Political forums help the process
Oct. 27, 2002
The political forum on Wednesday night between U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows and U.S. Chip Pickering was at times both enlightening and rancorous. A live audience of about 400 people and live television coverage by WTOK-TV, which sponsored the event, added another dimension. Candidates are under more pressure when they are playing to a live audience and the pressure is magnified by the reach of television.
This event and others like it held over the past few months made a valuable contribution to the interests of voters in a heated congressional campaign with national implications. Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives by a scant margin and Democrats control the U.S. Senate by a single vote. The Pickering-Shows race is one of the most important congressional races in the U.S. this year.
Political campaigns should be about debating the issues. Political forums give voters access to the candidates and information on which they, hopefully, can base their vote.
The election is Nov. 5.