Question and answer debates lack real value

With four weeks remaining in the campaigning season for the U.S. presidency, the candidates are gearing up for some of the biggest battles of their political careers.

The debates that the candidates participate in still play a major role in their chances to be elected.

Candidates are given an opportunity to confront the issues head on and to refute their opponents’ claims in a manner that is unseen in any other part of campaigning.

Candidates are given an opportunity to take a stand on a position and sway voters.

Unfortunately, these debates come across as stale or contrived as the candidates present prepackaged fluff in as many ways as possible without actually making a point.

The question, response and rebuttal debate format is notorious for feeding into this political masquerade.

These debates have their place in presenting the candidates’ positions on the issues of the moment. But to voters that have been bombarded with this information for almost a year, there is nothing to gain from these face-offs.

When debates are held in a town hall format allowing audience members to ask the candidates questions, the debates truly become effective and worth the airtime that they occupy. These exchanges allow the citizens to truly voice their concerns and the candidates to stray away from their usual prepared responses.

These are the times that candidates can truly win voters to their cause and honestly allow people to see them as human, vulnerable and honest. There is room for multiple debate formats, but only one truly makes a difference in the minds of the undecided voter.

It is truly unfortunate that the presidential candidates only agreed to one town hall formatted debate. A golden opportunity has been lost for both decided and undecided voters to gain something new and truly appealing from the candidates who want so desperately to lead them for the next four years.