Was That The District 5 Final Debate, or Was It A Celebrity Roast?

ReginaHill 200X197By Lawrence A Robinson
I had an interesting time at the Orlando District 5 City Commissioner Debate last Thursday evening at the beautiful Frontline Outreach Center. This evening however, was nothing more than a temporary distraction and offered no insight for direction that District 5 will take. I would never call this event a serious political debate.

This event was designed similar to a celebrity roast type event. District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill was the roastee. Everyone took their shot at tossing barbs at her. Some, even tossing several while Hill defended herself and returned zingers.

Is this the real function of political debates? Are debates designed to be entertaining when they should be informative? To entertain, the incumbent is placed in a position of having to defend themselves while simultaneously explaining and glorifying their own accomplishments. To inform, questions should be asked in a way that the candidate will offer specific, strategic solutions.

After this event, several informed people suggested that questions asked were not designed to inform but rather to entertain. Asking a candidate open ended questions severely limits accountability and allows practically any response to be given. It doesn't matter if that response is relevant or not. Most responses during this 'debate' were not relevant and did not reflect a solution or a strategy for improving the community.

There were few specifically targeted questions and far to many open ended questions. I reviewed the video of this 'debate' and talked to several 'politicos' and it has been determined that this event failed to inform the public and did little to educate the District 5 political community.

None of the candidates trying to replace Regina Hill gave any specific, strategic or original idea to move the community forward. There was plenty of talk, albeit hyperbole reigns supremely.

While fighting off the onslaught from opponents, Ms Hill was able to explain and express what she has been doing for the last 4 years and mentioned a few of her plans for the future.

Maybe there is still time to schedule another debate where real questions can be asked and the public can get relevant information, instead of the celebrity roast event. Otherwise, based on this 'debate,' the incumbent proved to be the superior choice for District 5 Commissioner and should be granted 4 more years to serve the community.