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'Bipartisan Fraud': Debate Rules Shut Out Third-Party Candidates


#1

'Bipartisan Fraud': Debate Rules Shut Out Third-Party Candidates

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates on Monday released the polls it will use to determine which candidates will take to the stage in September for their first presidential debate—and shut out third-party candidates in the process.

The Hill reports:


#3

Now we see the real reasons that our elections were privatized, power handed over to corporations, and why the League of Women Voters and the Voting Rights Act were stripped of their authority.

The corporate parties don't want any stinkin' competition.

Neither Clinton nor Trump deserve the time of day in a true democracy. They do, however, have an entitled place in a dictatorship or oligarchy.


#6

Most of the polls I have seen don't even list Johnson or Stein, so how will either ever get 15% ?


#8

For all his faults, Trump is correct about one thing: " THE ELECTION IS RIGGED".

But not his interpretation. It is rigged by the duopoly of both parties against third parties!


#10

RT should teach american mainstream media a lesson, they should do a debate with all 4 candidates, call it the Real US Elections Debate 2016 or something like that.


#11

The bipolar "debates" between Trump and Clinton may well degenerate into just such a two-chimp spectacle Raven.
What the two anointed ones and the powers that elevate them fear is the contrast that Dr Stein and Gary Johnson would bring to the table, potentially/probably making trump look like even more of a loose-cannon idiot that cannot think before putting his foot in his mouth, and Clinton like the corrupt NeoCon/NeoLiberal servant of wealth, war, and pathological liar she is.


#13

History of the debates which used to be run by the League of Women Voters

This is from the book "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Behind Washington's Rigged Statistics and Where to Go From Here" by Keith Quincy. Can purchase an electronic copy for 99 cents

I have permission to publish any or all of the book on line. It is an important book on political economy.

From Chapter 7 Selling Congress

Taming The Presidential Debates

The last remaining bump in the road to mindless elections was the presidential debates. They did not fit the model of campaigns as theater. The debates were a recent thing, held at bay for more than three decades. The age of radio, begun in the 1920s, had created a national audience, yet the debates didn’t happen. No candidate wanted to be the first to debate before the entire public. What if he made a mistake, said the wrong thing, stammered his answers, or appeared indecisive? Could a bad performance cost him the election? Since it was untested water, no one knew the answer. Therefore, no candidate jumped at the chance to make history. It was too risky.

Franklin Roosevelt was as popular as a president could get. It put him way ahead in the polls. And he was no stranger to the radio. Roosevelt used the radio often for his fireside chats. The off-the-cuff soliloquies let him speak his mind to the public, but in a way that gave Roosevelt complete control. A radio debate was different. What if he made a mistake? Roosevelt could lose his lead in the polls. He might even lose the election. He refused to debate.

Eisenhower could have been the first president to debate on television. He turned down the chance. Eisenhower was enormously popular. But he was also an awful public speaker. He flubbed his words and often spoke in incomplete sentences that made no sense. Like Roosevelt, he did not want to throw away his lead in the polls by doing poorly in a debate.

History had to wait until 1960 for the first presidential debate. It was between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. The debate was so popular that the public made it a rite of passage for presidential campaigns. Future candidates who ducked debates were punished at the voting booth.

In 1976, the League of Women Voters sponsored the debates. The League was the ideal choice. Its sole purpose was to promote honest democracy through a discussion of the important issues of the day. With the League in charge, it was difficult for candidates to avoid tough questions on issues that really mattered. But this created a problem. Washington no longer served the people. It served the corporations and the rich. It would not do to have the League on television before a national audience asking questions that exposed the scandal of our stolen democracy. It was urgent that the Democrats and Republicans take the debates away from the League and run the debates themselves.

Three elections later, in 1988, the leaders of the two main parties conspired to hijack the debates. Behind the scenes they created the Commission on Presidential Debates. The name sounds official, like a committee that congress appointed to take care of the public good. It is nothing of the sort. It is a private corporation, funded by corporate sponsors like Xerox, Ford Motors, and the agribusiness giant ADM. And the commission certainly does not have the good of the public in mind when it organizes debates. At the same time, the Democratic and Republican candidates met secretly to make their own rules for the debates. These rules turned the debates into a glorified press conference. There would be no hard questions or no real give-and-take debate.

The League of Women Voters refused to accept these limits. It was clear the candidates wished to avoid substance and spontaneity and to skirt tough questions. They wanted to turn the debates into a fraud. The League announced at a press conference that it “has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”46
When the League backed out, the Commission on Presidential Debates was in the aisles waiting to take over. It has been running the show ever since. Under its rule, in the place of debates, the candidates exchange sound bites. Answers to questions must be crammed into a tight one and a half to two minutes. And the commission keeps third party candidates off the stage, even when polls show the majority of Americans want them included.47 Third-party candidates are too dangerous. They might raise real issues.

Even with all of the controls, candidates still worry they might make a flub in front of millions of voters. The commission protects them by scheduling the debates at a time when people are likely to be watching something else. This is why so many of the debates are shown opposite MLB playoff games.4


#18

So Bad!


#19

When I tell my executive students from Chinese Oil and Gas Companies that the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Commission is run by the Democrat and Republican parties, they just laugh and tell me that our system is just the same as China's.


#20

You know that the Greens are polling under 15 percent because the same group setting the rules for the debate and the same group who do not want to give the Greens or Libertarians a forum, are the ones doing the polls.

I mean whatt could go wrong?


#21

(sigh) just when I think he can't make me any more depressed…


#22

Unless you are a fan of reality TV, is there any reason to tune into the so-called debates? Two habitual liars. Little of substance will actually be discussed and people will learn nothing new.


#23

If Bernie truly wants to push his revolution forward, he should encourage his supporters to answer favorably for Stein and/or Johnson when polled in order to get them to the 15% necessary. If he remains silent on the issue, then he's part of the fraud.


#24

Do you support HIllary?
If you read this site and you support Hillary, please tell me why?
(And you cannot use the lame excuse-- I am voting with the sheep to oppose Trump)...

Tell me why, for I would seriously like to know why?
Please have the courage to tell me why...


#25

This U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates does not want any more Ross Perots coming around. They will set up road block, after road block, just like network television is a road block to nowhere.Time to go around this B.S. road block. We have our voices, and it is louder than theirs. We have strength in numbers, in people power. I for one won't be enough: however, together will get it done.


#26

The way to monkey wrench this disaster of duopoly is to demand voter counts, proof of true vote tabultions, vote verification by receipt, et al.The Libertarian and Green Parties must demand that their votes were actually counted. These make believe polls shut down your candidate: why, because there's a law about a 5% threshold to receive federal elections $$$$. Provide physical proof that my candidate didn't? Let's count every vote cast by matching it to a verifiable count system. If you can't, the count and election is invalid. Because I'm polling at 8% but I only received 1.6% by the voting count system. That's way out of the polling data? So, sue to verify your vote was actually counted. Be a good citizen and do the right thing: demand to see that your vote was truly counted.


#27

And that place should be: hanging mounted over the alter of freedom!


#29

The article should have mentioned that there is nothing official about the self-proclaimed "Commission on Presidential Debates." Just go to their website* and you'll see that the co-chairmen are:

Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. -- a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and
Michael D. McCurry -- a "Washington-based consultant" who was once Bill Clinton's press secretary.

What Americans should be angry about is not that the 2 dominant US political parties should attempt to set up their own media circus, but that the US media should help them legitimize it. Rather than a forum where the real issues that affect us are debated, it's a dog and pony show for the Democratic and Republican candidates. It's one more sick dimension of a sick political system.

There's no reason that the US media couldn't hold their own debate that would include all candidates that have a mathematical chance of winning, and have journalists ask hard-hitting questions about issues, like war and peace, that will in all likelihood be ignored in the so-called debate.

*http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=commission-leadership


#31

Why would anyone want to watch debates between a cheat and a warmonger, Clinton, and a bigot and narcissist, Trump? Surely there will be a good football game on by then.


#32

Last I heard the approval rating of Congress was around 9%. No wonder you never see them in public. Ashamed to show their faces, are they!