Acting political leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) Michael Astaphan has said that Dominica should take a page from the just concluded US presidential elections and tackle relevant issues in political debates.
He pointed to the US presidential debates where the main candidates went head to head on topics which were deemed relevant to the electorate.
According to Astaphan this is not the case in Dominica where politicians go on radio stations or political platforms “to spread rumors.”
He said local politicians should be able to face each other and the electorate to debate relevant issues.
“Our politicians must be able to openly discuss, debate and talk to each on issues,” he said. “People must be educated so they know who they are voting for and what they are voting for.”
He went on to say politicians should stop “lying to the people and be prepared to face opposing parties and show their competencies.”
The DFP acting political leader noted that it is common for those seeking office to to appear in the local media in one-sided discussions. “In the United States whenever issues are being discussed in the media, for example TV, there is always a Democrat and a Republican discussing both sides of the issue,” Astaphan said. “This is something the local media probably needs to look into.”
He fully endorses public debates saying they are good forms of “educating the electorate.”
It has become customary during US presidential elections for the main candidates to engage in a debate. It has been argued that these debates have great impact on the elections and have nearly decided the outcomes; the most famous being the one between between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.