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December 1, 2020  
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Issue No. 7 - A Time To Vote
C O N T E N T S :

Introduction: A Time to Vote

Voting, Not Voting, and What Really Matters

A Persuasive Progressive: G&G Interviews David Cobb

The Great Presidential Debate...Hasn't Happened Yet

The Strange Rise and Fall of Howard Dean

Open Letter to Progressives: Vote Cobb and Kerry

Making a More Delicious Democracy

What Shall the Perplexed Voter Do?

2000 Cometh Again: Will Kerry Gore Himself?

The Soil: G&G's 2004 Election Guide


The Great Presidential Debate
Hasn't Happened Yet

There hasn't been a real presidential debate yet, because the corporation who organizes the official debates is unfortunately a fully funded wing of the two corporate parties who share power in this country. As recently as 1988 the League of Women Voters organized the debates. The League is nonpartisan rather than bipartisan, and this made all the difference.

"We have no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American people," proclaimed the League of Women Voters in abandoning sponsorship of a scheduled 1988 presidential debate. The League withdrew to expose the Democrats' and Republicans' attempt to dictate every detail – down to camera placement – of the "debates" that today deserve to be called infomercials.

The LWV has not participated since, but was replaced by an entity with no such reservations about duopoly control – or subjecting viewers to events that make watching professional bowling a more engaging alternative.

To America's disgrace, a private corporation has since directed the nationally televised presidential debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a joint creation of the Democratic and Republican parties, has – surprise! – created rules that will shut out any third party or independent candidates and displays only its owners' nominees... Continued

– From FAIR magazine's
"Presidential Debates Are Duopoly by Design"   


In 1992, Ross Perot was polling at 8%, and he was allowed into the debates. Each debate that year enjoyed a larger viewership than the last, as Perot's critiques of Free Trade pacts enlivened the discussions. His participation in the debates surely contributed to his popularity and his eventual 19% of the vote on Election Day. Problem is, this 19% was credited with "spoiling" the election for George Bush and electing Bill Clinton. So the Commision on Presidential Debates (CPD) raised the bar on participation. Now, essentially, no third party candidate will ever be able to participate. A candidate must poll at 15% in five selected national, corporate-sponsored polls before being allowed to debate. What's worse, today this bipartisan corporation not only blocks third party candidates – despite poll after poll showing clear majorities of Americans want third candidates in the debates – CPD also allows the two parties to carefully script the format, mood, questions, and physical setup of each 'debate.'

G&G joins Ralph Nader, David Cobb, Michael Badnarik and the overwhelming majority of Americans in demanding a "Citizen's Debate Commission" [More at opendebates.org]. Any candidate who will appear on enough ballots to win the election should be able to make his case to the American people. If there must be a percentage criterion, it should be graduated, debate by debate. The first debate should have no requirement. The second debate could have, say, a 5% cut-off. And then the third debate could have a 10% cut-off.

For now, we present to you virtual reality.

Below is a "virtual" full debate that occurred on Thursday, Sept. 30 in Miami. Kerry and Bush did their 'debate' at the University of Miami, while at the Holiday Inn barely a mile away, Cobb and Badnarik did theirs.

The September 30 Virtual Debate
Kerry vs. Bush Debate
(Democrat vs. Republican)
Audio | Transcript
Cobb vs. Badnarik Debate
(Green vs. Libertarian)
Video
Also, Pacifica Radio's free-flowing coverage of Sept. 30 includes interviews with Ralph Nader and David Cobb as well as a full broadcast of the Kerry-Bush debate.


Also see:
Sept. 6 Cobb vs. Badnarik Debate
(Green vs. Libertarian)
Video
Oct. 5 Edwards vs. Cheney Debate
(Democrat vs. Republican)
Video | Transcript
NEW!
Oct. 10 Presidential Debate
(Green vs. Socialist vs. Constitution vs. Libertarian)
Video
NEW!
Oct. 7 Virtual Vice-Presidential Debate
(Includes five candidates)
Audio | Transcript

 

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