Do electoral debates change voting preferences or are they spaces of symbolic dispute in public opinion without any effect? Debates have a symbolic power that no one tests. The confrontation of ideas enriches public deliberation and demands from the candidates a better preparation to reach the voters.
Ecuador is the first country in Latin America to go to the polls this year. It is a general election marked by a worn-out government, a new outbreak of the pandemic, a budding vaccination process, economic crisis and political fragmentation.