Thursday, October 18, 2012

Presidential Debate 2013: Will the Presidential Candidates Show up?

Presidential Debates 2013
The Kenyan Media announced the entry of presidential debates in Kenya on October 10, 2012. The big question that remains to be answered is whether the presidential candidates will show up. The presidential debates initiative by Kenyan Media is a noble idea whose time has come. However, it seems the media have stolen the thunder from the executive who would have come up with a commission to run debates like the US.
The doubts I have with this media lead initiative is whether the organizers will remain neutral. Given the fact that they are organizing the debate, choosing the moderators [in our case they have already chosen the moderators] and airing the content. In the unveiling they announced PWC will be involved in checking the overall transparency of the process BUT do they have the competency to do this and have they done this anywhere else?
The other scenario I foresee is this presidential debate in Kenya will be one huge advertising festival.

The Existing Gaps
The media seemed to have been in a hurry in coming up with this initiative because one week after the big announcement we are yet see a website. It could be in beta stage though.
The other sentiments I have picked up is that some presidential candidates are NOT so much into this debate idea. Going by tweets from bloggers close to the main presidential candidates, the might pass off the debating idea.
Sentiments on Twitter: #PresidentialDebateKe
@OleItumbi @bettymurungi @PeterOpondo Media develop dates, announce them in press ads & then plead with candidates to appear,there will be a major snub
@OnyangoRachael It willl fail. RT @OleItumbi The media decided there will be a Presidential debate, chose moderators, set dates.... thats Media Dictatorship
@syindu_mutongoi @Oleitumbi and Media should stop this nonsense of having 11 Presidential Candidate on a debate. That is a market #PresidentialDebateKe
@KohadhaRoy As much us #PresidentialDebateKE is a MOA initiative, dictating the moderators isn't a good idea. Julie Gichuru and Linus Kaikai Naaaa!
@LarryMadowo So we're going to have a #PresidentialDebateKE with 17 candidates. Death by debate, last (wo)man standing wins
Other Outstanding Issues
How do you moderate a debate of twelve presidential candidates in one and half hours?
Some of the presidential candidates might gang up on the front runner. How do you prevent that?
How do we get this culture of presidential debate because what the media are doing is they are taking advantage since the incumbent is NOT running?

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