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In debates, even presidential level debates, those people who cheat must be penalized. When a debater overshoots their allotted time they must be docked a fair amount. The next time they are given time to speak, the time they overshot on their previous presentation must be subtracted from their next response. Also, the amount of time they consumed interrupting the other person’s presentation must be subtracted. Because both of those actions give them an unfair advantage they must be penalized in a way that is obvious to everyone.

A clock could be placed so that the debaters, the judges, and the audience could see it clearly. Each time a debater overshot their time or spoke up while the other person was speaking, the clock would automatically start subtracting time from the interrupter’s total allotted time. The interruptions would be scored at a minimum of 5 seconds. That subtracted time could be divided equally among the scheduled number of responses.

Thus, if there were two more questions to be responded to and a closing-remarks section to be scheduled, the total amount of time of overshoots and interruptions would be divided into three equal parts. If a person had accumulated 30 seconds of penalty they would have 10 seconds removed from each of those portions of their time.

The way the above adjustment is stated there is no punishment for misbehavior, only an evening up of time the debaters are given. But that isn’t fair to the honest debater because it gives the interrupter the ability to disrupt the flow of the honest one.

To prevent that unfair advantage there must be an additional penalty given to each of the overshoots and interruptions. That can be easily done by doubling the time taken away. In the example above the 30 seconds would become 60 seconds, and that time spread over the coming three presentations so each would be truncated by 20 seconds.

The unfair advantage of overshoots and interruptions should be corrected by taking double that time away from future presentations.

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