Democracies need Debates!

Democracies need Debates!

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Albert Toves started this petition to Congressman Michael San Nicolas and

The people of Guam are only allowed to elect one delegate to represent us in the U.S. federal government. While this is a non-voting delegate position, whoever is elected to this position has a lot of power as Guam’s main, and often only voice in Washington D.C. This person must ensure the even though we are thousands of miles away, our voices are heard. Our representative also has the ability to create new opportunities for Guam and should help keep us informed of federal policies and activities that might affect us. 

Guam’s representative to Congress must have in-depth knowledge about the needs of our island and a solid understanding of how to navigate U.S. Congress and Washington D.C. in a way that ensures Guam’s voice is always heard. Guam is different than most places in the U.S. and its territories, and whoever is chosen as delegate has to understand that difference and advocate for our distinct needs. 

Social media posts, campaign ads and press releases are not enough for voters to determine which candidate might be the best person to represent our island. These are forms of filtered communication and we need to hear our candidates speak directly to us in a live forum. This is why debates are so integral to elections. They allow voters the opportunity to see how a candidate responds on the spot to important questions, and how the candidate reacts while under pressure. 

Considering the significance of this particular office, the people of Guam deserve to hear from our Congressional candidates in a debate. We need to hear our candidates discuss their records, substantiate their promises, and offer their solutions to the issues that directly impact us. 

Debating is an essential part of any democracy. When candidates divide themselves into different partisan camps and do not come together for a serious debate, our democracy suffers. 

Thus, we the people of Guam call on all three candidates running for Guam’s non-voting delegate position to participate in at least one live, public debate prior to the November 17, 2020 runoff election.

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