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Do the debates unfairly shut out third parties?
CBS News ^ | October 15, 2012 | Brian Montopoli

Posted on 10/15/2012 4:52:35 AM PDT by teflon9

The presidential and vice presidential debates are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit corporation that mandates that a candidate have at least 15 percent support in national polls to participate. Since the CPD took over running the debates in 1988, only once has a third party candidate been allowed to participate: In 1992, when Ross Perot joined Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush on the debate stage.

The dominance of the two major parties at the debates has critics charging that the system is effectively rigged to shut out other voices. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for president and former New Mexico governor, has sued on anti-trust grounds to be included this year. The CPD, he said in an interview, is designed "to protect the interests of Republicans and Democrats."

George Farah, the author of "No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates" and the executive director of Open Debates, calls the 15 percent criteria "absurdly high," noting that candidates who reach five percent support qualify for public funding if they reached five percent support in past elections.

"Third parties have played critical issues in raising issues that are critical to the conversation in this country," he said, pointing to the abolition of slavery and the creation of Social Security and public schools. "When you exclude them from the debate, you have a sort of ideological containment."

"Despite the fact that 40 percent of the country is independent and hungry for an alternative, third parties face herculean structural barriers,"

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: dinoparties; monopoly; stagnation; vicegrip
The Democrat and Republican Parties (which are really just two wings of one party) have a monopoly that would make the robber barons of the Gilded Age green with envy. George Wallace famously declared that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the 'rats and the GOP. Of course that was in 1968. A dime then is worth about 65 cents now. Still, that's not even enough to buy a small bag of M&Ms. Sad fact is, until we have a proportional electoral college (my lips to God's ears on this one), third parties will have a hard time making a real difference.
1 posted on 10/15/2012 4:52:43 AM PDT by teflon9
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To: teflon9

The constitution cuts out third parties by not providing for a majority.


2 posted on 10/15/2012 4:55:00 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: teflon9

There isn’t 65 cents worth of difference between the ‘rats and the GOP. There IS a huge difference between obama and Romney.


3 posted on 10/15/2012 4:55:41 AM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: teflon9

3rd parties dont work


4 posted on 10/15/2012 4:55:50 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: teflon9

I’d watch a Biden vs Rosanne Barr debate LOL


5 posted on 10/15/2012 4:58:03 AM PDT by Michigander222
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To: teflon9

The Communist Party and the Green Party will be well-represented at the debate.


6 posted on 10/15/2012 4:58:03 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: Michigander222

Me too...... what a spectacle.


7 posted on 10/15/2012 5:00:14 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: teflon9

Are the debates fair at all?


8 posted on 10/15/2012 5:02:00 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: teflon9

I always felt that there should be a stand alone debate for Third party candidates. Voters could watch them and decide. But it becomes too much of a circus to put them in with the R/D candidates.


9 posted on 10/15/2012 5:03:00 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: driftdiver

Third parties are pretenders.

The candidates pretend to run and be relevant. Their Voters pretend they are voting.


10 posted on 10/15/2012 5:03:00 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: driftdiver

Third parties either love drugs or the enviornment like a religion, but they don’t get enough of a percentage to be included in a real choice debate.

Once Perot elevated himself enough to be included with 11% and I think it would take that.


11 posted on 10/15/2012 5:09:51 AM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: teflon9
Do you know what this is? It's the smallest violin in theworld playing the tiniest and saddest song ever written.

May they continue to be shut out. ESPECIALLY THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY!
12 posted on 10/15/2012 5:14:18 AM PDT by righttackle44 ( I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine . . .)
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To: teflon9

Whaaa!

Stop pretending like the 3rd parties magically represent all the independents. The independents are largely indecisive, not looking for more options.

In most marketing scenarios the choices are between Coke & Pepsi, an incumbent or an alternative. Perot got into the debates in 1992, Anderson in 1980. There is no monopoly.

If Gary Johnson, or Rosanne Barr for that matter, had any traction with voters they could get on the stage as well.

The fact is these candidates don’t represent the independent voters either.


13 posted on 10/15/2012 5:18:04 AM PDT by rwilson99 (Please tell me how the words "shall not perish and have everlasting life" would NOT apply to Mary.)
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To: teflon9

Considering what’s happening to the GOP, we’re going to need a second party soon.


14 posted on 10/15/2012 5:20:01 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie; teflon9; All

A little thing called the Electoral College keeps it that way..


15 posted on 10/15/2012 5:23:59 AM PDT by KevinDavis (And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.)
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To: rwilson99

By that logic, 99 percent of the cars on the road should be either GM or Ford.


16 posted on 10/15/2012 5:24:30 AM PDT by teflon9 (Political campaigns should follow Johnny Mercer's advice--Accentuate the positive.)
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To: KevinDavis
Like I said, a proportional (as opposed to an odious winner-takes-all) electoral college would be a godsend. Fat chance of that ever happening, though.
17 posted on 10/15/2012 5:25:48 AM PDT by teflon9 (Political campaigns should follow Johnny Mercer's advice--Accentuate the positive.)
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To: rbg81

The “debates” are a farce.


18 posted on 10/15/2012 5:27:55 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Diseases desperate grown are by desperate appliance relieved or not at all.)
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To: teflon9

Oh, heck, let Rosanne Barr open with the national anthem...of course, provide earplugs for all present.


19 posted on 10/15/2012 5:28:44 AM PDT by CincyRichieRich (Keep your head up and keep moving forward!)
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To: CincyRichieRich

That could be a ratings booster. But her voice is a deadly weapon, so I don’t think the Secret Service would allow it!


20 posted on 10/15/2012 5:31:31 AM PDT by teflon9 (Political campaigns should follow Johnny Mercer's advice--Accentuate the positive.)
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To: All

If we had a primary system, like many countries do...a third party might do better. It would take a while for it to work though...

In most countries, a primary system consists of all parties. Once the primary is decided, unless the winner wins above 50% of vote, the top two voters advance to the finals. This eliminates the potential of third party spoilers in the finals, but gives motivation of voters to vote 3rd party in the primaries....


21 posted on 10/15/2012 5:37:44 AM PDT by Maringa
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To: righttackle44
Johnson wasn't a bad candidate in the GOP primary debates. He was interesting until he spoke out for abortion through the second trimester. That was a deal breaker for me.

I think the third-parties should get debates ahead of the two-party debates to see if they generate buzz and support.

22 posted on 10/15/2012 5:42:35 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Osama's dead... and so is our ambassador - Coulter.)
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To: righttackle44
Johnson wasn't a bad candidate in the GOP primary debates. He was interesting until he spoke out for abortion through the second trimester. That was a deal breaker for me.

I think the third-parties should get debates ahead of the two-party debates to see if they generate buzz and support.

23 posted on 10/15/2012 5:42:35 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Osama's dead... and so is our ambassador - Coulter.)
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To: teflon9

And there is not a dime of difference between the Libertarians and the flaming stupid global liberals who run both parties, either. A little more fascist than Marxist economically. A little more Charlie Manson than Jefferson, socially.


24 posted on 10/15/2012 5:47:16 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: teflon9

Concern about 3rd parties?! What about the Republican being shut out EVERY TIME by the left wing, POS liberal “moderator”? That’s what to be addressed!


25 posted on 10/15/2012 5:48:19 AM PDT by albie ("Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow." Benjamin Frankli)
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To: newzjunkey

I like a lot of Libertarian fiscal ideas but it’s always a deal breaker when I’m told I’m a bigot or dinosaur for thinking a guy should wait for sex until he gets married and should only marry a woman. I think the Libertarian party is now including many young folks that see the spending of the past years not working but have been successfully indoctrinated (by schools, family, TV, whatever) to hate Christians (at least the non wishy washy ones).


26 posted on 10/15/2012 5:53:45 AM PDT by chargers fan
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To: SaraJohnson
I've heard a lot of stupidity spread around about libertarian philosophy in my time here... But that one takes the cake.

If a Candidate can scrounge up the numbers to get on the ballot in all 50 States... Include them in the debates.

Some of you need to remember that today's Democrats aren't the Democrats of our Founders day and that the GOP itself supplanted the Whigs.

27 posted on 10/15/2012 5:57:48 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: teflon9

Crtics also charge that the debates always have liberal moderators.

Which is of course a fact.


28 posted on 10/15/2012 6:00:34 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: righttackle44

You mad bro or are you arms tired from carrying all that water? Upset that someone may come along and steal precious votes from your partisan masters? How dare those Libertarians exist! Their love of the Constitution, Freedom, and person responsibility obviously has no place in our Republic where the Democrats and Republicans live full times lives dictating the private behavior of others.

The Tea Party could almost be considered a 3rd party, as long as they can continue to marginalize the party obsessed, fake conservative, Republicans who look the other way every time their quarterback does something blatantly unconstitutional / unAmerican.

Every time someone mentions 3rd parties, Republican cry-babies get their panties all bunched up and being to sob about how Perot lost the election for Bush. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats want anyone to come along and upset the status quo that is driving this country into the ground. I thought more choices were a good thing, at least it is in regards to capitalism where it works wonders to the benefit of consumers. If it works so well there, why not in politics? How does freedom benefit from limiting choices?


29 posted on 10/15/2012 6:02:54 AM PDT by drunknsage
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To: teflon9

It’s up to the Democrat and Republican candidates who should be at the debate or even if there is going to be a debate at all.


30 posted on 10/15/2012 6:25:03 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: teflon9

The media having its “Oh, crap, we should have set up another Ross Perot” moment...


31 posted on 10/15/2012 6:38:27 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: teflon9

More than two participants in a debate would thoroughly confuse the average viewer.


32 posted on 10/15/2012 7:43:13 AM PDT by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: teflon9

Why clutter things up? At best, Johnson might pull enough support in New Mexico to throw it to Obama, but most likely, Obama would get it anyhow. If the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are just two sides of the same coin, the Libertarian Party belongs to both sides. It will never be more than the edge of the coin.


33 posted on 10/15/2012 8:16:19 AM PDT by pallis
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To: Moltke

That implies that the average viewer is less intelligent than one of my dogs. On second thought ...


34 posted on 10/15/2012 10:35:33 AM PDT by teflon9 (Political campaigns should follow Johnny Mercer's advice--Accentuate the positive.)
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To: teflon9

Most of the foreign car makers made in roads by exploiting underserved niches. Niche marketing isn’t going to get you into the presidency. It is a mass market, on a massive scale.

Anyway, Ross Perot endorsed Romney today. So the 3rd parties of the world have had their say.


35 posted on 10/16/2012 3:18:19 AM PDT by rwilson99 (Please tell me how the words "shall not perish and have everlasting life" would NOT apply to Mary.)
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To: rwilson99

Not just cars. ANY consumer item. You know that if you’ve ever set foot in a supermarket or WalMart. Point is that third parties are able into insert new, fresh ideas into the political “marketplace.” That’s one advantage that parliamentary systems (e.g. Western Europe, Israel) have over our sclerotic, intellectually and ideologically inbred “two” party system. Ever notice how no new democracy (OK, “representative republic”) ever adopts the US system but always goes for a parliamentary system. Like an article about this once said, who wants Windows 3.1?


36 posted on 10/16/2012 4:44:22 AM PDT by teflon9 (Political campaigns should follow Johnny Mercer's advice--Accentuate the positive.)
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