We're still hoping
Don’t take my progressive vote for granted.
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I tell you what surprised me is how entrenched the two parties have become. In August on Democracy Now!, Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party candidate, was being interviewed by Amy Goodman, and they were talking about how hard it is to get on the state ballots. The Dems and GOP take candidates to court to prevent it. He said Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo owed $81,000 and $20,000 respectively from judgements against them when they ran. He said this year the Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode pulled out because of a potential $100,000 cost in attorney's fees
-Mad Hemingway | Heart of Badger country | September 25, 2012
An Inclusive Candidate Forum
For many vote-for-least-troubling-candidate progressives, any reminder of how a third party candidate may have impacted the 2000 election allows Obama to take our votes for granted. Third party efforts to gain ballot access continue to be blocked by the deep pockets of both major parties. Large corporate donors conspire to control government through the theater of a two-party democracy where new ideas often fail to challenge status quo power structures. For many progressives, both 'sides' appear to feed from the same trough.
The two major parties benefit from mutual efforts to control the presidential 'debates' and further eliminate any third party involvement. Practical or ideological challenges to the status quo get no real traction. The two major parties retain their control of the corporate funding stream that allows them to dominate.
Perhaps an effort could be made to leverage the highly anticipated, yet contrived Presidential Candidate 'Debates' to open the national conversation to a wider range of possibilities.
I propose that a progressive or independent entity could use current technology to stage an alternative live video "Inclusive Candidate Forum". Here is how it might look:
The night after a Presidential Candidate 'Debate', an Inclusive Candidate Forum would be made available live via the internet. The format would be structured similar to the previous night's major party 'debate', using video clips. On stage would be two or three candidates from alternative parties, e.g.: Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Progressive... Also on stage would be a forum moderator. The major party candidates would be present via video clips from the previously broadcast Presidential Candidate 'Debate'.
The live, on-stage forum moderator would direct alternative party candidate introductions and statements in a manner similar to the previous night's major party debate. A video clip of each major party candidate's introductory remarks from the previous night's debate would follow.
The forum proceeds with a video clip of the previous night's debate moderator posing the first question to the major party candidates. The live on-stage moderator would frame and direct that first question to each of the alternative party candidates on stage. Video clips of each major party candidate's responses to that question would follow. The forum would continue in this manner to address each of the questions posed in the previous night's Presidential Candidate 'Debate'.
In alignment with the protocol of the previous night's major candidate debate, the on-stage moderator may direct to any of the alternative candidates the opportunity for a second response. The major party candidates being present only via video recording, would not have the opportunity to further respond.
This hybrid live/video recording forum might be seen as unfair to the major party candidates, as they do not have the opportunity to respond to third party candidates. Given that the major parties conspired to eliminate third party voices, perhaps in four years they may be compelled to be more inclusive.
-Rick | Woodruff, WI | September 26, 2012