Currently, the presidential debates are controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties, through a private corporation called the Commission on
Presidential Debates. As a result, challenging formats and popular independent candidates are often excluded from the debates, and fewer debates are
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was created by and for the major parties. Despite its stated commitment to "provide the best possible
information to viewers and listeners," the CPD awards control of the presidential debates to the Republican and Democratic candidates.
The CPD demonstrates its subservience to the two major parties during the debate negotiation process. Every four years, Republican and Democratic
negotiators meet behind closed-doors and draft secret contracts that determine which candidates participate and under what conditions. The CPD, posing
as an independent sponsor, implements the dictates of the contracts, shielding the major party candidates from public criticism.
Rigging the Game:
In 1996, for example, candidates Bob Dole and Bill Clinton hatched a deal that ruined the presidential debates before they started. During debate
negotiations, Dole demanded the exclusion of Reform Party nominee Ross Perot, even though Perot's campaign had received $29 million in taxpayers'
funds and three-quarters of eligible voters wanted him included. Clinton, meanwhile, desired the smallest possible audience for the debates because he
was comfortably leading in the polls. As a result of their agreement, Perot was excluded, follow-up questions were prohibited, one debate was
canceled, and the remaining two debates were deliberately scheduled opposite the World Series, producing the smallest audience in presidential debate
Six weeks before the 1998 gubernatorial election in Minnesota, The Star Tribune pegged Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura at 10 percent in the
polls. Three debates later, on October 20, he was at 21 percent. Remarkably, Ventura's cash-strapped campaign had not yet aired a single television
advertisement. On Election Day, Ventura captured 37 percent of the vote and became the governor of Minnesota. Governor Ventura explained his
astounding victory, "I was allowed to debate. I proved that you could go from 10 percent to 37 percent and win if you're allowed to debate. Rest
assured these two parties don't want to ever see that happen again."
Your post was very informative, and makes a good point: It is a private set-up, which is advertised as an open debate. If people knew that it was a
private affair, fixed by both parties, and doesn't include everybody, perhaps, the spirit of fairness that resides in most Americans would
This alone is the reason why people should boycott watching such a sorry offering. I think the television stations that carry the debates should air
a disclaimer stating that the debates are a private affair, and as such, do not include all candidates currently running for office.
There is a 2-headed 1-Party system which are both controlled by the elites.
People are fooling themselves if they think either Party is going to make any substantive changes.
You'd be surprised how big a secret it is. My housemate has a law degree and 158 IQ. She's an Obama fan, and I swear to God she will not hear a bad
word about him or the current state of electoral politics. She won't even entertain the idea that the entire thing is rigged to keep third parties
out. She thinks Obama is the greatest thing since canned beer, and she's downstairs rooting for him in the debates right this very minute.
It doesn't bother her a bit what they did to Ron Paul, and what they've done to any number of other 3rd-party candidates in the past. Ron Paul never
even registered on her radar because he's a marginalized "nut." I can't even bring him up in normal conversation without her dismissing the very
idea as just a sign of my "conspiratorial" mind-disease.
She'll be sorry, I conjecture, but not surprised when I disappear into the depths of the police state never to be heard from again. It's my own
fault, you know, for not voting for Obama....
At least two of the original sponsors of the 2012 presidential debates have pulled their support over the exclusion of Libertarian presidential
candidate Gary Johnson, arguing that the commission which runs the debates is locked into a two-party outlook.
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