Friday, September 26, 2008

What would you ask Senators McCain and Obama?

Millions of Americans will be tuning in tonight for the first Presidential debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Historically, the debates are led by a moderator from a prestigious news organization, asking questions to each candidate and leaving time for a rebuttal from the other. Tonight is no different, with the well-respected Jim Lehrer from PBS serving as the debate moderator.

While tonight's event will be exciting, many have argued that we should consider new ways for the candidates to debate. Technology has enabled a historic number of voters to learn from and participate in the election process -- something that was well illustrated by the CNN/YouTube debates.

While we're not officially part of the Commission of Presidential Debates, a few days ago we launched Google Moderator. It's a free tool which enables communities to submit and vote on questions for debates, presentations and events. This way, the best and most representative questions rise to the top.

One of the featured series on Google Moderator is U.S. Presidential Debates 2008 which, at the time of this writing, has 730 people already contributing 230 questions that have over 11,000 votes. Top questions submitted so far include:
  • Many Americans feel it's unfair to saddle taxpayers with the bailout of irresponsible Wall Street firms. What caused this mess and what is a fair solution which benefits the average American, not the executives who got us here in the first place? - Suggested by Doug H, Los Angeles, CA
  • What will be your single, top priority for your first 100 days in office? - Suggested by Shira, Pensacola, FL
  • What will you do to reduce the size or increase the efficiency of the US government? - Suggested by Dave M, Philadelphia, PA
Do these questions represent your concerns? What would you ask the Presidential candidates? Who knows, maybe NBC legend Tom Brokaw will have a look at what you're asking before he moderates the next Presidential debate on October 7th in Nashville!