- voters; media; politicians; celebrities
- United States of America
This petition supports the simple idea that having choices in a democracy means being able to hear and see candidates from outside of the two parties that have had exclusive control of American politics for the past 200 years.
Third Party Debate date set: Oct. 19, 2008
Go to www.ThirdPartyTicket.com for details.
Please still sign this petition!
THE OBJECTIVE is for you to take a stand and SUPPORT REAL DEMOCRACY by encouraging four serious, highly experienced, and patriotic candidates running on the Libertarian, Green, Constitutional and Independent platforms (see details below) to hold televised and otherwise broadcast (e.g. YouTube, radio) presidential and vice presidential debates. The debates must take place as soon as possible and regardless of whether the Democratic and Republican candidates, who control the regular debate process, choose to participate.
This petition is addressed to:
1. Third party candidates (first and foremost) - because they must collaborate to organize the debates, publicize them and push for media coverage.
2. The media - because Americans want to have real options and hear real issues!
3. Sympathetic celebrities, politicians and other figures who can use their visibility to speak out and otherwise support the effort.
4. American voters - as one official noted in 1966 about Civil Rights-era mobilization in Mississippi, “the petition ‘is a forceful and dramatic expression of the feelings of [the] people…It does show that there is a good deal of organization at the grass roots level (cited in Andrews 2001, p. 88).’ ”
The petition is NOT an endorsement of any one candidate.
The petition is an endorsement of freedom of speech and voter's rights to have real options and to hear about real issues - not lipstick!
**(Worried about the “spoiler effect”? Read about it below.)**
The Commission on Presidential Debates, created and run exclusively by the Democrats and Republicans, has sole control over who can participate in the regular televised presidential debates. The Commission’s rules prohibit any serious candidates from participating in any debates even if they have collected the hundreds of thousands of signatures necessary to get onto all state ballots and have millions of supporters among voters.
Participation is allowed only for candidates polling at or above 15% nationally. This threshold is completely unreasonable for anyone who does not have millions and millions of dollars to buy media exposure. The commission’s rules are designed only to give the two parties exclusive control for setting the national agenda.
Candidates who can not participate in televised debates have no chance to rise in national rankings. At the same time, the Democrats and Republicans simply claim that there are no “serious” candidates out there - and so the cycle continues! Consequently, the debate rules effectively stifle any real discussion of the issues not covered by the two parties.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE A STAND
In early September, 2008, Ron Paul, a Republican congressman and former presidential candidate from Texas convened a conference at the National Press Club that brought together an impressive group of third party candidates from across the political spectrum: Chuck Baldwin, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader and Bob Barr (Barr did not attend the conference but supports the joint effort). The candidates have different platforms, but all agree on several key issues, including, for example, ending the Iraq War, opposing the Patriot Act and opening up the presidential debates!
(Read all five points of agreement among the candidates here: http://www.votenader.org/weagree/)
You can also watch the entire Ron Paul/ third party conference here:
With the initial boost from the Ron Paul conference, it is time for American voters to encourage third party candidates to go even further and organize open, democratic presidential debates, even if McCain and Obama decline to take part! It is time for the media to broadcast real debates and real issues. You can show your support by signing this petition.
Worried about the “spoiler effect”?
Convinced that Ralph Nader could “spoil” the election for the Democrats? Well, Bob Barr, the former Republican congressman and now Libertarian presidential candidate is being sued by the McCain campaign for ballot access because Republicans believe that he may take away their votes. So what does this mean? It means that third party candidates represent a range of political positions and therefore any votes they get will affect both the Democratic and Republican candidates, not just one side or the other.
Want to hear even more convincing arguments? Watch the third party candidates talk about the issues of “spoiling” the election for McCain and Obama, as well as many other important topics. Check out these YouTube videos:
McCain vs. Bob Barr lawsuit:
Bob Barr on “spoiling” the election for McCain:
Ron Paul on “fragmenting the Republican party” and other issues:
(*Note: Ron Paul is not running for president)
Ralph Nader on “spoiling” for Democrats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV8shKupf2I
Ralph Nader on many other issues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjUcQeUNsbE
The CANDIDATES and select ISSUES (As of Sept. 17, 2008)
Bob Barr (Libertarian Party)
-Former Republican congressman and U.S. Attorney from Georgia
-On 44 state ballots
-Supports free market capitalism
-Supports personal liberty
-Advocates for a small federal government
-Supports expanding private healthcare insurance policies
Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party)
-Pastor, conservative political activist
-On 37 state ballots
-Supports strict interpretation of the constitution
-Advocates gun ownership
-Favors giving more control over education to communities and parents
Cynthia McKinney (Green Party)
-Former Democratic congresswoman from Georgia, teacher.
-On 32 state ballots
-Strong abortion rights supporter
-Supports increasing welfare state
-Advocates for environmental protection
-Opposes war on drugs
Ralph Nader (Independent)
-Consumer rights advocate, lawyer, progressive political activist
-On 46 state ballots.
-Supports single payer national healthcare
-Supports impeaching Bush and Cheney
-Opposes nuclear energy but supports solar
-Wants to strengthen the civil justice system
By signing this petition along with my fellow Americans, I support the effort to open up and democratize the presidential debate process, even if the Democratic and Republican candidates decide to play politics as usual.
I call on third party candidates to work together to organize presidential and vice presidential debates and to promote them as widely as possible. I encourage sympathetic celebrities, politicians and prominent figures to support this effort. I also call on the mass media to broadcast the entirety of each of these debates.
In case the mass media turns a blind eye, I call on the candidates to petition and otherwise engage media channels (ABC, Fox, NBC, PBS, CNN, CSpan, etc.) to broadcast the debates. They should also be broadcast on YouTube and any independent media channels (e.g. DemocracyNow.org; Indymedia.org; community channels, etc.), as well as on all the candidates’ websites.
I believe that through combined efforts, third parties will be able to generate greater exposure and public interest in the debates.
I recognize that this petition is NOT an endorsement of any one candidate.
I am signing this petition to show that American voters want and deserve to hear about real issues and real choices - not lipstick!
I call on fellow Americans to circulate this petition as widely as possible on blogs, networking sites, websites, listservs, and in any other way, so that the debates can begin as soon as possible.
The Make the 2008 Presidential Debates Open and Democratic petition to voters; media; politicians; celebrities was written by A and is in the category Politics at GoPetition.