Monday, September 10, 2012

The Brock-Shumlin Debate

You’ve probably heard the on-air messages referring to VPR’s  Brock and Shumlin debate, and if you’ve been listening closely, you know there’s quite a bit going on behind the scenes.

The planning for VPR governor’s debate began many weeks ago when we set the date of September 12 for the debate. But the Progressive Party primary ended in a cliffhanger on August 28, with candidate Martha Abbott receiving one vote more (371 votes) than Annette Smith (370 write-in votes). A recount is scheduled to determine the winner. However, the results of the recount are not expected until after the VPR debate.

So we will proceed with the debate with the two candidates and get the Progressive candidate on the air soon after the results are in.

Sometimes, we receive questions about the debate process on VPR. VPR invites major party candidates to debates leading up to the General Election. Major parties are those political parties in which at least one candidate has received five percent of the vote in any statewide office in the previous General Election. We use this definition for debate participation to provide listeners an opportunity to hear a meaningful back-and-forth among the leading candidates. In this format, listeners can draw clear distinctions between the candidates and hear them challenge each others' views.

However, debates are only one part of VPR’s election coverage. There are independent and minor party candidates who may not be as well known, and VPR includes candidates who do not have major party status in news coverage through interviews or news stories in order to get their issues before the public as well.

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