Is it really important to see and hear gubernatorial candidates debate as we consider who will be our next governor?
Debates serve many purposes beyond conveying the positions of candidates. We have many sources of information on the positions of the candidates. But a debate provides many layers of information that we cannot get otherwise.
Debates enable us to observe the cognitive agility of the candidates.
Can they formulate a convincing argument, and articulate it in terms that are understood by a diverse audience?
Debates also enable us to observe interpersonal skills of the candidates.
Are the candidates respectful to others with whom they disagree? Does their demeanor inspire respect and trust?
Finally, the act of engaging in debates early and often communicates to the people of Maine that the candidates want to offer Maine’s citizens every opportunity to make a well-informed decision using multiple sources of information.