A political debate has as much to do with a classical debate as a Formula One race has to do with a Monster Truck show.
A classic debate has two teams (or two people) debating an agreed-upon topic for an agreed-upon amount of time.
A political debate is a verbal prize-fight with the referee sitting in the second row.
I was a debater in college. I can't remember, now, what the debate topic was, but this is the topic every debate team, at every high school and college...