Generally speaking, we would like to hear less from the politicians, not more. But that isn’t necessarily true on the campaign trail. It is important that we have a chance to get to know those candidates running for public office. How else can we make a decision at the ballot box? That is why it is unfortunate that there may not be a debate between the two candidates running to replace Ron Kind as the Congressman for Wisconsin’s Third District. Brad Pfaff has challenged his opponent, Derrick Van Orden to three debates, one in each of the largest cities in the district: La Crosse, Eau Claire and Stevens Point. So far not a single debate has been scheduled, despite efforts from UW La Crosse and other groups that typically arrange such debates. Instead of accepting the challenge to debate, Van Orden has simply issued a snarky statement about Pfaff being a career politician. Political debates can be important to helping educate the electorate. They are typically broadcast on radio and television throughout the district. The candidates are forced to answer tough questions, often ones they don’t want to have to answer. How they respond can be telling to how they would act if elected. Otherwise all we’re left with to judge a candidate is their carefully crafted campaign ads, their slick messaging and their soft lighting. We need to hear from them directly. Without someone choosing their words for them.