I'm someone who has "moderated" town hall debates, at the local level. Specifically, I and newspeople in our town ran what was called "Candidates' Nights" where the people of the community were invited to submit questions to be presented to the candidates. The format the newspeople who worked the forum decided on was a little different: instead of taking individual questions, we sorted the questions and combined them so to eliminate duplication, and to expand the questions broadly enough to include all facets of the issues the questions brought up.
Unlike some forum organizers, we had representatives from just about every part of the political spectrum working together. The question prep was multi-partisan, if I may say so myself. Some details:
- The candidates were not given the questions in advance.
- Each candidate was given three minutes to answer, plus one minute for rebuttal.
- The time was kept by a computer with screens visible to both candidates and audience, to keep "time cheating" (and more importantly, the appearance of cheating) to an absolute minimum.
- The order of answering was by chance, literally the throw of a die at the time the question was asked.
My role was to read the questions, and control the microphones. I did not ask follow-up questions, I did not "steer" the debate using anything other than the composite questions.
Each slate of candidates was given a starting time, and we kept to those starting times, so that people could decide whether to make an afternoon/evening of it, or cherry-pick on specific races.
The response by the townspeople was positive, amazingly so. They liked the format.
posted on 10/16/2012 8:16:26 AM PDT
(Bulls*it is a renewable resource.)
To: asinclair; All
I will be on a plane during the debate.
I hope people will post the following details:
Fox’s Luntz panel info, CNN’s undecided panel info, flash polls after.
I just hope Romney is prepared and Obama is a jerk, though I really doubt he is going to be Biden 2 but somewhere in the middle, which could help him and hurt us. That said, I think Romney will be ready.
posted on 10/16/2012 9:54:34 AM PDT
("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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