I was reading John Myers analysis of tonight's California gubenatorial debate between Phil Angelides and Governer Schwarzenegger on his blog, Capital Notes. His discussion of the format of the debates led me to consider an innovative approach to conducting presidential elections based on game shows.
Note: This is satire, so take it as such.
Welcome to this week's episode of Presidential Jeopardy, where Presidential hopefuls, in order to raise campaign dollars, must answer questions in six important categories: Constitutional Law, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, World Geography, Real US History (not those in your textbooks), Social and Economic Justice, and Political Scandal.
Today's constants include:
Senator John McCain of Arizona. Formal naval aviator, prisoner of war, long time member of Congress, and father of 7, Senator McCain is considered a bi-partisan bridge-building. Welcome, Senator.
Thanks Alex, glad to be here. Wish we had something like this for the 2000 elections.
Former govenor of Virginia, Mark Warner. Named one of the nations best 5 govenors and leading Virginia to be #1 in best managed states, Mark Warner is father of 3 and a young presidential hopeful. Welcome Mr. Warner.
Our returning champion with $355 million is Hilary Clinton, esteemed Senator from New York, former First Lady, and mother of one. Welcome back, Senator Clinton. You cleaned up in the category of political scandal last week.
Well, Alex, its about making something good out of that experience.
You know the drill. Points are higher for Presidential Jeopardy, with the lowest questions set at $1000 each.
Games of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy
Welcome back to Survivor: Brussels.
Treachery, back-stabbing, deception, lies, and just plain mean spiritedness is the name of the game in Survivor: Brussels.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen many US presidential hopefuls voted off the city by the strong EU-25 team. Meanwhile the Asian Tigers have attempted to collude with the OPEC League to show American policy in the worst light, but the US Presidential Hopefuls still seem to survive through back room deals and unilaterial agreements. Can Asia and OPEC work together to vote off George Allen and the rest of the American team?
Games of Domestic Policy
Al Gore, come on down. You're the next contestant on The Price is Right.
So Al, can I call you Al? We are going to show you some everyday household products and ask you to tell us the MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price). If you guess correctly, you will advance to our next round and a chance to win an all expense paid trip in Air Force One. Are you ready to play?
Yes, I'm ready Bob.
The lovely Janine is holding a half-gallon carton of whole milk (non-organic)? Can you tell me the price of this carton?
Oh, I'm sorry Al. The current price of a half-gallon carton of whole milk is $2.29. Thank you for competing on the Price is Right.
As you could see this would be a better way to elect officials than the staged public debates, town hall meetings, and dirty campaign ads that we use to judge hopefuls today. Perhaps, it will re-engage people in the political process and make good TV as well.