Late last week the 7th Congressional District Democratic nominee, Scott Eckersley, challenged the Republican nominee, Billy Long, to a series of debates before the November election. It appears Long has accepted the challenge. The problem is that very few people may actually get a chance to witness them in action.
According to an article from the Joplin Globe, the debates will be held at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the steps of each county courthouse in the 7th district.
I appreciate the willingness of both candidates to head to every county in the district to campaign and debate, but I have many problems with this format. The greatest is the timing of the events. These debates leave out a large section of the population -- those who work. While a "high noon showdown" on the courthouse steps sounds cutesy, only voters who don't work and have a way to their respective county seat of government will be able to watch what takes place.
If the candidates really wanted to express their views to the people then why not debate in the evenings when a larger cross section of the public could watch?
I expected better from the man who is "fed up" with politics as usual and from the guy who fought the government for the people. Guess I expected too much. I mean, allowing the most people possible to hear your policy positions is a crazy thought that went out the window a couple of decades ago.
I guess I should look on the bright side. At least we know the debates will happen. Now we will wait to find out if anyone will be able to watch.