I'm at this ACLA conference which is 0% science, 1% business, and 99% politics, and one of the themes of the sessions has been the difficulty our congress faces in getting bipartisan support for anything. And it occured to me, that when we learn about candidates it is often in debates. In a very real way we are selecting for politicians who are contentious, because they are good debaters. But what we need to get things done is politicians who are diplomatic and pragmatic, and who can work well with others. Maybe instead of debates, we should have collaborations.
How would this work? Well, suppose there were four candidates, and instead of each debating each other for an hour, they each worked with one of the other candidates for 20 minutes. They would be given a task or project or idea to develop, and would have to work together to come up with a solution or approach and they they'd present it together. Each of the candidates would be paired with each of the others, so we'd have a chance to see how well they each worked with the others. Out of that we'd get a pretty good idea of who could actually get things done.
What do you think?