Maybe the point we’re missing as we devolve into partisan name-calling and soapboxing etc about “debates” is that The Bahamas is supposed to be… Da Na Na …
…a democracy. SHOCK! HORROR!
But the point about democracy is that the people who are elected to govern the country are elected to do so IN THE NAME OF THE ELECTORS.
Not in their own names, or the names of their political parties. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE TO AND HAVE A DUTY TO REPRESENT the electorate.
The citizens. The people.
The point about a public debate/townhall/meeting is that this is the time that people who are running the country or who want to run the country get (a) to tell the electorate what they will do for the country and (b) defend what they have already done.
It’s not an option in my opinion. It’s a duty.
The quality of the debate is not relevant here. The quality reveals what the people who are representing the country/want to represent the country are like, and gives the electorate the chance to make up their own minds.
Yes, it exposes their weaknesses. We fondly hope it might reveal some strengths, too.
That is the entire point. IT IS A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS.
Ducking that duty, removing yourself from the process, does not say anything about your quality. It does, however, say a whole lot about your commitment to, and view of, and respect for, democracy.