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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    TD Reader, 14 Oct 2008 @ 7:32am

    Here's an interesting thought:

    What would happen if, at election time, nobody voted? At all.

    As broken as the system is, it still depends on the facade of democracy in order to function, the core of that democracy being our vote. If we rescind that power from them, the entire system would screech to a halt, and an investigation into why would be almost inevitable, thus exposing the brokenness of the system for all to see.

    Or we could always just rig the lie detectors with electrodes, so that everytime a politician says something that isn't completely (and factually) true, they'd get a shock. Just a thought. ;-)

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.