Monday, July 23, 2007

CNN Debates unpredictable?

Watching the coverage of the CNN YouTube debates, Mr. Cooper and the other pundits seem to be talking a great deal about how the debate format, featuring questions from YouTube users, is a victory for popular participation in politics. "Ordinary people" are able to ask their questions. The debate, they argue is more 'genuine' and unpredictable because the People are asking their questions.

But really? 2,900 people submitted videos. CNN picked 37 to show to the candidates. How unpredictable could they be, when the debate organizers can pick the questions they want to ask from such variety.

I love the format, and I think its very exciting, but in itself its really no less orchestrated than traditional debates. What the format does is shows us the next steps to take - bring citizens deeper into state politics and local politics. Leaders should craft policies that make it easier for citizens to participate and harder for money to talk.

The YouTube CNN debates is a great start, and from steps like this we start rebuilding American democracy.


Anonymous said...

Good point. Hadn't thought of it that way. So how would you make it better?

The Speeker said...

I wouldn't change the format of the CNN YouTube debates - Its kind of like a play. The debate as is showed us how our politics should be without actually being the way our politics should be. And it did it in a way that can reach a mass audience. So I think we should take the next steps. Maybe CNN could do features of local governments dealing with issues that confront people across the county. As non television execs, I think a lot can be said for getting committed and involved in local politics and government. The issues may be less romantic, but the people and their problems are just as real. And there's space for Everybody to feel what its like to make a direct impact.

The Speeker said...

And if you have more concrete ideas, please share those too!