Today, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is proud to announce that we will host a first-of-its-kind Open Debate in the special election for Congress in Massachusetts.
All 5 Democrats running in the primary to replace now-Senator Ed Markey in the House of Representatives have agreed to participate in our Open Debate, where the public submits and votes on the questions. This is also Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home congressional district.
Open Debates will be a game changer in our political process — ensuring that questions get asked that the public actually cares about. What starts in Massachusetts will hopefully become the norm for local, state, congressional, and even presidential debates in the future.
The debate will be held Saturday, August 10, at 11am Eastern and will be broadcast live online at OpenDebateQuestions.com. At this site, the public can submit questions, vote, learn about the candidates, and sign up for a reminder to watch the debate.
While this debate is a first, the idea of Open Debates is not new. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I was happy to work with Internet guru (now Harvard Professor) Lawrence Lessig to lead an amazing alliance of progressives, conservatives, and techies who came together around the Open Debate Coalition. This coalition included MoveOn, DailyKos, Arianna Huffington, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions, RedState, Craig from Craiglist, Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Personal Democracy Forum, Aaron Swartz, and many others.
Our coalition had two core Open Debate principles:
1. Debates are for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the right to speak about the debates ought to be “owned” by the public, not controlled by the media. [M]edia companies [should] release rights to presidential debate video to ensure that …