In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of voters to share their views on the key issues. Here they give their opinion on the third and final presidential debate between US President George W Bush and his Democratic challenger John Kerry.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Shankar Iyer
Lives: Fairfax, Virginia
Works: Business Professor
In 10 words or less: "University Professor, humanitarian, Democrat"
The focus of the debate, domestic issues, clearly showed the difference between the candidates.
While President Bush seemed to have improved his style with each encounter, the substance has remained much the same.
In three short years he has established a sorry record which demonstrates he cannot run but he sure can hide!
He cannot run anything well - the war, the country, the economy, you name it.
And his administration has proven to be the most secretive and duplicitous so far.
Senator Kerry clearly showed his mastery of the facts and was able to refute and correct President Bush's many claims regarding social security, Medicare, education, caring for veterans and the fight against global terrorism.
He articulated well his vision for a stronger and more respected America - a nation that is a responsible leader in the international community.
Through these debates Kerry has shown that ultimately truth will win out.
Americans are reasonable people, and have aspirations to be the world's most respected nation, not just the bully of the world.
I believe patriotic and responsible Americans will not be swayed by fear mongering and will vote for a positive vision of our nation's future.
Therefore, my vote is not just against Bush, but for Kerry, and for a stronger and more respected America.
I think Shankar has some good points but is definitely putting too much faith in Kerry's ability. He is an unknown. I think you should temper your view a bit. I am going to vote for him, but it's only because there is no one better, and I want Bush out. Kerry's no visionary, but he's seen war up close and personal. I'll take anybody that is open minded, has a basic plan for our country and is not entirely motivated by big business. I think we at least have that in Kerry so he gets my vote.
Derrick Binnall, Boulder, Colorado, USA
I agree, truth will win out! But which truth do you mean, professor? The one true truth is that the world is better off without dictators organising and controlling resources, using them, and plotting to use them again. Saddam did have capabilities and 11 non-effective resolutions, means action is not pre-emptive, but simply long overdue! Take off your blinders.
I have a feeling Kerry is just telling you what you want to hear. He says he has plans in place but you have to ask yourself, where will the money come from to pay for it? Balancing the budget? Please, give me a break! No tax increases? Get real! There is no real way to protect our borders because America is a very big country. There will be another terrorist attack, the question is when. Sure he will raise minimum wage but odds are he will raise taxes as well! I can't read the future but I can tell what Kerry is promising will not happen.
Elma Hernandez, Houston, TX, USA
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Shankar Iyer. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I actually voted for Bush in the last election, thinking him a better choice than Gore. I will not make that mistake again.
Lydia Selwood, Virginia, USA
I completely agree with Shankar. I think Senator Kerry "knocked it out of the park" in the third debate. I truly believe Kerry has deep convictions concerning the disturbing direction that America is currently headed in versus the direction it should be headed in - and feels compelled to take action. Kerry will serve us well as the next president of the US and will definitely be representative of the majority of Americans.
Shaun, Chicago, USA
I could not disagree more with Mr Iyer. Kerry was well versed and well rehearsed in the final debate but in all three debates clearly he purported to attack President Bush's record without offering any well- defined "plan" (except for mentioning the word "plan"). Few world leaders have ever faced the situations encountered by George Bush. President Bush has lead the USA successfully during three horrible years.
Barry, Los Angeles, USA
I could not agree more with Mr Shankar Iyer. President Bush wants to extends his tenure by invoking fear among the people. He put us in a wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, as Senator Kerry mentioned in the first debate.
Ravi Narayan, Denver, CO, USA
The "fear" that Democrats like Shankar accuse Bush and the Republicans of spreading is also known as "truth". The world is a scary and threatening place and if you don't think so, recall 9/11. The fact is we have terrorist enemies around the world and we must confront them diplomatically and militarily before they strike us again.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA
Being a Democrat Shankar will be seen as biased in his opinions favouring Kerry. While Bush improved his performance in the final debate, Kerry has been able to perform better by making sure that he has not only the right answers to nullify Bush's arguments, but also had the facts - as Shankar has mentioned - to prove that Bush is wrong with both his domestic and international policies. If I vote Democrat, it could be partly due to Kerry's vision and partly a verdict on Bush's presidency.
Arun, Naperville, IL, USA
I think Shankar has hit the nail on the head. Throughout these debates Kerry has shown that ultimately truth will win out. And I am optimistic many undecided voters saw that for themselves firsthand.
Martin, Chicago, USA
Your Democratic bias is clouding your mind, Shankar. Kerry evaded the topics as much as Bush did, without any good facts. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that a person who is a business professor can support Kerry since his policies are economic nightmares. And that's not to say Bush's are any better. Furthermore, if you think that Kerry's going to pull out of Iraq, or has any clear plans for Iraq, then you need to get out of your Democrat dream; they're just as greedy as the Republicans, and some Democrat's company will profit from Iraq. Be a little more objective, Shankar!
Chris, Akron, OH
I wholeheartedly agree with Shankar. Senator Kerry is a war hero who will fight for America and never let us down. He has a vision, a plan and he is ready to lead us out of the mess that is the responsibility of President Bush's administration.
Wolfgang Liedtke, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Mr. Shankar Iyer's statement was spot-on in my opinion, I couldn't have summed it up better. I'm not as much of a Kerry supporter as he is, but I will still vote for him and believe Kerry is the better of the two. I do think Shankar summed up all the important points very well.
Trent Toler, Logan, UT USA