The French presidential debate is over. I remember watching it a quinquennium ago and thinking "this is how debates should be". Why?
• they had reserved 2h30, but let it run up until 3 hours
• the moderators intervene little (and are succeed even less).
• the moderators simply offer the subject and let the candidates talk. They say "let's talk about the nuclear energy question". No actual questions.
• candidates speak to each other, not to the moderators, not to the audience
• in fact, as the Latin spirit would require, they interrupt each other, speak over each other. That's not an insult, that's just how it works.
• no overt insults
• the candidates talk about the actual points, instead of diverging to other subjects and avoiding the question (there is no question anyway)
• the candidates are very well informed about their subjects, including remembering numbers to base their assertions on. In fact, I wonder if they had a tablet in front of their eyes where they received information from their staff.
• the candidates are timed only to make sure both get the same chance to speak. Subjects aren't timed, the candidates talk about it for as long as they want to or until the moderators succeed in changing it.
After watching it 5 years ago, watching the Brazilian presidential debates in 2010 was an extreme disappointment, and the US one in 2008 wasn't as interesting either. Let's see what we'll see later this year.