Governor candidates should discuss policies in face-to-face debates
We need a series of debates between candidates for Bangkok mayor to help educate and inform voters. Each candidate would have an opportunity to prove that his promises are really feasible, not just empty words. Face-to-face debates would be much more productive than one-way interviews, for the given candidate's opponent will be all to happy to prove on-the-spot that what he says is nonsense.
Thus, for example, can Pheu Thai's Ponsapat convincingly prove that he will be his own man, not another puppet, when the Interior Minister and Thaksin's personal lawyer Noppadon confirmed to the New York Times that PM Yingluck's no more than a stand-in for the fugitive mastermind in Dubai? Or, if M.L. Sukhumbhand builds tunnels under intersections to ease traffic, won't we have even worse congestion while they are being built - especially since the BTS lines are being expanded and the government's first-car scheme promise hell in the streets already?
The two prime candidates should meet several times, as should the can?didates in third and fourth place in terms of popularity.
The moderator should be forceful, widely respected, and credible. His or her role would be to keep candidates focused on the issues, preventing them from evading questions or whipping up emotion.
As James Madison put it, "A popu?lar government without popular information, or the means of acquir?ing it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both…. A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." The debate series would give us the knowledge we need to choose wisely.