I know many on here probably don't think this is a big issue. But let me tell you, this does have a huge impact on who is considered top tier candidates and who isn't. And current debate structure is designed to do two things keep early primary leaders at the top and exclude everybody else, and two give the media immense amount of power in choosing our candidate.
The days of "Give me your 30 second answer to the economy," and "raise you're hand if you think global warming is a problem and is man made" have to end now. The other really cool thing is that this is something that could easily be fixed. Presidential candidates care what places like Redstate think of them, and probably as little as 30 headline posts on this issue from Redstate would do a lot to fixing this problem.
Currently, the debate structure is very demeaning to the candidates and us primary voters. First, they announce the candidates like they are getting into a boxing ring. Then they operate on a platform similar to American Idol. Then its a moderator that asks basic questions designed to solicit responses that treat us like idiots. Then they treat the candidates(of which one will likely be the future president of the United States) like children by cutting them off when they are speaking. The list goes on and on.
There is one thing for sure this has to stop if we want have any power over who we choose to be our next president. Currently on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being essentially a collection of 30 second ads on stage and 10 being Lincoln Douglas debates(the most successful debates in American history) we are at like a 1.5. We need to do better than that.
How do we do that? Well just like anything else the answer is found in freedom. Currently, the media exercises to much control over the debate process, and to make this process better we need to be in favor of more freedom for the candidates. Freedom to express their ideas, views, etc. without the heavy hand of media moderators dictating everything during the debates.
Now, I definitely don't have all of the answers, but for sake of getting the discussion going on the subject here is a list of ideas to change the debate structure.
—-Allow candidates to ask each other questions(I think that is given)
—-Increase the answer time of specific questions
—-Have more focused debates that deal with more specific issues
—-Extend the overall time of Debates
—-Break the candidates into *random* groups and spread a debate over several days
—-Move towards a balance of time structure for keeping track of time instead of the standard “lets cut them off at x” which is kind of degrading to do to a presidential candidate by a media person
—-Allow notes into debates. Instead of having lets memorize 8 statistics that we will use over and over again during the debate, allow them to write down a lot of things so more information is shared
—-Allow the use of props if candidates want to. They may actually end up bringing out some graph or something that convinces a few soft Dems to vote GOP
A couple of these may not be smart to implement, but on the whole we do need to move towards more candidate freedom in debates. So I hope many will post any ideas they have for changing the debate structure.
For all of those that at least want Cain, Pence, and Demint to have a reasonable chance at making their case to the GOP primary voters then a change must occur in regards to debate structure.
The process to fixing it is quite simple really. If a decent amount of stories come out of places like Redstate demand changes to the debate structure then the candidates will see primary voters that want more substance this year and less 30 second talking points. They will pressure the media outlets to make changes and guess what the media organizations will comply. There is no reasonable chance that the media outlets will put up much of a fight when debates do generate quite a lot of ratings.