Those debates shouldn't exist in the first place. Where I come from candidates for the highest office are chosen by the party internally and are based on who's more qualified and not who might appeal more to the voters. Then again, we also vote for parties and policies and not for irrelevant things like who I'd like to drink a beer with.
All these debates do is harm their own party, as we could clearly see last election.
If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.