Tonight, Democrat Governor Jerry Brown and his Republican rival Neel Kashkari will meet face-to-face for what is the only scheduled debate between the two candidates. Of course, we won’t know until after the debate is over whether Brown, the experienced pol, bests his young rival–or whether Kashkari impresses all with a strong showing. But we already know going into it who the real losers are: California voters.
Were it a country California’s economy would be larger than that of all the countries in the world save seven. Our gross domestic state product now exceeds two trillion dollars. Our state government has an annual budget of well north of a hundred billion dollars.
In short, it is extremely significant who the Governor of California happens to be.
And with all important decisions, those deciding who should be governing the state should have as much information available to them as possible–and one major source of voter education is provided when the two candidates between whom they must chose debate one another. Not once, but in a series of debates all around the state, where the candidates, and those questioning them, can delve into many issues, and in an in-depth way.
Numerous public opinion polls have Governor Brown trouncing his relatively unknown opponent by over twenty points. It is a time-honored but unfortunate campaign strategy that a prohibitive front-runner has little to gain and potentially a lot to lose by participating in debates, where a gaffe or poorly answered question can potentially change the dynamic of the race.
Breitbart California’s Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollak has penned some pre-debate analysis that underscores the distinct challenge facing Kaskari–analysis that is worth reading before you tune into tonight’s 7pm hour-long debate, which is being streamed live on the CalChannel website.
Yet as California seeks to grow its economy and surpass the GDP of Brazil, which has the world’s 7th largest economy, perhaps it should take a lesson in civic engagement from that South American country.
They are currently in the midst of electing that country’s chief executive, and multiple presidential debates have been scheduled. The incumbent president there is actually behind in the polls, but a vibrant series of debates will give the voters plenty of opportunities to judge the candidates there–not based on the content of slick television ads, but by hearing the candidates in their own words, answering tough questions.