No, I did not watch the freak show.

A study in pink.

A study in pink.

In front of a Susan G. Komen-worthy bright pink backdrop, the recently rebranded Vermont Public Television (now d/b/a Vermont PBS) rolled out the Clown Car O’ Democracy last night.

Yes, the one and only gubernatorial debate featuring all seven candidates for Governor.

Which produced the amusing spectacle of Scott Milne standing uncomfortably next to a Duck Dynasty stunt double, and Dan Feliciano braving sudden death from the razor-sharp brim of a Church Lady hat.

“Amusing spectacle” it was, and amusement was all it was good for. As a way for actual voters to actually make an actual decision, it was a waste of time. And I haven’t seen the overnights, but I wonder if Vermont PBS got as many viewers (74 max) as the ill-fated Burlington Free Press livestreamed debate.

Certainly they could have done better with a rerun of Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting.”

In fact, I’d vote for Bob Ross over some of those candidates. And he’s dead.

This notion of an all-inclusive gubernatorial debate seems to bring cheer to some of my friends in the media. It’s so… Vermont, you know?

Well, yeah. But so are rural poverty and frost heaves and agricultural runoff in Lake Champlain.

Vermont law makes it very easy to get a spot on the ballot. Which is fine; I don’t mind having eleventy-bajillion candidates if they get enough petition signatures. But it doesn’t mean they deserve my attention or consideration.

There are, at most, three serious candidates for Governor: Peter Shumlin, Scott Milne, and Dan Feliciano. Ironically, in all the debates so far, we have yet to see the three of them sharing a stage by themselves. More debates are in our future, and maybe we’ll get to see the only matchup that matters. I hope so.

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