Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Presidential Debates and Third Party Candidates

Have you noticed that none of the third party candidates have been invited to the presidential debates? I can understand why Obama would not want Ralph Nader in the debate. Nader voters would likely vote for Obama if Nader were not in the race. I can understand why McCain would not want Bob Barr in the race. Barr voters would likely vote for McCain if Barr were not in the race. But if you let both Nader and Barr in one (and I'm only asking for one) of the debates, wouldn't that balance out the lost votes from either major party candidate?

If we had a debate with the third party candidates, it would increase voter interest in the election and voter turnout would be higher. Anything wrong with that?

Both Obama and McCain are presenting themselves as a different type of candidate than the "politics as usual" candidate. They claim to rise above partisanship. So, Senators Obama and McCain, if you really want to set yourselves apart, as someone outside the "usual" politics, why don't you take the high road and invite third-parties to one of the debates? As David Brooks put it in a recent editorial: in this election, "weirdness wins."

If you agree with me and have a Facebook account, you can join the Let Third Parties Debate! group.

3 comments:

Eric said...

Hey Napp. At my new institution I was able to see Ralph Nader & his running mate Matt Gonzalez last week. I actually thought he made some good points on why third party candidates are needed in the electoral process and I agree that they should be on the floor for one of the debates. But, as Gonzalez said, the debate commission is set up by the (R) and (D) parties and thus, they have control over when, where, and who gets invited. (Correct me if he was full of crap.) Though I probably won't vote for Nader/Gonzalez, they were important to hear...if you are open minded. Both parties should embrace the challenge that Nader, Barr, et al. would present.

Tracy said...

yes, I would be very interested to hear them & see them included - could only help the others to be more clear with where they stand.

Dr. N said...

Tracy,
I think you're right. Including 3rd parties would help the major party candidates clarify their positions, and perhaps bring new issues to the debates.

Eric,
You are correct about the debate commission. It is controlled by the two major parties.