General News

Open the Debates or Offer an Alternative

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Polidoc     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 8/13/08

- Advertisement -
Currently shut out of the Presidential debates by the requirement thresholds set by the non-profit “Non-Partisan” corporation Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), veteran Presidential campaigner Ralph Nader has called for a Super Rally to be held on the Eve of presumptive candidate Barack Obama’s big night.

The CPD requires that candidates poll at least 15% nationally, as measured by the average of five corporate media polls. In contrast, the League of Women Voters (LWV), who sponsored the debates of three Presidential cycles (1976, 1980, 1984) employed a 5% rule as measured by independent polls.

The LWV ceased to sponsor the debates in 1988, after the George Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns drafted the first secret debate contract, a “Memorandum of Understanding” that dictated who got to participate and who would ask the questions. On October 3, The LWV 14 trustees voted unanimously to drop out of the debates, and issued a press release:

The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.

The organization Open Debates has criticized the CPD for awarding control of the debates to Democratic and Republican campaigns. It notes that the CPD’s Executive Directors are gaming lobbyist Frank Fahrenkopf and pharmaceutical lobbyist Paul Kirk. The debates are sponsored by multi-national corporations and their presence is quite visible during the televised debates.

Strict control of the poll threshold, particularly in conjunction with ballot access regulations, also instituted by the two major parties, assures that the Democrats and Republicans need not fear the invasion of dissident voices on the debate stage. However, disident voices do resonate with the public when provided the opportunity. Consider Governor Jesse Ventura who explains his surprising win thusly, “I was allowed to debate. I proved that you could go from 10 percent to 37 percent and win if you’re allowed to debate. Rest assured these two parties don’t want to ever see that happen again.”

Earlier this year, an organization called Science Debate 2008 had tried to convene a debate between then Democratic contenders Clinton and Obama and Republican McCain. No takers. Science Debate orgnizers then hoped that they might get to host an event in the fall. Obama has agreed to just three debates as controlled by the CPD. Perhaps the Science Debate 2008, Google and Open debates could get together and present a debate which allows for the 5 per cent threshold candidates. If Obama and McCain choose not to come, they must have their reasons, but at least we’d hear from the likes of Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin - maybe we can have some spontaneous dialogue that way. A novel approach to debate, spontaneity.

- Advertisement -

If you are interested in opening up the debates, you can e-sign this petition. If not for this election, than for the next.

League Of Women Voters Wikipedia Page
Open Debates
Science Debate 2008

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

www.polidoc.com
Polidoc is a documentary production company based in San Francisco. We produce short and long format films focused on the greening of politics. Our current feature length documentary, "Seriously Green" follows the story of electoral activists (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Appalachia Rising Despite Business As Usual

Ralph Nader Captures Much Needed California Ballot Line

Kent Mesplay Considers Effects of Nader's Independent Run on Green Party Convention

Kat Swift, Green Party Presidential Candidate, Crusades for Ballot Access

Clemente Wants to Turn Up the Heat