Wednesday 8 July 2015
Today I received the email below from the Green Party of the United States, and I responded by writing the following letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates. I urge you as well to compose a similar letter in your own words, even if you disagree with my political views but stand for open, fair, and inclusive public debates.
In hindsight I wished I’d added a demand for rigorous and honest debate, not rehearsed campaign slogans and sidestepping speeches designed to distract voters and avoid the responsibilities of debate. Dr. Jill Stein is once again the presidential candidate for the Greens, and she is an articulate, knowledgeable, and formidable debater. Turn her and the others lose upon the public stages of America! Again, this is not about supporting Jill Stein or any one particular candidate or political party, but about opening up a closed system that in being so closed makes a mockery of the U.S.A. as a democratic republic.
|William —Earlier this year we told you about two lawsuits we have joined to open up the national debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). For years the Commission has hosted Presidential and Vice Presidential debates featuring only Democratic and Republican candidates. Now the Commission has indicated that changes may be coming to the debates and is looking for public input regarding the rules for participation, among other reforms.This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. This is the first time the Commission has asked for public comment. Let your voice be heard now!Click here to send your comments to the Commission on Presidential Debates.Comments are due FRIDAY so write today!We’ve made it easy for you. Here are talking points you can make to the Commission in your comments:
-The Constitution contains no mention of political parties, and there is no legal requirement that the President be a member of one of the parties that exclusively participate in CPD-sponsored debates.
-According to independent polling data, interest in independent and minor party identification and candidates are at an all-time high.
–The Commission’s requirement that candidates poll at least 15% in national polls in order to participate is absurdly high. The requirement also assumes that all candidates are included in polls, which they are not. Minor party candidates like the Green Party are rarely listed as options in national polls.
-There is an easy standard for limiting who should be allowed in national debates – only candidates who qualify for enough state ballots to theoretically win the Electoral College should be invited. In 2012 only four candidates would have met this requirement. This is an easy way to set a clear standard and prevent overcrowding the debate stage.
We need YOU to weigh in on this important opportunity for millions of Americans to see Green Party candidates in national debates.
This Friday is the deadline for comments. Don’t delay – go ahead and write to the Commission on Presidential Debates today!
Donate here to help us continue to fight for more open debates.
|Green Party of the United States · PO Box 75075, Washington, DC 20013, United States. This email was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.|
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COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
In planning for each debate cycle, the CPD has reviewed the results of the most recent debates and examined ways in which to improve their value to the public. The CPD invites individuals and organizations to submit suggestions regarding the 2016 debates, including (but not limited to) the process by which candidates are invited to debate, the various formats used in the debates, and the use of technology to enhance the educational impact of the debates. All comments will be made public at the end of the comment period, which presently is scheduled to close on Friday, July 10, 2015. Please fill in the contact information below and use the balance of the space to submit up to ten single-spaced pages. If you have additional materials you believe are necessary, please mail them to the CPD at:
Commission on Presidential Debates
2100 M Street, NW #170-313
Washington, DC 20037-1233
(Author’s Note: I composed my letter below with paragraphs. It came out as one paragraph after I clicked “Submit.” Below I built the my paragraphs back in. Errors including misspellings are not corrected below and are left as originally sent to the Commission. Read on, write your CPD if you’re a registered American voter, and thank you.)
Name: William Dudley Bass
Email Address: email@example.com
Organization: Green Party U.S.A. & the Socialist Alternative Party
Address: (I removed this. It will be made public at the end of the comment period.)
Sent from IP Address: (I also removed this. It will be made public at the end of the comment period.)
Dear Members of the Commission on Presidential Debates,
Please open the Presidential Debates to the World. Certainly to the general public of the United States of America. Open them to proven parties alternative to the mainstream duopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. It is just, it is fair, and it is the right thing to do.
Opening up the debates to those candidates not associated with the “DemRep” system would be tantamount to a revolutionary act and rank along many of the amazing achievements in recent months. For the Democrats and Republicans, once new and smaller themselves once upon a long time ago, are far more alike than not and are both dominated and/or influenced by Big Business and Financial interests. Essentially this results in our current, so-called two-head snake situation where successful candidates mostly come from the upper classes, run in the same circles, divide the public with antagonistic socio-cultural emotional issues, but more or less maintain the same economic and political policies that hold our great republic back and down. Opening up the process to include other candidates will help remove corporatist control over our political and governmental processes, but also help the Republicans and the Democrats reclaim their parties as clear choices, not muddled, confusing two-headed snakes.
It would be wise to stop referring to alternative parties to the Democrats and Republicans as “minor parties” or “third parties.” There are far more than three, and they have the chance to move forward and become significant players by removing such unconscious programming terms such as “minor.” Call them alternative parties, or secondary, or up-&-coming parties. There will be less gridlock as well with more parties represented in governmental institutions. The Libertarian, Green, Socialist Alternative, Justice, and other parties offer real choices.
I stand with the Greens with their proposal: “There is an easy standard for limiting who should be allowed in national debates – only candidates who qualify for enough state ballots to theoretically win the Electoral College should be invited. In 2012 only four candidates would have met this requirement. This is an easy way to set a clear standard and prevent overcrowding the debate stage.” ~ Green Party of the United States
Thank you, and all the Best.
William Dudley Bass
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Click here to go the Public Comment page to leave your own letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates: <http://www.debates.org/feedback-form>.
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Copyright © 2015, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.