Hot answers tagged

148

Note: this is a pretty long answer; and the specific points regarding whataboutism are at the last section, so you may want to skip there first if that's all you care about. How can a level-headed political discussion be had with someone who uses Whataboutism extensively? Ultimately, by not having a level-headed political discussion. OK, this wording was ...


100

Just a theory: previous Presidential debates were conducted with greater civility, and that civility functioned as a sort of automatic inner software mute switch that was already installed (via education) in the conscience of each candidate. There were occasional interjections now and then, but not enough to impede the general flow of the Presidential ...


88

The vast majority of the time, a politician's negatives come from what they have said, not what they haven't said. A politician can refuse to answer questions a thousand times without it hurting their career. Anything a politician does say, even if it is reasonable, can be taken out of context, treated as an incorrect response when it is a fine response, ...


84

First off, Mike Pence was not the moderator. Rule number one in a political debate is not to let ones opponent take the offensive, and even more importantly, to not let ones opponent take on the role of the moderator. (Rule number two is to try to take the offensive, in a non offensive way, and to try to take on the role of the moderator.) Any answer to ...


68

It's been done before. It comes off as unfair. Generally the Commission on Presidential Debates tries to keep impartiality, and turning off a candidate's microphone looks like you're favoring their opponent. Not that this would necessarily hurt the person whose microphone was turned off. In Reagan's case, this actually helped him and was even credited by ...


61

Is there any reason be it written or traditional that would permit Mr Blackford to stand across the line or is it simply permitted because nobody objects? There is a rule is that members cannot speak from the Aisle, which is delimited by the two red lines, and so presumably it's allowed simply because nobody is objecting. However, Blackford's intent here is ...


58

Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) is in theory no different from the usual departmental ministers' questions, with the key difference being that instead of the questions being known ahead of time, a "loophole" is used to allow Members of Parliament (MPs) to ask unscreened questions. You may have noticed that at the beginning of the PMQs an MP will stand up ...


51

The debate rules are agreed by the candidates. If a candidate won't consent to giving the moderator an off-switch for his microphone, then it won't happen.


47

Not answering hypothetical questions is basic politics. There is nothing to gain in answering them. If you are running for political office (or even getting a promotion in your job) you should realize that any interview is about expressing your own agenda. Often your agenda is at odds with the interviewer's agenda. There are several techniques that a ...


42

Without contradicting the already existing answers(specially about making each party position and reasons known to the public), I would point that: Not all parliaments are bipartisan. Different parties can align differently for different laws. Even parties within a coalition government can vote separately on some issues1. As dsollen comments, in some ...


42

Skeptical answer One could give a skeptic's answer for any form of this question in the context of a political campaign: presumably the candidates feel this answer will be more likely to get them nominated by their party in their campaign for President of the United States. However, although this position is not made explicit, it is consistent with the idea ...


37

If Donald Trump's racism is brought up and How can a level-headed political discussion be had are fundamentally incompatible. Whether Donald Trump is a racist is irrelevant to anything that could be considered a "level-headed political discussion". This is especially true if one of you supports Trump's policies and the other doesn't. Level-headed ...


35

Because it is not always appropriate to use someone's nickname when referring to them and I don't think it is a stretch to say a presidential debate is not a place for nicknames. There is also the question why some people get addressed with proper titles and names while others only get nicknames. When referring to fellow members of government in a setting ...


34

People don't want to see a series of speeches, because yawn. They want debate. They want the cut and thrust, and that means interjections and interruptions. They want to see the politicians being challenged by each other, to see the candidates remain calm under fire. They also want the candidates to have the ability to fail by making too many unnecessary ...


34

Since always. Wikipedia list winners for the first modern presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon in the 1960s. Many observers have regarded Kennedy's win over Nixon in the first debate as a turning point in the election. Nixon regained his lost weight, wore television makeup, and appeared more forceful than in his initial appearance, winning the ...


24

To make this less emotional, let's fictionalize the situation. There is an election in your country where Bob Bobson and Alice Alison run for president. You don't like Alice Alison, because she strangles kittens every day. You make this argument to an Alice Alison supporter: "Alison would be a bad president because she is cruel to animals". Now there are ...


20

Political interviews are adversarial situations: the interviewer doesn't want their program to be just a boring a political advert, so they try to add drama by asking hard questions in the hope of catching the politician out. Politicians learn how to play this game out of self defence. The hypothetical question is move by the interviewer in this game. It ...


20

From the transcript of the second night of the debate, we can see that both Biden and Buttigieg addressed this question. I'm not aware of any public statements from other candidates on this issue, but my suspicion is that they would likely agree with these points: BUTTIGIEG: Because our country is healthier when everybody is healthier. And remember, we’re ...


20

The idea of a public debate between two big ideas goes way back. Consider the 1860 Oxford evolution debate. A number of people spoke, but the big guns were evolution supporter Thomas "Darwin's Bulldog" Huxley and Bishop Samual "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce. Today everyone remembers it for the soundbites (from Wikipedia): Wilberforce supposedly ...


18

As he is not carrying a sword it is less of a concern I suppose: "Traditions in the Chamber: MPs are not allowed to speak in the space between two red lines running along the length of the Chamber. It has been claimed these lines are traditionally two swords’ lengths apart to prevent MPs duelling although there is no evidence to support this." (...


17

Because the rules of parliamentary procedure often guarantee that all factions in the parliament must have the opportunity to comment on a law before it is being voted on. For the UK House of Commons in particular, the rules for debates are codified in the Standing Orders of the House of Commons order 26 - 37. The opposition will usually use that ...


17

It is (sadly) one of the more prevalent tactics in politics to provide others as few attack angles on you as possible, which manifests itself in a number of patterns, one of which is displayed here: Dodging questions. Saying that you are undecided might be truthful or not, but it would offer both sides of the issue plenty of attack angles on you. Therefore ...


16

If you look at the date ranges on those "most recent polls" (at the time this question was asked) you will find that they almost all started before July 9th. The Hill/Harris X poll started July 12th. It includes Steyer (0%, rounded). The Economist/YouGov poll started July 14th. It includes Steyer (1%). The premise that Steyer is not included in polls that ...


15

There is an organization called the Commission on Presidential Debates that exists purely to work out details of the debates. They negotiate with the candidates and the networks. The moderators are overwhelmingly television journalists. You can see who moderated past debates on the debate commission's website. I skimmed through briefly but did not find ...


15

Debates are not constitutionally mandated. There is no law that requires a particular number or format of debates. So it a matter for the TV networks, Trump and Biden to agree. The easiest option is to postpone. It is perfectly legal for Pence to appear in place of Trump, or to debate in separate places by video conference. It is legal for the Press ...


14

I think the answers are unfairly dismissive of the person asking "what about". If you are trying to establish that I am racist and I say "yeah? what about david duke?" then you might say my response is irrelevant and unhelpful to the discussion. In a case of ranked comparisons such as an election, we can easily see how the response would be relevant. Saying "...


14

First off, the word "free" that was originally in the question is a complete misnomer at best (at worst it would be putting words in their mouths). Nothing is free. Most universal coverage schemes are paid for at least partially through some kind of income or payroll tax, which every employee/employer pays (even if the workers in question are not citizens or ...


13

Saying you have not yet decided looks bad for two reasons: It looks weak and indecisive. It leaves you open to attack from both sides. People who oppose X can be induced to vote against you with the fear that you might do X, while people who support X can be induced to vote against you with the fear that you won't do X. In short, voters want to know what ...


12

From your newsweek link: "I wonder if Republicans understand how much they advertise their disrespect of women in debates when they consistently call women members of Congress by nicknames or first names while using titles & last names when referring to men of = stature," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "AOC is a name given to me by community &...


11

Since ancient Greece, if not before. The Phynx in ancient Athens was a place dedicated to debate of issues based around the idea of isēgoría, that everyone should have the ability to speak on issues of the day. The whole point of debate is to convince people of your opinion, that there are perceived winners and losers in debates is perhaps the least ...


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