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Jones: Why I Believe All Political Debates Should Be Online

June 22, 2011

 When it comes to debate internet users can never get enough of it. View any forum or online chat room and you will notice all it takes is one spark to ignite the fires of hell. For example, one user may proclaim, “Digimon was better than Pokemon.” While I know this statement is pure bullshit and have no need to explain myself, others will go on long tirades to defend their point. They immediately adapt a scorched effin’ earth policy and will type and type until their fingers are nothing more than bloody nubs that they smear across the keyboard in some vain effort to muster up that one final jab.

Politics is no different. With so many contrasting views it’s no wonder the internet is clogged with heated debate on policies, decisions and whether or not Osama is actually dead. I personally believe that all political debate should be shifted into an internet based medium and Canadian politicians should be the first to jump on this bandwagon. Simply have all the members of Parliament sign up for a Reddit account and watch the magic unfold from the comforts of your own home.

“But Spencer,” you fools will cry, “why would we ever do this? You must be crazy to even suggest such a thing! Real debate is in person with well thought out arguments! There’s nothing better than looking a person in the eye as you crush that last bit of confidence they will ever have!” Firstly, shut the hell up. This is my article so I can suggest whatever I want. Furthermore, there are huge benefits to moving towards online debates. No longer will the loudest person rule the debate with their booming voice and spit flying antics. Even the quietest person can type, thus no opinions will be lost. All their points will be in a clearly ordered and listed format for easy reading and quoting. The closest you can get to yelling online is to type in all caps and that just makes you look like Bill O’Reilly after a while.

Or Billy Mays.

What’s more, with the debates now online there will no longer be those unnecessary snide comments from the peanut gallery. Everyone has been ranting about how the House has become volatile with its debates; something I personally think is awesome. I always find that throwing some F-bombs into my statements gets people to pay attention, but alas the white knights have sounded. By having to actually type out your response the politicians may actually take the time to think out what they’re about to say instead of just blurting out, “That’s not what your mother said last night.” I’m lookin’ at you Layton, you randy old fox. While this will totally take the spontaneity and the awesomeness that may result from it out of the debate it will quell the backlash. Furthermore, with everything that is said clearly documented there will be no way for Layton to weasel his way out of what he said by stating in a later press release that he actually said, “That’s not what Mothra said last night.”

When Mothra speaks you better listen.

By shifting the debates to an online forum everyone will automatically become an expert of everything. You see, when someone enters the world of the interwebs their ego automatically inflates to Charlie Sheen proportions and they believe they are the equivalent of an IBM super computer. “What are you guys talking about over here? Why antimatter has all but disappeared yet matter has remained despite the fact that both were present in equal proportions at the beginning of the big bang? Well, luckily for you guys I read an article on Google news by some Carleton undergrad with a silver spoon up their ass and skimmed the wiki page, thus making me a qualified expert on the topic.” This doesn’t just apply to quantum physics. Everything from politics to penis pumps are lobbed into this sad pattern. Obviously having a debate with a couple hundred experts on EVERYTHING will get things moving in there. Having Harper and Layton debate on the merits of Captain Kirk over Captain Picard during the middle of a talk on foreign policy would be genius. (Let it be known that Captain Picard was, and forever shall be, the superior Captain.) With everyone an expert there will be so much more involvement from the less prominent members of Parliament as their new found ego trips would be a great way to get fresh ideas. Of course, by fresh ideas I mean the ones that they found when they Googled the current topic being discussed. At least with everyone Googling the same crap they’ll be more likely to come to similar conclusions and we might be able to make some progress for once.

There will be the trolls. As with every forum there are always those select few who just go around saying blatantly dumb things to get everyone started. I can totally see Harper with his sinister little smile saying something like, “Asbestos exports from Canada are key to our economic future!” From that erupts a flame war that hasn’t been seen since the days of Trudeau. The argument will go on for days and will generally follow the same formula.

1. Actual relevant and well argued point is given.

2. Slightly relevant, yet obviously not well thought out point is given.

3. The opponent’s argument is ignored; instead their spelling is focused on. If one error is found they are automatically deemed stupid and their argument is null.

4. The opponent is verbally insulted with some “your mom” jokes thrown in for good measure.

5. The opponent is compared to Hitler*.
* Godwin’s law states that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%). Look it up, I’m not making this up. I Googled it and everything.

All internet arguments follow this formula and our leaders will no doubt follow suit. Having Bob Rae point out that Layton spelt colour the “American” way, thus signaling his hidden American based agenda, while Harper Photoshops Bob’s head to Hitler’s body would be comic gold.

Unless Bob beats him to it.

In conclusion, moving the debate online would be a genius way to even the playing field and get some semi fresh ideas into Parliament. Plus, if everything is online Harper won’t have to worry about those pesky pages, just the occasional 2 day ban for spamming fake porn sites. Inevitably though, my suggestions will no doubt be seen as stupid and useless. Some Reddit user with a chip on his shoulder will mock my spelling and question how I ever survived my childhood being so stupid. Trump will come after me demanding my transcripts because I clearly lack the knowledge to go to Western. But screw it, this is the internet. As long as I can type I am free to voice my opinion, whether good or bad. I am a master of my domain and an expert of everything. So come at me bro, I don’t give a shit no mo.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2011 8:50 pm

    If this website is going to be totally successful we will need the occasional humour post. This is perfect in a similar way to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. Blows something out of proportion to make a point. Perfectly well done.

  2. Trololo permalink
    June 22, 2011 9:57 pm

    LOLWUT!? umad?

  3. Emma Lynn Benner permalink
    June 22, 2011 9:57 pm

    Too long. Did not read.

  4. June 22, 2011 10:28 pm

    And so begins the trolling.

  5. digimon4eva permalink
    June 22, 2011 11:19 pm


  6. June 23, 2011 2:50 am

    Hi Terry. And Emma: the same picture gives it away.

  7. anonymous permalink
    June 23, 2011 10:19 am

    Couldn’t you just create a ghost e-mail to get a new picture or something? I like this (being anonymous), better than sharing names, there is less bias that way.

  8. June 23, 2011 2:17 pm

    You absolutely could. We’re looking at a new way of commenting anyway that we could switch to.

  9. June 25, 2011 1:08 pm

    I like how Parker’s picture is red, signifying who he is as a person on many fronts.

  10. June 27, 2011 5:01 pm

    I love this article so much,

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