Reform the Debates?

Encore: September 15, 2016

The debates this election season have been unprecedented in modern politics, but imagine if they looked a little different, and the candidates actually discussed the issues on Americans’ minds rather than scream over each other and hurl insults. Intelligence Squared U.S. is an organization that seeks to restore civility and constructive public discourse to today’s media landscape, with their ultimate goal being to provide a new forum for intelligent debates of opposing viewpoints. Now they’ve set their sights on this election with a petition called “Fix America’s Presidential Debates!” to implement their style of informed debate for the current nominees. Intelligence Squared U.S. moderator and ABC News Correspondent John Donvan joins us to discuss intelligence squared and how their model may influence future presidential debate.

More on Intelligence Squared

What do we really get out of debates today? Do we watch to participate and become informed voters or do we treat them as a form of entertainment? Intelligence Squared U.S. is working to ensure that political debate once again becomes an opportunity for Americans to fully understand candidates and their platform. Their goal is to create a forum where candidates can give real, non-scripted answers to the questions Americans are struggling with.

The “Oxford-Style” Debate Model

To fix what’s wrong with our broken debate format, Intelligence Squared U.S. suggests that the Trump/Clinton campaigns and the Commission on Presidential Debates adopts the “Oxford- Style” debate model. The format devises questions that allows one side to support and one side to oppose an issue, and requires the candidates to respond with relevant facts to expose campaign weaknesses rather than personal attacks.

For more on the petition, “Fix America’s Presidential Debates,” click here.

And to read a Wall Street Journal op-ed by John Donvan and Robert Rosenkranz on the debate over our current debate format, click here.

Intelligence Squared U.S. Fall Debate Line-Up

Sep. 7: “Climate change: The EPA has gone overboard”

Sep. 13: “Blame the elites for the Trump phenomenon”

Oct. 13: “Blame big pharm for out-of-control health care costs”

Oct. 26: “Give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship”

Nov. 14: “Gerrymandering has destroyed the political center”

Nov. 29: “Obama’s foreign policy is a failure”

Dec. 7: “Call a convention to amend the constitution”

For more info on all these:


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