‘Lie detector’ debate: For many, an idea whose time has come

We’ve noted before the race in Indiana’s 9th congressional district, where Libertarian Dr. Eric Schansberg is running against incumbent Rep. Baron Hill (Democrat) and former Rep. Mike Sodrel (Republican). When the local Republican chair proposed a debate between the candidates while hooked up to lie detectors, Schansberg readily agreed. He now writes us:

This has been amazing. In addition to media coverage in the 9th District, we’ve fielded calls from the Chicago Tribune and Hollywood’s Inside Edition. Now, it’s on the Drudge Report. Why is this capturing people’s imaginations? Part of the excitement stems from its novelty and a pseudo-scientific approach. But it also clearly indicates that people don’t trust politicians very much. We would love to know when and if politicians are telling the truth. That’s one of the reasons I’m running: people rarely trust the knowledge and motives of those who represent them in Congress.

10 Responses to “‘Lie detector’ debate: For many, an idea whose time has come”

  1. Michael Seebeck Says:

    File that under “Stupid Idea.” Lie detectors are beatable—why do you think they are not legally admissible in court as evidence? All one has to do is calm their pulse rate and blood flow prior to the hookup—and there are lots of ways to do that.

    Best idea: run the wires from each candidate to a separate Xerox machine. Whenever the incumbent and the major party challenger says something, have their Xerox spit out a page that says, “LIE” and have the LP challenger’s machine spit out a page that says “TRUTH”. about as reliable as a real lie detector and makes for a hilarious campaign stunt.

  2. Dr. Gonzo Says:

    It is incredibly difficult to beat lie detector tests and an untrained politician wouldn’t be able to do it.

    However, the accuracy of lie detectors is pretty much 50/50 so this won’t really prove anything.

  3. mattc Says:

    Lie detectors are designed for yes/no questions, aren’t they?

  4. Andy Craig Says:

    Polygraphs are not “lie detectors”, they’re “nervousness detectors”. They are a sham, and this is a silly idea.

  5. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Andy, if they’re a sham, then why do they have such a high accuracy rate?

  6. ~enemyartistkristofeR! Says:

    I have an idea to make the debates a little more interesting, it’s a third idea since the best idea has gone flop, that would be allowing third party candidates to actually debate. But we all know how that goes. Now, the lie detector test has been thrown out there as interesting debate idea number two. But here is what I propose, just put mccain and obama in a boxing ring, arm them each with a pair of boxing gloves - with all the smear tactics and racial slang being thrown around this election, I am sure this would be at the very least the most entertaining of the “presidential debates”.
    We can make a night out of it - in the Main event mccain obama and there can be the secondary fight Palin Biden we can also do the battle of the “first Ladies”.
    Then maybe after each individual match up we can put them all in a steel cage and let them have a go at a free-for-all! Now thats my idea to liven things up!

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  7. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Joseph, they don’t, which is why they do not meet the evidence standard in criminal cases. They are beatable using mild sedatives and even certain blood-pressure regulators. This is very old news in the defense contracting circles, which is why less and less companies use them.

    And “untrained” politicans will still beat it because to them lying comes as naturally as breathing, so no nrevousness would show up anyway.

  8. Michael Seebeck Says:

    enemy, if we do that, I want proxies, and I’ll take Glenn Jacobs or Chuck Norris for Ron Paul (Sean Morely is injured), and McCain and Obama can have whomever they want, and we make it an over-the-top-rope battle royal.

    Or we could do it American Idol style, which would be hilarious (and finally create equal time for everybody!)

  9. ~enemyartistkristofeR! Says:

    Over-The-Top-Rope Anything Goes Battle Royale! Sounds good to me.

    visit my blog @ http://enemyartistkristofer.blogspot.com

  10. Sobriquet Says:

    The problem with polygraph testing is the fact that sociopaths don’t get nervous when they lie. This factor would come into play in many a political debate, no?

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