02 October 2012

Before the Debate Thoughts

It is fair to ask why we watch these things. By any reasonable standard, they are not really, "debates." Back in the day, when I and the world were a lot younger I was on debate team in both high school and college: I know the difference. But we have nothing else.

One of the advantages Canadian and English parliamentary democracy provides is the head of government has to show up in the context of legislative give and take, face the opposition, think on her or his feet, and defend policies.

We do not have that sort of rough and tumble argument that in my view should be part of running the government. This is because the Constitution merges the roles of head of state and head of government.Imagine if you can Her Majesty showing up in Ottawa to defend Canadian economic policy! (Remember she is Queen of Canada too.)

In my view, this makes debates important events. We should know if the person we elect can cut it face to face, one on one, unscripted. After all, they may eventually face Congressional leaders, and heads of government from other countries. It is nice to have a chance to see they are up to it.

One thing will be different this time. Having one's long time friend dump one has an impact. This will be the first time in decades we do not either watch together or at least talk about the outcome shortly after the event. That is not my choice, but it is the sad reality.

I shall watch the entire debate. I shall do so because these events are part of the fabric of the American election experience. I shall watch because I always do: I have watched every one since Mr. Nixon met Mr. Kennedy. I guess I am simply a political junkie. So, have fun! I shall be making popcorn and chilling Guinness.

Yes I am fooling around a bit with text size, color, and some other attributes. I am considering some changes for the look of the blog, it has been the same a long time. I am also thinking about adding a couple pages dedicated to several things I do not generally write about. Please forgive the odd colors and fonts.

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