some time. All I see are two hour 'stump speeches' with a moderator that asks questions that no one answers. IMO, the debates are about as important as the price of tea in China. Although in this particular election, that may actually have more importance then the debates.
eldestmuse wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
I'm a registered independent in Maryland, and I don't like to get enraged over stuff that I don't really feel I can impact. Since in MD I can't vote in the primaries, I tend not to watch the news coverage of them.

To be honest, I'm usually in bed by 6:30 and I take the 7am train, so I rarely watch the news (live with my parents, it's not polite to turn the 6am news on and wake them up, and besides I'm usually rushing to get showered!). So watching the news coverage is a shoddy option for me anyway.

So this "late" part of the process is when I, personally, start tuning in. I like to begin gathering my facts and such when it's closer to the line because then I don't spend six months frothing at the mouth about something that only matters five months down the line. I like to come along, do a month or so's intensive research into the issues, start talking to people at a point when people are generally have a better understanding of what's going on, and then make a decision.

But I procrastinate on homework assignments, too.

(I'm a first year law student, age 20, if that helps. This is my first presidental election but I voted in the gubernatorial.)
moaningmyrtle24 wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
I know that I'm getting tired of hearing the same issues. I just want it to be over.
shamanlady wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
If people watch them, they're important. If someone has already made up their mind, they're not. There are still more MATURE people (like myself) out there who get most of their info from television and newspapers.
nederlandergirl wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
I've seen a lot of videos, saw two debates (one presidential and one vice presidential) and read a lot of interviews, and I agree. At this point, they're only repeating what their positions are a hundred times over. I don't think another debate with the same topics is going to sway people.
greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
I would ask what Obama would say -- if he was faced with a prisoner of Guantanamo

This link provides a website to a completely user-funded radio show.

On July 11, 2008


The Morning Show discusses the Fire Season in California with David Carle, author of 'Introduction to Fire in California" and updates
funding for the fire fighters from feds. Next Mahvish Rukhsana Khan is in studio to discuss her book "My Guantanamo Diary The Detainees and the Stories They Told Me". In the second hour Tom Dispatch contributor, Tom Engelhardt, comments on "Reality Bites Back: Why the US Won't Attack Iran". Wrapping up the program, Reyna Cowen, film critic, reviews "The Edge of Heaven" by Fatih Akin, "Chris and Don: A Love Story" directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara. And "Water Lillies" by Celine Sciamma.

This is why I want you guys to listen to the issues:

In this program, it speaks of the Guantanamo prisoners. From what I was told, the author of "My Guantanamo Diary -- " confirms that--

Prisoners known as terrorists here were sexually violated repeatedly by the military, and guards of the US.

How else would you get an answer from Obama about all these subjects?

My question here is: I'm sorry if your mom died at 53 of cancer, but do you know that a person once labeled with terrorist numbers -- Once had told this very author, "I love America."

Did you know that one person you had enslaved was sworn by this author as a pediatrician?

And finally, a person in this prison found condition so bad, that he tried to commit suicide ..and when his lawyer found him -- he was surrounded in a pool of blood.

They were also in chains and beaten regularly, and despite this, Obama will start a war in Pakistan.

Does that really surprise me? No ..but I think I cried too.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 9th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
salientdreams wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
Re: Very Important
I, too, am very disappointed that none of the Third Party candidates have been invited to the debates. Fortunately, most of these candidates are reaching out through the internet and using social networking tools such as YouTube, Mysapce, and Facebook to get their message out. Sadly, many people don't care enough to even find out who else is running. And with the Democrats and Republicans looking more alike on the issues than different, I think we need other voices. Of course, they set the terms so of course they don't want other people there that might actually have answers to these important questions. Some of the other parties are trying to organize a debate themselves:



mplsvala wrote:
Oct. 15th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Very Important
The Third Party candidates are getting their own debate. Only three of the four majors will be attending. Bob Barr is "too busy" to debate if it isn't just Barr vs. Nader.
greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 10th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
I was pleassantly surprised when I found political voices on youtube as well.
These people have answered the questions very precisely in ten seconds, each person. I think they have a point too, regarding the most elite bloggers of youtube on political matters.

For American Residents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2SuOuvSzOI

Honk kong link (because America is blocking people from other countries from accessing american links): http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=t2SuOuvSzOI

And thank you for giving this link to me castleclear. I think I may have been listening on radio, when the Democracy now broadcast was given.

I'd like to add a point to: Why should we debate?

My answer is: Because I have a question.

Detail about this link: This is the more humorous side, focusing on the debates. It was really funny.

greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 10th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
One more thing: Broadcast of today, Oct 9 mentions ..

Details of FISA "scandal":

The first thing I want to point you all too is that today, I have found out that Bush (due to the FISA law) will have access to our private conversations ..including actual people having phone sex.


More about the mistreated Guantanamo prisoners...

Today I was not sure whether to be amused or not because 10 prisoners of Guantanamo were ordered to stay at the prison despite the Federal court having said that they should have been released.

Unfortunately ..it's kind of weird. China wants the prisoners back and George Bush claims they would be hurt badly in China. It mentioned that they had invited Chinese water torturers to torture the prisoners in THIS current prison in the United States.
...I heard it stated also, however, that the group of torturers may not have been approved in China itself.

However ..not many people know that the China governments itself run on Socialism.

It may not the perfect government however ..In a lot of ways, it does run a lot better than ours. In fact, in Al gore's winning documentary a while ago, a scientist that stood up to speak in there was from China.

He had stated in very clear points that even China had seen the damage they were doing in burning coal.

It was also noted, by Al gore that: China would not buy U.S. cars because the US cars ..were below the standards of their environment policies ..

And I'm sure everyone knew about the emmy award that Al gore had won so long ago ..

The only thing funny about this is: The Federal Judge ruled to have the prisoners at guantanamo free. Unfortunately, the decisions of a lower court were able to block their freedom?

inafoxhole wrote:
Oct. 10th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
The debates are important for the people who make up their minds late, and particularly for those who don't follow politics closely. For someone like me who isn't exactly "middle of the road" and who does follow politics closely, they don't mean much.
polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 10th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
The debates should be the only part of the election that is given mass media attention, as it is the only moment during the entire election that a candidate, no matter what his supposed "party affiliation", can stand up and speak for himself, under the scrutiny of the moderator, audience, media, and citizenship. The rest of the candidacy is always a joke, a circus performance, 99.999% of the time insulting to intelligence and critically demoralizing. I believe candidates should be forced to run under relative obscurity while their history, stated politics, and written answers to contemporary issues are placed under public scrutiny, and then allowed to debate the two months leading up to election. The rest of it is bipartisan bullshit that less people actually care about than represented in the language in which people discuss politics. Like any cliche, bipartisan thinking only serves as a short cut towards a point lost in the noise of too many televised entertainments. Nobody really believes it, even when they think they do.

greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
We need better debates ...
greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Sorry Biden ..you're not off the hook either.

For non-us residents:


Detail: A two minute version using actual comments from the debate of the VPs
greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
Barack Obama -- preparing for the debates
greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
There's even a parody of CNN? FOX? ..huh?
greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Amy goodman of Democracy now is arrested

Spain Link: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

This is how the Media refocuses the abuse of an honest reporter:


Spain Link: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=xkI-xCSoq3A

Info: First of all, not only was Amy Goodman one of the reporters to cover the story of the FISA law. Not only was Amy the exact author who drew attention to the terrible practices of the Guantanamo prison ..

But now she was arrested on the job. She was at the rally, to cover a story about some people who were rallying and trying to get Obama to accept a letter ..

And ..every one of them were arrested. She was not only treated like a common criminal, but because she was one of the few reporters to cover this story, she was put in jail.

And the very people who support Obama ..Castleclear ..You pointed out her link ..then you said you would vote for Obama ..and now that Amy goodman is arrested ...for not even protesting against Obama ...but trying to cover a story, she is stuck arguing with this "Heidi" and trying to defend not just people, but the religion of Islam...

Let me summarize this:

Amy goodman ..an american reporter who has been put through abuse by our own police system ..has to defend Heidi over the fact that Heidi ..is calling all Muslim's terrorists ..And Heidi's response is that not all Muslims ..are terrorists ..BUT the religion they believe in is dangerous?

Did Heidi Not insult Christianity already?

I believe Heidi has insulted Christianity ..in so many ways. Especially in calling suicides of any sort an attack on our American freedom.

What freedom?


Detail: This last link is a petition site ..

greenpartyfan wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Amy goodman of Democracy now is arrested

By the way ..she's been arrested since September 2, 2008 ..
( Comment )