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Nothing new in latest debate

Suffering through Sunday'night's final gubernatorial debate was reminiscent of watching a Seinfeld episode - no heroic character definition and a lot of "yada-yada-yada." Other than the negative ad campaigns, no new issues were addressed and no new insights or solutions were offered up on the old issues.

Yawn. On Seinfeld, it would have been funny. In politics, it is not.

Even the issue of the negative ad campaigns quickly devolved into an excuse to repeat the same old rhetoric - but only after each one accused the other of starting the mudslinging ads that have left Alabama voters disgruntled, disgusted, and with the growing impression that no matter who wins the governor's seat – the voters themselves are the losers.

Day after day, we are inundated with political pap - bland, meatless generalities about what the politicians could do for us if elected. Or, worse, we are flooded with vicious accusations of what the other candidate won't do for us if elected. At first, some of the verbal sparring was informative, even amusing, if your tastes run to dark comedy, but enough is enough. We are appalled by the candidates' gross and wasteful

expenditure of our time. During the final debate, they finally had the chance to contribute something new, meaningful and relevant to their platforms, and instead we got re-runs. Will they be as wasteful when they get into office?

This badgering and bickering has had a disastrous effect on voter attention. We asked around, questioning many people from many walks of life.

Not one of them watched the debate. Why? Because they knew they would hear nothing new and they didn't want to sit through endless rhetoric to hear it. The same attitude, fostered by this year's ugly campaign, will also keep them away from the polls, a far worse thing for this state than whomever takes office in 2003.