- Length: two weeks.
- One or two debates, broadcast on TV, archived on YouTube. Debates would be designed to push the candidates off their prepared message and to truly engage. If a debater isn't directly answering the question or otherwise being obfuscatory, the moderator would interrupt, calling the debater on that, and insisting on a direct answer.
- At the end of the debate, still on camera, each candidate would participate in a simulation: running a brief meeting with mock legislators on an issue of the day. Perhaps retired legislators could be used for the simulation.
- A neutral body (for example, C-Span) would create a candidate summary consisting of his/her voting record and platform on key issues. That would be mailed to all registered voters and posted on a website such as CSpan.org.
I believe that model would yield better candidates because they wouldn't have to run a four-year, press-the-flesh, be-beholden-to special interests campaign. Also, the public would get a far better sense of what the candidates would be like as our leaders than with our current commercial-, special-interest-, and speechifying-driven process.
What do you think?