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An Opportunity to Open Presidential Debates: The Nation

An Opportunity to Open Presidential Debates – Yahoo! News

Presidential debates should include all candidates who have qualified for a sufficient number of ballots lines to accumulate the electoral votes to be elected president.

It is not all that easy getting on ballots. And those candidates who meet the standard — usually no more than two or three beyond the major-party contenders — deserve a forum.

Would that put too many candidates on the stage? Don’t be silly. Both Obama and McCain came from crowded fields of Democratic and Republican contenders who debated frequently — and functionally — prior to and during the primary season.

In other countries, such as France, presidential debates are open not merely to the two most prominent candidates but to the nominees of all parties that display a reasonable measure of national appeal. The discussions are livelier and more issue-focused, and they tend to draw the major-party candidates out — providing insights that would otherwise be lost in the carefully-calculated joint appearances that pass for fall debates in the U.S.

The corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates — which was set up by former chairs of the major parties and their big-media allies to limit access to the most important forums for presidential nominees — has made mockery of the democratic process. And some, admittedly very foolish people, have actually convinced themselves that one-on-one “debates” organized by party insiders to fit the schedules of friendly television networks are meaningful.

The truth is that America needs more and better debates. And Google and YouTube have taken an important step in opening up the process by establishing the ten-percent threshold — a standard that is significantly easier for an independent or third-party candidate to meet than the CPD’s overly-strict and anti-democratic regulations. (Among rules, the commission requires a candidate who is not running with the approval of the Democratic and Republican parties to attain a 15-percent support level across five national polls.)

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