During the second presidential debate on Oct. 7, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain will be answering questions from the audience and not from a moderator. We asked our Observers "the one question" they would ask the candidates if given a chance. Here is what they had to ask... READ OUR OBSERVERS' QUESTIONS, THEN SEND IN YOUR OWN QUESTIONS BY CLICKING "ADD NEW COMMENT" BELOW.

Obama's rise - the reason for the markets' fall?

Alexander Stone Dale, Taxi Driver, Manhattan NY (Republican)

Senator Obama – Do you think that the financial markets are tanking because of real structural problems in the economy or because you’re currently leading in the polls and it's scaring them to death? Also, "If you win the Miss America contest what will you do to ease the plight of homeless cats?"

Patriotism

Ernesto Haibi, US Army medic, Copperas Cove, Texas (Former Republican, now independent)

My question to Barack Obama is: why didn’t you place your hand on your heart during the national anthem at a campaign event in Iowa in September 2007?

If Obama’s going to reject the notion that he’s not patriotic he must at least make a concerted effort to look patriotic.

Dealing with illegal immigration

Jim Wilkinson, business owner, Mercedes, Texas (Republican)

What are you going to do to stop the flow of illegal immigration and what measures will you be willing to take to deal with the millions of illegals currently living in the United States?

Neither political party is willing to address the economic aspect of illegal immigration. Illegals are costing us (US taxpayers) billions yearly in health care and medicine, subsidised public education, loss of tax revenue, border patrol/fencing and the protection/security of our land, incarceration costs i.e. crime, the exporting of the US dollar back to Mexico and the use of our resources (gasoline, food, electricity etc) among numerous other associated costs.

Our nation cannot afford to hand out benefits to any and everybody who simply shows up to dip their hand in the "pot"... or to those who consider the best interests of "their country" ahead of the best interests of our country.

Furthermore, illegals seem to have no understanding and/or appreciation of the sacrifices of our forefathers and what it took to make this country great. Illegals are ILLEGAL. The problem of illegal immigration IS a serious problem.

Save our planet

Tim Bottaro, Attorney, Sioux City, Iowa (Democrat)

What would you do to stop the effects of global warming and ensure that every country makes it a priority?

I am concerned that we are reaching the "tipping point" for our planet. If we don't act soon, I fear that it may be too late to reverse the damage to our environment.

Your solution to the economic Pearl Harbor

Linda Sharp, Parenting writer, Austin TX (Independent)

A President is only as effective and strong as the people surrounding him.

With the economic Pearl Harbor we are experiencing, this country faces challenges of historic proportions in terms of getting back on track. Who will be your top economic advisor in your administration?

I'd also like to ask them both if I can have my $700 BILLION back. It doesn't seem to be helping the markets.

And specifically to McCain: your economic advisor is currently Phil Gramm, the man at whose feet much of this current crisis can be laid (as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee in the 1990s, he consistently fought regulation of the securities industry – see this article in the Washington Post). How on earth do you justify that?

'Your big plan?'

Tim Kenney, Branding consultant, Bethesda Maryland (Democrat)

I can’t ask one question of both candidates.

I would have a different question for each.

McCain: why are you so mean-spirited? Why do you attack Obama instead of offering solid solutions? The phrase “Country First” doesn’t tell me anything. What DO you stand for and what WILL you do?

Obama: why are Democrats so nice all the time? Why don’t you take a clearer stand? You are so close, we want to follow, just give us a better idea of the Big Plan.