Ralph Nader speaks out against the presidential debates at Washington University in St. Louis from which he was excluded on Oct 17, 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The candidates* from four political parties – Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), Virgil Goode (Constitution) and Rocky Anderson (Justice) – will meet for a two-hour debate on Sunday, November 4, 7:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets restaurant located at 2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009. Busboys and Poets is a well-known venue for frequent political, civic and cultural events.
The debate will be moderated by Ralph Nader, and will focus on subjects and issues that have largely been ignored or avoided, as they are too controversial, by the 2012 Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
The questions and exchanges in the Obama/Romney debates have been cautiously circumscribed, predictable, scripted and repetitious.
Having experienced the challenges, obstacles and exclusions from ballots and debates as a third-party and independent presidential candidate, Mr. Nader is aware of how the conventional taboos and censorship produced by a two-party duopoly diminishes the political environment. This debate will highlight little-discussed major topics, redirections and citizen empowerments which reflect widespread popular interest, either by way of support or opposition.
Political debates should not be rationed. They should become more numerous, innovative and extend beyond the narrow routine of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), created in 1987. The CPD is still captured by the Republican and Democratic Parties, memorialized through a written, exclusive agreement every four years between the two candidates.
* Gary Johnson was an entrepreneur before being elected to two terms as governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003. Jill Stein was a practicing, Harvard-trained physician, former candidate for local and state offices, and a successful author. Virgil Goode was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997-2009. Rocky Anderson was Mayor of Salt Lake City for two terms (2000 – 2008) and a practicing civil rights lawyer.
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