Politics

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
debates, lie detectors, politicians



What If We Put Lie Detectors On Politicians During Debates?

from the it-wouldn't-work dept

It's political silly season these days as we get closer and closer to election day, and with the various campaigns ratcheting up their attempts to win over voters, the inevitable campaign spin reaches the point where the connection between the message being pushed out and the truth often seems increasingly hazy. That is, politicians start lying about each other. Or, if you want to be generous, being extremely misleading in their characterizations. Some worse than others. This, in part, has resulted in the rise in popularity of various "fact checking" sites over the past few campaign seasons, as many people are fed up with campaigns lying and not being called on it.

Some challengers to an Indiana congressman have come up with an amusing suggestion for how to deal with this, with two challengers to the incumbent agreeing to wear lie detectors during a planned debate. The incumbent has refused, with his party chair calling it ridiculous.

Of course, it's all really a stunt to get some press coverage for the challengers. As polygraph experts well know, a polygraph in a debate setting would be useless. Beyond not always being perfectly reliable, polygraphs are designed to work under very specific circumstances, not in a public debate setting, where the results would be entirely meaningless.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Re:

    "You want a debate? Get rid of the moderator! Give each candidate a clock with 30 minutes on it, tied to their microphone. When one person's clock and mic are on, the other is not. Let the two debate whatever they want, for as long as they want, until their time runs out.
    "

    This wouldnt help, actually losing the moderator would only hurt the debate. In your situation the candidates would simply repeat the same 30 minutes of talking points and slogans over and over, which admittedly is pretty much what they do now.

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