How Technology Aids Can Make The Debates Better

from the forget-the-bulge dept

Ignoring the ridiculous controversy over “Bush’s bulge” (if you don’t know, be happy about it), Dan Gillmor points out that everyone is focused on the wrong issue concerning the possibility of technology aids during debates. Rather than worry about whether or not one side broke “the rules,” perhaps the rules (and, apparently, there were pages upon pages of them) should be re-examined. While the idea of sending each candidate up there unaided by any technology may sound appealing, how often does that happen in real life? Normally, people have access to technology, and if it can help them make a better decision or be more accurate in their statements, why not allow it? In some ways, it’s just like the arguments about calculators in schools (or, these days, having a mobile phone). It doesn’t make you less able — it just lets you better use the tools available to you. Of course, since politicians have a tendency to spin rather than tell the truth, why not open up the technology more to the audience and broadcasters as well? Gillmor suggests that a TV station can immediately relay facts and figures to contradict what a candidate says. So, rather than waiting until the next day to see what (or .com, if that’s your style) has to say, wouldn’t the debates have been more interesting if real facts were brought up during the debate from those checking the information? It might actually help to keep the politicians a bit more honest, and a bit less in distort-mode, which would probably be a good thing for everyone.

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