Debate or out of control slugfest: Follow the rules or pay the pricePosted: October 8, 2016
After the umpteenth interruption and not answering the questions, I hit the OFF button on the television. I can recognize when a speaker interrupts the other speaker or does not answer the questions and only mouths campaign slogans. Did he never learn the simple rules of debate allowing the other person to speak in the allotted time period without interrupting? Did he never study and master critical thinking in college so that he could logically answer a question? How come the moderator did not implement simple classroom management skills to moderate a discussion? When debaters do not follow the rules of engagement, we need to treat them as unruly children. The debaters need to learn basic respect for others and understand the difference between facts and fiction (lies). For the next debate adapt the rules which have been implemented in many settings ranging such as scientific meetings, family therapy, Native American gatherings, and Quaker meetings.
- No interruptions when a person is speaking for his/her allotted time.
- Hand the person a “speaking stick” that indicates he/she has the floor and cannot be interrupted.
- MUTE the mike of the non-speaking candidate.
- Install a traffic light in front of each candidate: Green O Go– your time to speak, Yellow O Warning-30 seconds time left, Red O Stop– the microphone is turned off.
- Interrupt the speaker after one minute of debating if the speaker has not answered the question. The moderator simply states, “You did not answer the question, Please answer it”.
- Reward or punish for good or bad behavior. If the debater interrupts, give an additional minute to the speaking candidate. If the candidate does not to answer the question after being reminded by the moderator, shut off the microphone and give the remaining time to the other candidate.
- Post real time fact checking score by having a panel rate the accuracy of the answers.
By following these simple rules there can be a debate instead of an out of control slugfest.