NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest round in America's premier debate series, Intelligence Squared Debates, pitted President and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington and New York Times columnist David Brooks, against America's premier political satirist P.J. O'Rourke, and Zev Chafets, contributor to the New York Times Magazine and founding editor of the Jerusalem Report.
The controversial resolution at Intelligence Squared Debates' (IQ2US) latest intellectual matchup was the second in their themed season, "America's House Divided." The debate was moderated by ABC News Nightline's John Donvan.
Key excerpts from the debate include:
"Basically, the two-party system is like a stale marriage. Democrats and Republicans need something to spice it up. They need to go on Craigslist and find a third party."
"So they're weird social creatures [politicians]. Nonetheless, I would say in general, they are better people than one would anticipate. Most of them are in it for the right reason, but they're stuck in a rotten system. They're stuck in our current two-party system which forces them to behave in ways that are worse than they are. It's a mind suck."
"Now, I would argue in favor of America's two-party system not because of America's two political parties but because America doesn't really have political parties at all … Republicans and Democrats don't have ideologies. They just have these vague platform planks made of rotten wood of political expediency. If American party platforms were backyard tree forts, you would not let your children climb in them. Anyone can join an American political party, even a witch!"
"In multi-party systems, there are many people who also don't feel that they're represented by any of the parties. And I, having lived in a country [Israel] that has 14 parties, I can tell you that I didn't find any that represented me -- that's sort of an inherent problem of democracy. If you have a party that fits the taste of every person or every group of people, you'll have hundreds or a multiplicity of parties that makes it impossible to govern."
For this specific debate, the audience not only voted on the resolution, but also identified their political party affiliation – Republican, Democrat, Independent – at the top of the evening. Before the debate, the IQ2US audience voted with the following:
- 46 % of audience agreeing with the resolution
- 24 % of audience against the resolution
- 30 % undecided
After carefully considering the points, P.J. O'Rourke and Zev Chafets won the debate -- the team that moves the most votes at the end of the evening is determined the winner.
- 50 % of audience agreeing with the resolution
- 40 % of audience against the resolution
- 10 % undecided
The showdown at NYU's Skirball Center in New York City (566 LaGuardia Place) put the leading public intellectuals in the limelight in front of a live sold-out audience of 800 for nearly two hours of heated debate.
To learn more about the debate and review a detailed breakdown of how Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in the audience voted pre- and post-debate, please visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/Think2Twice
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED DEBATES (IQ2US)
Rethink your point of view with Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), Oxford-style debates live from New York City. Based on the highly successful debate program based in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented 46 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From global warming and the financial crisis, to Afghanistan/Pakistan and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared brings together the world's leading authorities on the day's most important issues.
Since its inception in 2006, the goals have been to provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis; to transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological; and to encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views.
The Rosenkranz Foundation initiated the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series and continues to provide major support.
SOURCE Intelligence Squared Debates