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Real Presidential Debates

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the think-on-your-feet dept.

Television 700

slithytove writes "As many of us are aware, the presidential debates are currently controlled by an organization called the Commision on Presidential Debates. As anyone who's seen a presidential debate recently could guess, the CPD does just what our two major parties want: exclude third parties and impose rules that make the event more of a joint press conference than a debate. Non-establishment candidates Michael Badnarik and David Cobb will be having an actual debate this Thursday. After debating each other, they will be rebutting the points Bush and Kerry make in their pseudo-debate. Free Market News will be streaming it and providing a download afterwards."

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"Real" debates (-1, Flamebait)

micromoog (206608) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377629)

I don't expect Bush to actually answer any of the points presented by Kerry this week anyway.

Re:"Real" debates (1, Interesting)

strictfoo (805322) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377649)

Yes, but Kerry will give the straight answers, as he always does!

Both candidates shovel tons of BS as does any politician.

Re:"Real" debates (5, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377672)

I don't think I would expect any more from Kerry. The debates are tightly choreographed and neither candidate's "handlers" are going to allow them stray far from a safe script. So, the debates end up being more about style than substance. Which candidate looks more "presidential," more like a "leader," and makes people feel good about them. Style over substance has been the rule for these debates for a long time.

Re:"Real" debates (1)

Xardion (215668) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377849)

Which of course is a reflection of the shallow and materialistic nature of American society, which unfortunately I belong to. God forbid we have any substance. The French might call us nerds!

Re:"Real" debates (4, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377680)

I don't expect Bush to actually answer any of the points presented by Kerry this week anyway.

I don't expect Kerry to actually answer any of the points presented by Bush this week anyway.

Re:"Real" debates (0, Redundant)

strictfoo (805322) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377728)

awesome, parent is flamebait, but the grandparent post is insightful - What is the CBS?

Re:"Real" debates (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377820)

And now the first comment on the problem is redundant. Gotta love Slashdot logic!

Re:"Real" debates (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377753)

In case anyone was unsure of which way Slashdot leaned, notice that this post is identical to the parent with "Kerry" and "Bush" transposed, thereby earning it a "Flamebait" instead of "Insightful".

Re:"Real" debates (3, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377874)

In case anyone was unsure of which way Slashdot leaned, notice that this post is identical to the parent with "Kerry" and "Bush" transposed, thereby earning it a "Flamebait" instead of "Insightful".

Given that Bush has avoided press conferences and made attendees at his speech sign loyalty oaths, accusing him of ducking questions has some basis.

Kerry may give inarticulate, confusing, and stupid answers, and generally fail around like a dying fish. But I don't think an accusation of him ducking questions has much weight, though I'm willing to hear arguments. (It might have been better for his campaign if he'd learned some question-ducking.)

Re:"Real" debates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377757)

I know you are but what am I?

Re:"Real" debates (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377767)

The parent isn't flamebait. The grandparent is flamebait. Why mod the responses?

My own thoughts on the debate are as follows:

- Bush will answer questions pointing to what he believes he's done well, and will generally skirt around some issues to avoid fibbing or outright lying. Expect that some legalese (i.e. responding to the exact words vs. their intended meaning) may be used to skirt around some questions.

- Kerry will answer every question by promising the moon, even if his promises are contradictory.

As for this whole dual-party setup of the debates, consider this: The panel did allow Ross Perot into the debates, and it was enough to prevent Bush Sr. from winning the election.

Re:"Real" debates (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377763)

I don't expect Bush to actually answer any of the points presented by Kerry this week anyway.

Duh, he's prohibited from responding to kerry in any way by the rules agreed upon by both candidates. So you won't see kerry responding to bush either. Just scripted responses to scripted questions.

Now ask yourself why both parties would want to set up the debates this way. Perhaps they have something to lose by having free debates?

Re:"Real" debates (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377802)

" I don't expect Bush to actually answer any of the points presented by Kerry this week anyway."

Which means he would be following the rules of the "debate." In the structure of the dog-and-pony show, the candidates will not be allowed to talk to/at each other, ony to the audience/cameras, and the only questions that can be asked are those prepared by the system, agreed upon by both sides, and asked by the people designated to do the asking (who are not the candidates).

About the only "answer" to "any of the points presented" by the other side allowed by the system is the gasping, huffing, hawing and incredulous looks Al Gore did during the '00 debate, perhaps with the occasional "Nuh-uh!" depending on the tolerence of the moderators.

DailyKOS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377630)

A liberal circle jerk gone too far.

Makes kuro5hin look like a capitalist loving wunderland!

Re:DailyKOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377690)

agreed, dailykos need to be SHUT DOWN, this is not about freedom of speach, it is about enforcement of laws against treason

Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377631)

Can we spread DVDs recorded off the stream around? Anything these two have to say is bound to be much more open and interesting than what the oligopolists have to say.

Re:Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (0, Troll)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377655)

Do this actually matter though. They aren't legitimate candidates for Pres so do I really care what they ahve to say?

I have to say that since Bush and Kerry are the only legit candidates to get the job (notice my wording) that I don't care about the other debates.

Re:Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377702)

I don't see why Badnarik/Cobb aren't legitimate cnadidates. The fact that their odds of winning are about the same as mine doesn't make them illegitimate.

Re:Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377734)

sadly we are a 2 party system. if you aren't in that party you wont' win. you don't have a legitimate chance at the job. 2 party system has to be changed before that will change. it's us politics.

Re:Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (3, Interesting)

WalterDGeranios (678649) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377830)

Do this actually matter though. They aren't legitimate candidates for Pres so do I really care what they ahve to say?

I think there's good reason [blogspot.com] to.

Re:Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (1, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377668)

Anything these two have to say is bound to be much more open and interesting than what the oligopolists have to say.

Unfortunately it will be worthless. Yeah, it may be interesting, but it will have little to no bearing on the main parties' campaigns, their strategy, or their eventual actions while in the White House.

The Republicans and the Democrats have little interest in what is going on outside of their only little world because no one in the majority really gives a shit either.

Until third party candidates actually have a shot at winning the elections (which will likely never happen in our lifetimes) their outlook on politics, the world, and everything else is utterly useless.

Re:Will this be copyrighted or copylefted? (3, Funny)

Yurka (468420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377852)

Nice sig. Only, the way it shapes up, it's "Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton and Clinton".

Flip-Flopping (-1, Troll)

Cowboy_Jed (817150) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377641)

Kerry don't need Bush at the debate because he can debate against himself for 90 minutes front of the audience.

Re:Flip-Flopping (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377664)

Been mindlessly absorbing some right-wing propaganda, have we?

Re:Flip-Flopping (5, Funny)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377669)

Tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign.

Heh. Bush could debate himself too, but he'd lose.

Re:Flip-Flopping (3, Informative)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377818)

I think the daily show did this at one point. they spliced together old news clips to debate President George W Bush vs. Texas Governor George W Bush. There were things like:

Jon Stewart: So what is your opinion on Foreign Policy

President Bush: We have a duty to bring democracy to the peoples of the world

Jon: Ok, how about you, Governor

Governor Bush: The US has no bussiness being the policeman of the world

Re:Flip-Flopping (5, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377730)

Bush: the paragon of "staying the course".

Unless you are talking about the Department of Homeland Security (was against it, then for it)

Unless you are talking about a comittment smaller government (has ran at least three times on that platform) yet created ANOTHER cabinet seat.

Unless you are talking about fiscal conservativism (and ran up the deficit).

Face it: Bush and Kerry are the same in more ways than they are different.

Republican: a Democrat without guilt.

Re:Flip-Flopping (4, Insightful)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377756)

Kerry don't need Bush at the debate because he can debate against himself for 90 minutes front of the audience.
And we can watch Bush flip [democrats.org] -flop [americanprogress.org] just as much. All canidates do it, except that both parties would rather watch the people argue over pointless crap ratherer than charge their prosepctive leaders with real questions about topics that matter. It's American politics, Jerry Springer style. Why ask a question about trade bias China recieves compared to Cuba concerning trade and embargo status when you can have the people steamed up over who did what during a war? Why question why America isn't being seriously persuaded to develop alternitive feuls despite dwindling reserves when the people can fight each other over gay rights? It is a tool to distract the people from what matters, so please quit falling for thier rhetoric and think for yourself.

Re:Flip-Flopping (2, Informative)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377781)

Kerry don't need Bush at the debate because he can debate against himself for 90 minutes front of the audience.

That's cute. Way to reguritate a sound bite from our Retard-in-Chief. At least put some critical thought in before being brainwashed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4 30 93-2004Sep22.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w p-dyn/articles/A411 45-2004Aug4.html
http://www.google.com/search?sou rceid=navclient&ie =UTF-8&q=bush+is+flip%2Dflopper

Re:Flip-Flopping (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377828)

The problem is that most Bush supporters don't know what the word "pragmatism" means. "Flip-flopping" is a 2 grade level phrase that makes it easier for the Bush supporters to understand, plus, it sounds funny! Kerry is pragmatic (look it up). Bush can't change course (ie: the disaster in Iraq), because they'd look stupider than they already do. So instead of saying "I was wrong. I made a terrible mistake. Let's fix this problem", Bush just keeps lying, saying "The war in Iraq is going great! The economy is great! Terrorism is down! Everything is great", when in reality, he needs to face up to the fuck-ups, and get shit fixed. Bush has made me, for the first time in my life, to be embarassed for being American.

15% (2, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377646)

So because they didn't poll at 15%, the Greens and the Libertarians can't make monkies out of the Demopublicans and the Republicrats.

Free speech and democracy at its best.

Re:15% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377693)

Where would you suggest they set the limit? It has to be somewhere, otherwise we're liable to see Bush debating that guy from "Laverne and Shirley". And nobody wants that.

Re:15% (4, Insightful)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377748)

Where would you suggest they set the limit?

It's simple, if you make the ballot in enough states to possibly win the elections, you should be part of any debate. Since you can get on enough ballots simply by mobilizing regular citizens, that would open up the debates to anyone with actual grassroots support across america.

Re:15% (1, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377803)

Where would you suggest they set the limit? It has to be somewhere,...

Why?

Limiting the discussion is helpful in what way? ..otherwise we're liable to see Bush debating that guy from "Laverne and Shirley"

"That guy" has just as much experience running the US government as Bush had in 2000.

What makes you believe a person who has been President necessarily makes him an authority on all topics, even the most important?

Re:15% (1)

strictfoo (805322) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377697)

Yes, we should allow anyone and their SuperSmallAndTrivial Party to show up at the debates and speak!

What are the Dirts and Losertarians polling at? .2% nationally?

Re:15% (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377707)

So, you think that the Greens and Libertarians would make Monkeys out of the Dems and Repubs.... if they were there then the Dems and Reps would prep for them and they can afford much better prep. I do think they would be very well prepared for the Dems and Reps. You give them too little credit. Even if they are feeding a line of BS.

Re:15% (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377758)

Well, that is giving the Greens/Libertarians too much credit. The Republicrats are quite capable of making monkeys of themselves without outside help.

Re:15% (1)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377733)

So because they didn't poll at 15%, the Greens and the Libertarians can't make monkies out of the Demopublicans and the Republicrats.

Damn straight. Michael Moore is only one man. Bill O'Reilley is only one man. Rush Limbaugh is only one man... ok, maybe a man and a half. They all make monkeys out of their respective parties. It's kind of sad though when right wing-nuts and socially mal-adjusted documentary makers get more respect and attention than two people legitimately running for president and trying to fundamentally change our government. I'll still be voting for Kerry though :(

Re:15% (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377817)

Michael Moore is only one man. Bill O'Reilley is only one man. Rush Limbaugh is only one man... ok, maybe a man and a half. They all make monkeys out of their respective parties.
So what party does Bill O'Reilly belong to?

Re:15% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377824)

Rush Limbaugh is only one man... ok, maybe a man and a half.

1998 called. They want their fat joke back.

Rush hasn't been overweight for years.

Re:15% (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377834)

Rush hasn't been overweight for years.

Certainly not since he started taking drugs.

too complicated to resolve easily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377768)

Problems with the current debate selection process:
1. Third party candidates are excluded. Countepoint is that fringe/vanity candidates that get on the ballot in 1 or 2 states are excluded.

2. Campaign funding is not fully made with public taxpayer dollars. This excludes candidates that cannot raise enough money. It also prevents a fragmentation found when every fringe group and their dog gets free public money to spend.

3. Selection of the moderator of the debate is with the essential approval of all candidates. This introduces a large fight about how 'biased' each candidate sees the moderator as being.

4. Debate rules are negotiated between the candidates.

5. The debate needs all major party candidates to participate. A debate with one of the major candidates and one of the fringe candidates is of no use.

6. The electorial process has some barriers to entry.

Re:Even if they did (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377779)

So because they didn't poll at 15%, the Greens and the Libertarians can't make monkies out of the Demopublicans and the Republicrats.

Even if they did, the American public probably wouldn't recognize that such a thing had happened. They still be like "Well, I guess I'm voting for that shorter monkey."

Re:15% (4, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377788)

Can we just be realistic here for a minute?

class Green extends Democrat


Really. This is what happens: smaller, single-point parties get swallowed up by the whole. This is how the Republican party came about, in fact, but at that time they were the liberals and the Democrats were the conservatives! Don't believe me? See what party Abraham Lincoln represented when he entered office.

19% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377807)

Perot got 19% in 92 (more than half of Bush Sr.) and yet was excluded in 96.

Re:15% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377842)

So because they didn't poll at 15%, the Greens and the Libertarians can't make monkies out of the Demopublicans and the Republicrats.

Yep. And according to the logic of this system, we might as well cancel the election, and decide the next president by opinion polling!

Nader opts out (4, Informative)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377647)

Independent candidate Ralph Nader, who has been invited to participate in the open format debate, has not yet accepted the invitation.

Obviously Ralph is holding out for an invitation to the Kerry-Bush debate. Or else he's afraid to set foot in Florida after the problems he caused in 2000.

Re:Nader opts out (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377675)

So Nader should have jettisoned his campaign to save Gore?

So we could have an inept Gore Administration in the place of an equally inept Bush Administration?

Gore lost Florida because of Gore.

Re:Nader opts out (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377740)

Did Nader get on the ballot in any state? He didn't even get on the ballot in Oregon (yes, it was on a technicality, but a legit one, as radical parties and lobbyists on both sides of the spectrum have played games in the past with petition signatiures).

And I'm sure his calling the Oregon election board "facists" didn't help things any (to my knowledge, the only people in Oregon who throw "facist" around with regard to the state government are the local Anarchists - though almost everyone calls the Portland Police Department that, but not to their faces).

what are your objections (2, Insightful)

avandesande (143899) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377653)

What are your objections to the rules of the presidential debate? they seem pretty reasonable to me.

Re:what are your objections (2, Interesting)

James Lewis (641198) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377745)

There are a ton of rules, but I think the most recent changes that had some people angry was that it is traditional to allow audience members to ask questions "town meeting" style. Instead new rules state that audience members will submit questions to the moderator before hand, and are not allowed to in any way deviate from their submitted questions, make comments, etc.

Re:what are your objections (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377822)

This does 2 things though....

1) It stops people from asking stupid questions or ones that aren't on the agreed topics. The debates each have specific topics and there are a lot of areas being covered in a small amount of time.

2) Saves time. Going to the Aud for questions vs having a list. It's is a time saver and keeps things organized.

Re:what are your objections (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377800)

Are you sure you read through the PDF linked in the article summary? This was discussed on last Friday's NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS. The conditions and restrictions imposed and agreed by both the Democrat and Republican candidates and parties make sure that everything is as scripted, planned and sugar coated as possible. I believe all questions that are asked must be submitted to the CPD and approved by both parties before they can be scripted , filtered and asked.

The fact that both parties and the CPD have squeezed out non-Republicrats from the debates makes sure that people watching the debates (the numbers have dwindled since the CPD took over the debates after the League of Women Voters stepped out over the demands of the two main parties) continue to think that other parties are not serious or even contending. It also helps perpetuate the problem of corporate interests who are contributing to both candidates, both parties, the so called "non-partisan" (and private) CPD, and pay for the debates. By doing so, they pretty much have bought even more shares in the mind of both candidates and hope to make them more sympathetic to the problems facing those companies.

Re:what are your objections (5, Informative)

formzero (187156) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377829)

go to OpenDebates.org [opendebates.org] . Click on "issue" if you want the full scoop on the objections. Do you support scripted debates with no invites to 3rd,4th,5th party candidates?

From OpenDebates.org: Under CPD sponsorship, the major party candidates secretly design all the elements of the formats. Consequently, challenging questions, assertive moderators, follow-up questions, candidate-to-candidate questioning, rebuttals and surrebuttals are often excluded from the presidential debates. The CPD's formats prevent in-depth examination of critical issues, and allow the candidates to the deliver pre-packaged soundbites that are repeated over, and over, and over again on the campaign trail.

Presidential debates were run by the civic-minded and non-partisan League of Women Voters until 1988, when the national Republican and Democratic parties seized control of the debates by establishing the bi-partisan, corporate-sponsored Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Posing as a nonpartisan institution committed to voter education, the CPD has continually and deceptively run the debates in the interest of the national Republican and Democratic parties, not the American people.

American flag? (5, Interesting)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377659)

A little OT but...

How long has this American flag background been on the Politics section? I only noticed today. Does this exclude discussion of non-American politics?

Re:American flag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377721)

You're new here, aren't you?

Re:American flag? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377723)

stfu commie

Re:American flag? (5, Funny)

flint (118836) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377736)

You're just jealous of our freedoms.

Re:American flag? (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377738)

How long has this American flag background been on the Politics section? I only noticed today. Does this exclude discussion of non-American politics?

Yes. Burn, commie!

Actually, that's a good question. I don't see how the flat would mean that anything else is off-limits, though. It's just the most common focus.

Re:American flag? (5, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377764)

Slashdot FAQ [slashdot.org]

Re:American flag? (1)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377784)

About the same time that they made a politics section, afaik.

Re:American flag? (1)

chamblah (774997) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377851)

That was asked when this section was created and I posted this [slashdot.org] as a reply to it.

I still think that it applies.

Sorry teabagger (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377857)

Slashdot is an American site.

huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377662)

Oh, this must be the debate where they convince people to throw their votes away to help reelect Bush.

How true (sadly) (3, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377666)

The current "debate" system is worse than flawed. It is nothing more than a joint campaign appearance. Preapproved questions, no talking to each other (!), no followups; no reason to watch.

Still, I'll watch, if only in the hopes that Bush will stumble badly over a fact or two.

Re:How true (sadly) (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377841)

Still, I'll watch, if only in the hopes that Bush will stumble badly over a fact or two.

Yet it seems that people favor that. They think that he is more like one of them when he sounds like a bumbling idiot. It's like the Law and Order episode that showed a celebrity event planner with a facial tick. The tick forces everyone to let their guard down... The majority of the American public think that you should make mistakes even when you are leading this country through a deadly war. They seriously believe that a wartime economy (including diverting relief funds to continue the fighting) is a good thing. They also believe that we should be overly paranoid about the world around us and that we should have a leader who is on the offensive against these forces of evil!

I seriously hope that someone cuts into Survivor and The Apprentice this week and explains what the "debates" really are (they better be dressed like Burnett or Trump) and that they are worthless or we are going to see yet another 8 point jump in the ratings.

I guess having a bad plan is better than having no plan at all.

Nader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377670)

Unfortunately Nader was invited before to debate Green / Libertarian and didn't show up nor did the Republican / Democractic party. He is invited again along with the Constitutional party. Once again only Cobb Badnarik said they will show up. Nader wants to be included in the debate with Bush/Kerry, but perhaps is playing a power move to position him self as the only 3rd party canidate. Yet he debated Dean from the Democrats, can only wonder what he is really up to.

C'mon Now (4, Interesting)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377677)

You think Badnarik and Cobb are more worthy to be called the third party candidates?

Get real now. Ralph Nader is registering 1 percent in the polls. He is more worthy of being in the debates than these two clowns.

Hardly anybody knows who Badnarik and Cobb are, why they hell should they be in the major leagues? Maybe if they ran a better campaign, got the names on the ballots, and polled better than 0%, they would be on prime time. As it is, I have no problem excluding any yahoo from the debate just because they think they belong.

Re:C'mon Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377752)

Badnarik is on 48 states ballots, Nader is on 33 states. Nader can't even theoretically win without winning from write ins from other states.

Re:C'mon Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377770)

Hardly anybody knows who Badnarik and Cobb are, why they hell should they be in the major leagues? Maybe if they ran a better campaign, got the names on the ballots, and polled better than 0%, they would be on prime time. As it is, I have no problem excluding any yahoo from the debate just because they think they belong.
The problem with that is that you need to petition and get at least 5% of voter's signatures to get on the ballot.

Oh, and i dont know about Cobb, but Badnarick is already on the ballot in 49 states.

Re:C'mon Now (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377805)

As to "Names on the Ballot", in most states that process is a politicized as the election. Here in Oregon, Nader got enough signatures to be on the ballot but the (Dem.) Sec State decided that the sigs of petition gatherers did not meet some reasonable legibility rule so he tossed whole pages of petitions out. The (Dem) Supreme Court agrees. Not surprising. In this state there are so many independent wakos that the Dem establishment are afraid a 3rd party candidate might throw the election to the Repubs and that is far more unacceptable then any mere fraud or illegality. For the record, I am not a Naderite, Dem or Repub. I am disgusted with all of them and will probably write in my pet weasel.

Re:C'mon Now (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377871)

Well, there was more to it thatn sigs of petition gatherers. Remember all the problems we had with signature shenanagins by both Bill Sizemore and Lon Mabon. We've got those laws for a good reason.

Besides, the conservatives get their hissy fits listened to also (like when there were the loads arguments against one of Lon Mabon's mesures that were disguised as arguments in favor and submitted to the voters pamphlet. Mabon's people got extremely upset and had a new screening process or something set up for Voter's Pamphlet arguments).

Re:C'mon Now (4, Insightful)

panda (10044) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377815)

Badnarik's name is on the ballot in 49 states. He's not on the ballot in NH because someone in the NH Libertarian Party failed to get the paperwork in on time.

If Badnarik and Cobb were invited to the debates, then people would know who they are and could hear them speak.

Maybe, if 3rd parties weren't so roundly shut out by the ruling oligarchy, more people would actually be interested enough to vote, and just maybe we could have some real change in policy, instead of six or one or half-dozen of the other.

Re:C'mon Now (1)

paitre (32242) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377835)

Badnarik is polling better than Nader in NV - and in fact, is polling high enough to cover the margin of error in the last several polls conducted there.

He's very likely to play spoiler, more so than Nader in 2000.

Badnarak (1)

Feminist-Mom (816033) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377681)

I read that he was a national champion debater in HS, so this should be interesting.

Re:Badnarak (1)

micromoog (206608) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377790)

Are you saying that he's a master debater?

Do you -know- how many candidates there are? (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377683)

Hell, I want full presidential debates. Every single candidate. [64.233.161.104]

The opinions of people like Mr. Larry J. Schutter [64.233.161.104] of the Turtle Party [aol.com] and Darren Karr [darrenforpresident.com] of Party-X [party-x.org] are every bit as valid as those of Badnarik and Cobb. Likewise, they all share the same chance of winning said office. What makes Badnarik and Cobb more deserving of a debate than any of the other "Dark Horse" candidates?

Re:Do you -know- how many candidates there are? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377821)

There is not enough air time on tv to cover all parties. The televised ones could be improved by including canidates on enough states to theoretically win. If you want to know what all of them have to say in writing feel free to read it at...
http://www.vote-smart.org/election_presiden t_party .php?party_name=All

It has them all fill out the NPAT national political awarnes test.

Re:Do you -know- how many candidates there are? (1)

spikev (698637) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377862)

I want full presidential debates.

That'd be great and all, but wouldn't a presidential Battle Royale [imdb.com] be so much more fun?

The CPD is a front group for... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377685)

The CPD is a front group for the Bildebergers, the CFR, and the Masons. They work behind the scenese to control our currency through an elaborate plot with Jewish bankers, Chinese manufacturing and shipping interests, Indian outsourcers, and Columbian coffee growers. We must do all we can to resist them.

Re:The CPD is a front group for... (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377836)

I thought it was the Illuminati.

"Debates" (5, Interesting)

Knightfall (558914) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377688)

Anyone who has read my posts can quickly guess I am a republican, but this "debate" process really turns my stomach. Practiced questions, scripted answers, attempts at "humor", and no outside candidates is unacceptable. We need these third, 4th, 5th etc party candidates pushing the mainstream runners to answer questions they don't want to answer. On paper Bush and Kerry are both so equally horrible that it is impossible to distinguish between them. Putting a strong third party runner in there with them with unscripted questions is exactly what we need to see what they really are. It amazes me they are both (Bush and Kerry) so fearful of getting a question they aren't ready for or being upstaged by someone actually in touch with true American feelings that they are their debate-fixing group make it impossible to find out anything that resembles the truth.

I've said it many times ... we have got to get a strong third party in place and soon to push the political mountain or we are going to watch these two parties merge into one uncontrollable monster.

Re:"Debates" (1)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377856)

Putting a strong third party runner in there with them with unscripted questions is exactly what we need to see what they really are

You hit it right on the head. Unfortunately, Ross Perot and John Anderson are what has passed for a strong third party candidate over the last 25 or so years.

So how does one determine the strength of a third-party candidate?

Elimination of the Federal Reserve (4, Insightful)

RanceMuhamitz (817066) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377694)

In the last third party debate Badnarik mentioned eliminating the Federal Reserve. He suggests using the American Liberty Currency [libertydollar.org] as an alternative currency that is backed by gold and silver. I think this is an excellent idea.

Dude! (0)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377699)

Down with the man, dude!

sweet! (4, Funny)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377703)

So the candidates that no one is going to vote for are going to have a debate that no one is going to watch?

/join #care-police

Non-troll content is low (5, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377714)

I wish Slashdot had a nutritional information label, so that I could look at it and see if it had any non-troll content.

The "official" debates are highly flawed, but to call them pseudo-debates because you don't like them is absurd. They are real debates, with real moderation and real issues. Many complain that there's really one Republicrat party with the same ideals, but I suggest that it only seems that way if your own interests swing wildly to one end of the political spectrum. Wake up, radicals, most people congregate somewhere near the center. It's generally only the unstable nations with strong factions at the extremes. I grow weary of people who demand instant change, and don't care if it's against the public will or good because they're sure they're right. That kind of thinking got us the Alien and Sedition acts and Prohibition.

That being said, I'm happy to see an alternate party debate and hope it is a success.

Another, even more meaningful debate (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377715)

My wife and I will debate over what's for dinner, what to do after dinner, and whether there will be any extracurriculars later that night.

Sadly, the debate is meaningless, as marriage is a dictatorship.

Fault on both sides (1)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377718)

Sadly, it is often as much the fault of 3rd party candidates and campaigns that they are not included in the debates. Third parties seem to fail, year by year, to do their homework.

Generally, to get into any debate whether it be persidential, state, or local, one needs only to contact the organizing agency before they finalize things and start doing press releases. Most 3rd party campaigns do not do their homework, do not maintain contact with the other parties, and do not find out in advance who's hosting a debate. Thus, they show up after the rules are set and the advertising paid, and demand to be included.

Granted, this does not absolve the most recent accord on debates from responsibility for the clause which prohibits BUSH and KERRY from debating anyone else... but you can see where the problem lies most often.

.

Re:Fault on both sides (2, Informative)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377793)

Third parties seem to fail, year by year, to do their homework

There you go. Shovel the blame back onto those who are left in the cold.

Generally, to get into any debate whether it be persidential, state, or local, one needs only to contact the organizing agency

That's pretty generally speaking and it's also false. Third party candidates, especially Libertarian candidates, have contacted debate organizers time and time again for months preceeding debates only to be rebuffed with red tape or outright ignored. Harry Brown (US-president) went through this in 2000 and Ed Thompson (WI-gov) had the same problem in 2002.

Most 3rd party campaigns do not do their homework, do not maintain contact with the other parties, and do not find out in advance who's hosting a debate

Hogwash. Especially, again, where Libertarians and Greens are concerned they maintain plenty of contact. In the case of presidential and gubernatorial elections there's no secret who is running the debate. The only issue is getting an invite.

Debating one's self (4, Funny)

stuffduff (681819) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377735)

Bush suggests that Kerry could debate himself for 90 minutes. This is probably true. Unfortunately Bush probably couldn't even pull that off; but the maliprops and 'Bushisms' of him debating himself would be priceless.

Ummm (1, Troll)

Skiron (735617) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377746)

Are these taken serious? Taking bollocks and getting a reply thats bollocks and vice versa?

At least here in England with just hear the bollocks with no debate.

Is this necessary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10377759)

Isn't there enough political crap on enough web sites? Must it infect /. too?

My time is valuable (0)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377775)

Why would I waste it listening to two non-contenders? I would rather spend that time listening to the debates, then checking the facts as presented by the candidates. I don't consider the debates to be a "press conferencene" - that's what the conventions are for.

By the way, my question is legitimate. What do I have to gain from two unknown non-players telling me what they want me to hear? I can find that information and more quite easily; you see, I have the Internet installed on my computer. Gaining knowledge of your agenda won't help me decide how to vote. I already know what issues are important. I now have to decide who (between the 2 people that have a chance of being elected) comes closest to my views.

Good (0, Flamebait)

Ravensign (134410) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377782)

I, for one, don't want to see two people who have no chance of becoming president gumming up the debate between to people that do.

I would rather see Bush and Kerry's smartest advisor's debate than two people of no consequence getting in the way of helping analyze the real cantidates.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377880)

Without the third parties "gumming up the debate", you won't see any debate between the "big two" candidates. What you're going to see is, as the slashdot blurb called it, a joint press conference where they agree beforehand which positions they will take, which questions they don't have to answer, and how they will argue.

In other words, there will be no value to the Bush/Kerry debate, other than to act as a launching platform for whatever catch phrases thier speechwriters want joe american to be repeating Frday morning.

And, btw, the reason they have such low chances of being elected is because they are excluded from the process. Not the other way around.

The only thing I worry about... (2, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377838)

Is what Bush did back in 2000 against Gore. Bush had such a complete lack of understanding of the subject that at one point he just called what Gore said "Fuzzy Math", which should have been a big red beacon saying "He doesnt know what he is doing" and instead people thought he was witty and that it won the debate through personality.

I just hope he doesnt think of something equally retarded to say that will completely avoid the question, while showing how childish he can be in front of the public.

hmm (1)

zerodl (817292) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377858)

I've spent a lot of time looking over the policies of both Bush and Kerry, and I do not think either of them are good. It's more like voting for the lesser of the two evils. But that's my opinion.

I'm sure I speak for the large % of the population (0, Flamebait)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377876)

when I say Who gives a Fuck?. If you decide your vote based on these debates you're a moron. Look long term at each of the candidates trends. Who cares if it's only a 2 party system, see the previous point.

OpenDebates.org (1)

jalano (309339) | more than 10 years ago | (#10377881)

OpenDebates has been doing a good job publicizing the lack of a real presidential debate recently. The founder, George Farah, was recently on NOW with Bill Moyers to discuss this. He also has a book out, No Debate, which covers this. The website is a fascinating read.
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