By the time you read this, the only scheduled debate between California’s gubernatorial candidates may be over. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. taking place at Bay Area radio station KQED and broadcast by a few other radio stations.

Don’t worry, you are hardly the only California voter who won’t hear the conversation between Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox. The event is actually billed as a conversation rather than a debate. That’s okay. The most famous debates in American history—the Lincoln-Douglas meetings—could fairly be labeled a conversation. Each candidate gave speeches. The first speaker went for an hour, the second for an hour-and-a-half and then the first speaker returned for 30 minutes.

While such a format would not be acceptable today, at least the contestants faced each other seven times, not just one meeting.

The one scheduled debate between Newsom and Cox is hardly sufficient.

Skip the political reasons why debates don’t occur, the voters in this state are owed at least an opportunity to hear from the candidates on the same stage more often.

Debates are often hung up on format. One side objecting to the structure, or the moderator or the topics involved.

I have a suggestion to deal with that.

Have at least two debates, one in the format completely controlled by one candidate, the second completely controlled by the other: formats, questioners, topics. If nothing else it would be interesting to see how the non-controlling candidate handles an adverse situation.

And, as a bonus, we may get more voters to tune in.