It's easy to perceive a political opponent as being uncivil – and that opens the door for an uncivil reply as well.
The only satisfactory debate arrangement everyone agreed to nearly 60 years ago largely remains in place today – the game show format.
Debates may help voters identify which candidate shares their views but they do not help them think critically about those views. That's because presidential debates don't live up to their name.
We can justify different standards for different Twitter users by turning to the philosophical ideas about public debate.
The creation of a new debate commission in Canada should ensure televised showdowns between party leaders amid federal election campaigns are transparent and a boon to democracy.