Listening to the raucous audience frequently interfering at last night’s Los Angeles District Attorney election debate rekindled a question I’ve thought about before– why are audiences permitted at major political debates—including presidential debates?
There are many news accounts on the issues raised and the candidates’ responses at the L.A. debate last night presented by radio station KPCC and the Los Angeles Times, a couple of which you can find here and here. But let’s think about allowing audiences into major debates which too often opens the door for cheerleading and disruption.
The idea behind debates are for candidates to express their views and discuss policies so voters will know where they intend to take their office if elected. That too often gets overshadowed by unnecessary and even orchestrated audience interference.