By Staff of IVN - The Commission on Presidential Debates, or CPD, has been under fire for its policies for several years now. For the past 24 years, the CPD has excluded anyone but the Republican and Democratic nominees from participating in the three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate in September and October before the election. An important lawsuit, Level the Playing Field, et al. v. Federal Election Commission, goes before a federal judge on Jan. 5. That suit seeks to accomplish what the CPD has refused to do on its own: change the rules to stop systematically preventing independent candidates from debating – and becoming president. Meanwhile, it seems no coincidence that the CPD itself is disintegrating.
By Janine Jackson for FAIR - After weeks of watching media rehash Clinton and Trump campaign talking points of the day, Americans can be forgiven for wanting to see some ideas injected into coverage of the presidential election. For some, debates are a natural opportunity to possibly pull candidates off script, force them to answer questions they didn’t write themselves. But, activists are saying, debates that include only the two major party candidates are far less likely to do that.
By Kevin Zeese for Campaign for Open Debates. The Campaign for Open Debates announced that it will be seeking open, inclusive debates and declared the so-called “Commission” on Presidential Debates, a discredited non-commission that is really a Democratic and Republican corporation, should be replaced by a true, independent commission. On the Campaign website (please like the page) it explains “The Campaign for Open Debates is independent of any presidential campaign. It is seeking to create open debates that include all viable candidates because doing so is in the public interest. We cannot have real democracy if all the candidates are not included in the series of presidential and vice presidential debates.”
By Jeff Cohen for Common Dreams. Debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will not do much to enlighten the political discourse in the United States. The US public deserves more and 2016 is the year for the public to insist on more. The phony "Commission" on Presidential Debates is really a Democratic Party-Republican Party corporation funded by big business. They are not a "Commission" in any sense of the word, they are a corporation using the word commission as a disguise. The two parties and big business should not be deciding who is included in the presidential debates. Below is an article from Jeff Cohen of Roots Action focusing on uring the media to insist on inclusive 4-person debates. It is a useful petition but without much more it will be ineffective. The corporate media makes hundreds of millions in profits from the elections. They will not go against the two establishment parties that buy advertising on their networks. More is needed. The path to inclusion is not going to come from the media which has been consistently complicit in the debate charade. More is needed. The path will come if we can convince one of the two candidates to urge inclusion of all four campaigns -- the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Greens -- in the debates. Stein-Baraka wrote an open letter to Trump and Clinton yesterday calling for four-war debates.
By Green Party Watch. Maryland Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Flowers was forcibly prevented from participating in a candidate forum sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council and Goucher College on Monday evening. Flowers, who had been extended invitations to the debate twice by the organizers, was abruptly disinvited without notice two weeks before the event. When the candidates were asked to take the stage, Flowers stepped up . . . “This is one of many ways the two wealth-based parties create an unfair electoral system for those who challenge them,” said Flowers.
Ralph Nader for the Nader Page. Corporatized and commercialized elections reach a point where they stand outside and erode our democracy. Every four years the presidential and Congressional elections become more of a marketplace where the wealthy paymasters turn a civic process into a spectacle of vacuous rhetorical contests, distraction and stupefaction. The civic minds of the people are sidelined by the monetized minds of a corrupted commercial media, political consultants, pundits and the purveyors of an ever-more dictatorial corporate state. The dominance of influence money by the plutocracy and now big business PACs, such as that of the super-rich Koch brothers is just the beginning. The monetized minds don’t just rely on their “quid pro quo” checkbooks. They foster gerrymandering electoral districts so that politicians indentured to them pick the voters instead of a legitimate congressional district’s voters picking a candidate. And the debates now are more ratings inventory for Big Media than a discussion of major issues which remain off the table.