Debates among candidates are rare in most countries. But they have become a staple1 of American politics, particularly during the last 25 years. Americans like debates because the candidates can be compared in an unscripted, live performance. The candidates don't know what questions will be asked, nor what their opponent might say. History indicates that a bad performance, particularly a telling gaffe2, can badly damage a candidate in the polls. The debates are a “ key test” of the strength and abilities of the candidates, says CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield. A candidate cannot package himself in debates the way he can in party advertisements but must be quick on his feet3 to respond to unanticipated4 questions and criticisms, he adds.
The potential of debates to damage a vulnerable presidential hopeful is one reason why some candidates, particularly frontrunners10, are reluctant to risk their chances in such an uncontrolled environment--and the fewer debate rules there are,the less control the candidates have.But broadcast presidential debates,both in the primaries and in the general election,are now routine and expected by the American people.
Since 1987, the presidential debates have been organized by the bipartisan17 organization, the Commission on Presidential Debates. Its purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the two major parties. In Election 2000, the commission set a threshold18 for the participation of third party candidates in the debates. They must show they have the support--as evidenced in a number of opinion polls--of at least 15 percent of the population.
Whatever the quality of the debates in Election 2000, they are unlikely to equal the most famous political debates in American history which occurred long before the invention of radio and television. In 1858, Stephen Douglas debated Abraham Lincoln for a U.S. Senate seat. The debates were held at seven sites throughout Illinois, one for each of the seven congressional districts. Douglas, a pro-slavery Democrat,was the incumbent19.Lincoln was anti-slavery. “ Honest Abe,” as he was endearingly called, lost the Senate race, but two years later was elected the first Republican president of the United States. The Lincoln Douglas debates are still heralded20 for the quality of the discourse at a crucial time in the nation's history.
Questions 1 to 5 are based on the passage above.
1. According to the first paragragh,why do Americans like debates among candidates?
A.The quality of the debates is heralded.
B.A telling gaffe may make candidates awkward.
C.Debates are rare in other countries.
D.They can make comparison among candidates.
2. We know from the passage that one of the reasons for some candidates dislike debating is that_____.
A.it is difficult to control the circumstance in debating
B.the American people don't expect it
C.it is impossible to make debate rules needed
D.they don't want to hurt their opponents
3.In 2000,the presidential debates were organized by_____.
A.third party candidates
B.the Commission on Presidential Debates
C.Democrats and Republicans
4.The Lincoln-Douglas debates are spoken highly of because_____.
A.Lincoln was the first Republican president of the US
B.the historic speeches made by Lincoln were excellent
C.Stephen Douglas was the incumbent at that time
D.Abraham Lincoln was anti-slavery
5.In the eyes of the author,the debates in Election 2000_____.
A.has become the best debates in American History
B.were the worst nightmare of any presidential hopeful
C.could not be as good as the Lincoln-Douglas debates
D.had close relationship with the Lincoln-Douglas debates
1.staple n. 主食;主要产品;最重要的组成部分;订书的，U形针
Rice is the staple food in many Asian countries. 大米是许多亚洲国家的主食。
2.candidate n. 候选人;投考者;申请求职者
Abraham was the best candidate for the job. 亚伯拉罕是这项工作的最佳候选人。
3.vulnerable n. 脆弱的，易受伤的;易受攻击的，难防御的
We are vulnerable both by water and land,without either fleet or army. 由于没有舰艇和军队，我们在水路和陆路上都易受攻击。
4.herald vt. 欢呼，宣传;预示……的来临(或发生)
Returning swallows herald spring. 归来的燕子预告春天的来临。
1.选D。本题为主要细节正误题。根据第一段中“Americans like debates because the candidates can be compared in an unscripted, live performance”可判断最佳答案是D。
2.选A。本题为主要细节正误题。第二段说“some candidates, particularly frontrunners10, are reluctant to risk their chances in such an uncontrolled environment”，由此可知，这些候选人担心无法控制辩论情况，A选项与其意思一致。
3.选B。本题为主要细节正误题。从第三段“ Since 1987, the presidential debates have been organized by the bipartisan17 organization, the Commission on Presidential Debates”可以判断自1987年以来包括(2000年)的总统辩论由共和、民主两党组成的“总统辩论委员会”组织实施。
4.选B。本题为主要细节正误题。文章最后一段“The Lincoln Douglas debates are still heralded20 for the quality of the discourse at a crucial time in the nation's history”表明，他们之间的辩论由于其演说质量而今仍被人们称颂，B选项与其意思一致。
5.选C。本题为观点态度推断题。从最后一段“Whatever the quality of the debates in Election 2000, they are unlikely to equal the most famous political debates in American history……”可推知。[/hide]