For the first time, leaders contesting the UK general election participated in live debates— a tradition borrowed from the US and popularized through television.

Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Reuters

It’s a tradition India should think seriously about adopting. A good debate proves revelatory, and as Nick Clegg may find out after his sterling performances, it can prove game-changing. In India, we already have television’s wide reach and a handful of trusted, neutral journalists to moderate—two essentials needed to make debates work. Now we only need the politicians willing to appear live and answer tough questions without descending into platitudes and ad hominem attacks.