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Only in Boulder: City-council debate to feature text-message voting, joke section

If you happen to be a perpetually-stoned TV junkie who toggles between Idol and The Soup and enjoys the occasional Tank-from-Old-Scool-style streaking, tonight's city council debate in Boulder is most definitely in your wheelhouse.

As the Daily Camera reported this weekend, the debate, sponsored by New Era Colorado, will be different from most such forums in both style and substance:

The style:

Candidates who run afoul of audience members' tastes will be routinely kicked off the stage based on audience votes. The audience will vote by periodically text messaging a number to debate organizers that corresponds to their favorite candidate, American Idol-style. The least popular candidates will be booted.

The substance:

Joke-telling is on the agenda at the Meet the Candidates debate at 7 p.m. at the Fox Theater ... and [the debate] will include questions about medical marijuana, the annual Naked Pumpkin Run and alcohol-law enforcement.

The debates will no doubt be criticized as pandering and unserious by a bunch of people who never go to debates because they're super boring, but New Era deserves credit for mixing it up. While, yes, the text-message ousting is a little high-school talent-show-y, the joke-telling portion is a great way to get candidates to show off their personalities (should they have one) and the topics are -- perhaps sadly -- on the minds of a lot of people in town.

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