The CNN YouTube Debates are generating a huge amount of attention. This has proven to be an excellent mechanism to draw interesting video questions from citizens while still maintaining the standard live on stage debate format. The debate rages on about the YouTube debate format (the Democrats went first) and questions about who will or will not participate in the Republican version still exist despite a successful Save the Debate campaign by Republican e-leaders.
Next up, according to TechPresident, MySpace and MTV are teaming up where “MTV will broadcast these conversations live, and they will also be simulcast on MTV.com and at MySpaceTV. Viewers will then have the chance to IM, email, or text questions to the candidates, participating in a true dialogue with them.” I wish both semi-online debates the best of luck. That said …
Can’t we do better than warming over the traditional too-many candidates on the stage pre-primary television debate? How about something more in-depth and deliberative that is built on the asynchronous strengths of the Internet?
Yes we need “real” candidate participation, but might there be a format with video, text, and audio that engages millions of voters with candidates over the course of a week? Perhaps more importantly a debate that starts a real conversation among – that’s many to many – voters.
While I am busy with the “local up” efforts of E-Democracy.Org, I thought I’d share an in-depth proposal on what a Presidential E-Debate could look like. This is the full text of the proposal (minus text about a national media partner) for your review:
So, if you find yourself working in a giant media outlet or Internet company feel free to take these ideas and adapt them anytime before November 2008. On the other hand, if you want to host an E-Debate at the state-level on down to dog catcher, get in touch.
P.S. Anyone know what happened to the Internet debate proposals of Yahoo/Huffington Post/Slate or Gather.com? Are any other efforts in the works?
P.S.S. Here is the diagram that says it all: