Debate Sponsor

I had an offer for a sponsorship in the comments: "I will put up the entire $400 fee for the building use for the debate, will accept GeeGuy as moderator, but I want a true town hall debate; No entry fee, no question fee,allow questions from the floor, anyone can ask any question when called upon. Call me: 965-3013,Ric Valois, The Tree Man"

With all due respect to Mr. Valois, the format is not for sale.

I called Mr. Valois last evening and explained to him that while I certainly appreciate his offer, we have many reasons for doing things the way we are doing them, only some of which appear here.

I think Mr. Valois and others intend to create their own forum more along the lines of what he discussed. More power to him. If I learn of such a forum, I will post the details here.

Our intention in choosing a structure for this debate is to provide a systematic format to allow the audience to hear the positions of the candidates.

We considered a more open format as suggested by Mr. Valois. We opted for more structure for several reasons. First, time is limited so we wanted to ensure that issues considered important by many people will be adequately addressed. Second, and probably most significant, is that we did not want this event to devolve into a free for all. While ticked off, red meat opponents of City Government might well relish an insult-laden shout fest, I don't want to be a party to any such thing.

And, how likely is it that an incumbent would choose to be a party to such a thing. If you were Mayor Stebbins, would you choose to stand up in front of the same bunch that has been haranguing you at Commission meetings and listen to them spew anger? I sure wouldn't.

Don't get us wrong; this is not about protecting the incumbents from criticism or difficult questions. It is about trying to create an environment whereby the incumbents can have a fair opportunity to present their point of view. We do not know if either of the incumbents will participate, but we want them to, so we are trying to create a venue that increases the likelihood of their participation.


Anonymous said...

What a crock! Your name was on the Stebbins' list of contributors in 2005, and greaterfalls' Dave has enjoyed lunches with the mayor, and you ask us to believe that you are "fair and balanced?"
I don't think so! Everyone knows that Stebbins was the casino guys choice in 2005. And we all know that Geeguy is a casino owner...
So much for a "debate" and winners and bloggers blogging to their own benefit!
I repeat, what a crock!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Mr. Valois thought your debate was for sale, I believe he was responding to you when you said (paraphrase) "if you want to pay for it then I'll drop the admission charge."

I get the feeling he wants this democratic and open to all. Not merely those who pay. I have to side with that idea.

And, as one who has followed this blog for some time, I can say I wasn't thrilled with your "red meat" remark. It shows a decided lack of maturity and prejudice which makes me skeptical as to the balance in the upcoming debate.

PC has been used to death. It's time to speak, be heard and to question.

I'm for a debate. I am not for someone else deciding the questions or which constitutes the best form of the question. Censored government may be the normal procedure elsewhere, but hopefully, not here.

The individual has the right to vote. The individual should have the right to question.
No one should decide the worthiness of another's question. Or its relative importance.
We already have too much of that type of control.

It's very interesting to me that the developing form of debate trickling down from the national level is via fee/ticket and controlled questions. THAT is not democracy.

Nice that the debate team can assist in this, however, don't sell what you're doing offering this "debate" as open democratic process.

Debating is the presentation of arguments pro and con a certain proposal. And while it may take many forms it is a contest with rules. It provides time limits and decisions by judges, along with winners.

The most famous two-person political debate would be Lincoln/Douglas 1858. It was about ONE subject - the extension of slavery.

What most debates, this upcoming one as an example, try to pass
themselves off as yet are not even close, is actually the Town (Hall) Meeting which originated in Mass. with early settlers. Any qualified voter could voice opinion in discussion. It is and was an example of pure democratic process.
I would prefer to stick with that.


WolfPack said...

Mr. Valois didn't offer to pay the $5.00 fee for everybody with no strings attached. He conditioned his offer on adoption of the town hall format. The setting of conditions makes it clear that Mr. Valois felt his $400 dollars was buying some control of the format not simply removing the admission charge. It’s amusing that RN complains about being referred to as a red meat opponent, questions Geeguy’s maturity for using the term and then in the very next sentence encourages a coarsened tone toward incumbents (really mature). Zero points for RN’s debate style. A debate is a competition for those at the podium and the audience is a spectator who gets to hear what the candidates think. This makes sense to all but the red meat crowd who only want to hear their own thoughts.