Few objective observers would declare that the American political system operated optimally, or there are numerous flaws in most of our elected officials. There has been numerous attempts to “fix” the problem, but like most of the political solutions, these were either ineffective or had huge loopholes inside them, that built them into nearly useless. Our campaign finance laws are weak and ineffective at best, ridiculous at worst. It has led some to call for more debates between candidates, but usually the structure, format, moderators and rules of those debates diminish any substantial true debate from occurring.

Debate Thoughts

Recently, the candidates for Governor in the State of New York took part in a debate, held at Hofstra University in New york, and televised only on Cablevision’s owned News12. Obviously, televising it exclusively on just one cable service provider’s network, even though largest provider within the state, effectively eliminated a person with other systems through the state, including Time Warner, Comcast, DISH, DirectTV, FIOS, etc.

Even worse, however, was that, even though only a couple of the main candidates, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, and Republican Carl Paladino, have any kind of realistic possibility of victory, and most of the other candidates represent what many would make reference to as “fringe” beliefs, all candidates, major and minor party, realistic possibility of becoming Governor or “no shot,” counseled me invited to participate.

Debate Politics

While some explained that all were invited because inside a democracy, all voices ought to be heard, because there are very few debates, this obviously diminished any kind of realistic and substantive discussion by either major candidate, either in depth on issues, or regarding certain campaign claims which have been made. Why is this much more unfortunate is that much of the campaign advertising continues to be exploitive and some would say unsubstantiated and “dirty politics.”

When one of the minor party candidates is a man running on the “Rents are too damned high” party, and the other was a former (and maybe still) madam running on the “Anti-Prohibition” party, it is easy to understand why this format might provide some entertainment value and great one-liners. However, unfortunately, particularly in these times of economic uncertainty and high joblessness, under-employment, and unemployment, and the public’s concern and disgust about high taxation with limited perceived value or benefit, would the public not have access to been better with a face-to-face in-depth true debate between the two major party candidates, one of which will become Governor of the second largest state in our nation.

Debate Religion

Granted, reality shows have, fortunately or unfortunately, for any number of different reasons, become the most profitable and prevalent type of television entertainment. I guess the format this debate followed was in line with the supposed public demand for reality shows. Yet, is it only me, or are others also concerned that voters who might actually want to come with an optimum possibility of making a decision about voting for the candidate that best meets their views and needs, are now being deprived of true information to base such a decision.

This is not a situation that is occurring solely in one state. Slick, negative advertising is becoming more the rule than informative debate. This can continue until the public creates an uproar!

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