Widening the Debates

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Third partiers Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party and David Cobb of the Greens will tease front-runners Bush and Kerry as they do their first debate by taking

questions from media, students and the public in an open forum the night of–and just feet from–the first televised "debate" between the two-party candidates.

The debate will take place on Thursday, September 30, at 5 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Ballroom, 1350 S. Dixie Highway, in Coral Gables. Pacifica Radio will interview audience members and debate participants following the two hour debate. From 9 p.m. until 10:30, the candidates and audience will watch a live broadcast of the restricted, two-party debate after which Badnarik and Cobb will offer their rebuttals.

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

Full press release, quoted above, here. According to that release, they are charging for tickets–which seems a bit penny wise, pound foolish to me–$5 for students, $10 for others.

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  1. I’d pay for it if I lived in the Miami area. What Bush and Kerry are engaging in has no business being called a debate.

  2. A great takedown of the “Commission on Presidential Debates” was published today (if someone could tell me why I can’t get standard html to show as a link here I’d be grateful):
    http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=15fe0f1548c6b4b3333f587bb9c0b571

  3. What these guys need to do is:

    – promote the heck out of this in the time remaining. At the very least post to newsgroups, blogs, email lists, message boards, etc.

    – stream it live over the internet

    – do the same thing for the other debates.

  4. Cute, but they’ll never get in the debates until they’re well over 1% in the polls. The lion always eats before the jackal, that’s life.

  5. I have no Pacifica affiliate where I live – is there an online outlet that can be expected to broadcast this? I guess one of the C-SPANs will show it a few days later and maybe host it online….

  6. Actually Douglas, Badnarik is already “well over” 1% in polls that bother to include him. (He’s usually polling at 3% in those.) However, the threshold for participating in the debates is 10%, as I recall.

  7. Lonewacko and others: The “Real debate” will be streamed live (and potentially archived) at http://www.FreeMarketNews.com. Check out their website for details.

    What I wish they would do, would be to video tape Badnarik and Cobb in front of a blue or green screen, as they answer the same questions as Bush and Kerry. The format of the “official” debate, providing no cross-interrogation between the participants, and restricting the interplay and follow-up in other ways, provides a perfect opportunity to “Forrest Gump” the alternative candidates into video of the actual debate, as if they were actually there. Here is a project that Aaron Russo could sink his movie-producer’s teeth into: creating the debate that should have been, for distribution everywhere. Making the audio-only version of that production is certainly a project that anyone with a modern personal computer and inexpensive audio editing software could accomplish in relatively short order. If I can get clean audio of the two events, I may even give it a crack, myself.

  8. Okay, “give it a try,” or “take a crack at it…” take your pick. Whaddya want, I just got out of bed. 😉

  9. SR,
    The duopoly debates require 15% of likely voters plan to vote for the candidate in order to participate in their “debate” club, which is quite a challenge when most polls mention only 2 or 3 candidates. The article I referenced above has some details.
    (Hey Hit and Run staff, please provide a note telling board participants how to live-link an article–despite your note, standard html doesn’t work. Thanks.)

  10. “Actually Douglas, Badnarik is already “well over” 1% in polls that bother to include him. (He’s usually polling at 3% in those.)”

    I wouldn’t consider 3% well over & I’ll bet you a box of Krispy Kreme Krappies that he won’t get 3% of the vote. By “well over” I mean that he’s getting enough attention for there to be a general pressure from the public, media, etc., to include him in the debate. As I recall Perot was getting numbers upwards toward 15-20% when he was included in a debate back in ’92.

    The ‘rules’ might say 10% but they can change the rules anytime they want. I would think 10% would be too low for there be enough public pressure to build for inclusion but it would depend on who the candidate was, too, I suppose.

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