Who gets to debate?

presidential-debate-mitt-romney-barack-obamaNot Green Party candidate Jill Stein or Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, evidently, and Stein is crying foul.

Will a mano a mano between Clinton and Trump bring more ratings than adding the two other candidates? That’s a big question because at the end, the decision rests with shekels.

An organization I belong to and love, the League of Women Voters, once ran the debates, but backed away in 1988 over demands placed by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which was created in 1987 by the two major political parties.

As Leftover says (he sent these links), why don’t we let the nonpartisan LWV have control over the debates again? Where’s the harm in opening up the conversation?


8 responses to “Who gets to debate?

  1. I think turning control over the debates back to the LWVEF is a good idea. Much better than turning it over to television networks, who essentially control it now. I do like the idea of including those candidates who are on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning, but not with involving national polls, (“a vapid exercise in faulty math”), in the process. Public funding would be a necessity.

    Guaranteeing a spot to eligible alternative party/independent candidates in the Presidential debates might encourage more mainstream media coverage of such candidacies early on in the election cycle, a more fair and balanced approach. Some research has shown, if done responsibly, increasing such coverage of competing political candidates early on in the process has a net positive effect on the democratic process. Less partisan hostility. Less tribalism. More focus on issues.

    Reducing for-profit media goliath involvement in the electoral process, repairing it to a position of investigator and reporter from its assumed position as player, can only be a good thing. There’s enough money corrupting our politics already. Treating our elections like a commodity, with major media entities fighting to control a market trading in sensationalism and disinformation, as we can see most clearly during this election cycle, corrupts the process even further.

    Repairing the for-profit media goliath to that more traditional role, increasing media exposure of alternative political perspectives, might also make it less vulnerable to manipulation by the two legacy parties. Another problem we’ve seen from both sides of the aisle this cycle.

    • It strikes me that you’ve raised several good points. For me, it comes down to fairness. Is it fair that the Green and Libertarian party candidates aren’t allowed on the stage? To what end? (I know the answer to this already: $$$$).

      • It’s not fair…to anybody…to exclude any Party candidate or independent who has a mathematical chance of winning, (based on State ballot access and Electoral College rules).

        Excluding insurgents limits choice, a position favored by both legacy Parties, (even though only one has taken rigorous proactive measures against insurgency within its ranks. Limiting choice is an exercise in control…the manufacture of consent.

        It’s easier to manipulate an electorate that is ill informed and a marketplace with limited available commodities. And you’re correct. All this serves the Economic-Elite Domination and Biased Pluralism that corrupts the democratic process. The more money such corruption brings home to the people who own this country…the people who own the media…the people who own the Government…the better they like it. That’s the only outcome those people are actually interested in. The rest of us can just deal with it…or not. As long as the cash register counts right at the end of the day, who is sitting in what chair ceases to be an issue.

        Other than the obvious entertainment factor.

        • I would say that Gary Johnson certainly has my attention, though after this it’s for all the wrong reasons.

          • Yeah…not a good day for Gary. Or Matt Lauer.

          • And I just read the NYT, covering Johnson’s ignorance, had to correct itself twice. If the Gray Lady can’t get it right? Gary gets a pass.

            • I believe he also issued a statement that reiterated that he is human. I can get next to that.

              • Read that. And at least he admitted outright he didn’t know something. That’s a plus for any politician, really.

                It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on over there. Just last week we had allies (Turks) attacking allies (Kurds) instead of enemies (ISIS). Go figure.

                It’s not like Gary is getting briefings like Clinton and Trump.

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