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No, No, Really

July 24th, 2007 · 3 Comments

As we learned last night, posing a question coupled with an injunction to really answer the question is not any more effective than appending “and it’s true” to a factual assertion. If we want candidates to be more responsive in debates, though, here’s a form of interactivity that might be more helpful than soliciting dippy amateur videos: Just let the audience (whether online or in studio) vote in realtime on whether they think candidates have adequately addressed the question posed. Any who haven’t must use their time on the next go-round to give it another shot, moving on only when a majority are convinced they’ve actually said something to the point. Since topics that elicit evasive answers will tend to be ones candidates are uncomfortable with, they’ll probably find it worthwhile to give enough of a substantive response to avoid being forced to make a second pass.

Tags: Journalism & the Media



3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 A Yalie // Jul 24, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I think candidates would cry foul that the audience is politically motivated and dismiss their responses. Wrong party, but I could definitely see Giuliani dodging a question, being forced to come back to it, then blaming it on an army of Ron Paul supporters.

  • 2 sangfroid826 // Jul 24, 2007 at 11:31 am

    It would be a great format for 3rd & 4th tier candidates, however. And it truly couldn’t be any worse than this last cringefest.

  • 3 Michael B Sullivan // Jul 24, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t think you’d even need to make them come back to the question. If you just put up a graphic that said, “Percentage of people who think that the candidate actually answered the question,” I bet they’d see a lot of value in maximizing their score, even absent any other punitive measure.

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