Open The Debates!
We the People demand all ballot-qualified candidates be included in the political debates over our future. It is vital for our democracy, and our very liberty, to include every candidate who made it onto the ballot in the debates for that office.
Started 8 petitions
HEY GOP: It's time to #MakeTheGOPDebateAgain & #HAVEAGOPDEBATE!
While the Democrats delve into their differing policy stances through a series of primary debates, Donald Trump and the Republican Party are increasingly scared of robust debate between the Republican candidates for president. With three serious challengers now, and a growing number of GOP voices criticizing the POTUS, the Republican Party has a choice: embrace the idea of vigorous debates or just fold up shop as a political party.
DNC: Open the Democratic Primary Debates to All 19 candidates
The "Democratic" Party has announced that out of 19 major candidates still vying to be their nominee for president, only 12 will be invited to the October 15 debate. Democracy means letting the voters decide, but four months before the first contest in Iowa, the DNC is trying to dramatically cut down the field. Using secretive, biased, error-prone, and arbitrary polling criteria is a horrible way to elect the "leader of the free world." Voters should have the opportunity to hear from all serious candidates for this important office in order to make a well-informed decision. The DNC should not interfere in this process. If they want to rely on polls, they could ask who voters would like to see included.
League of Women Voters: TAKE BACK the Presidential Debates for your 100th anniversary!
The League of Women Voters — the most respected voter education organization in the United States — was muscled out of the presidential debate game in 1988 by the Democratic and Republican parties. The major parties created the self-proclaimed "Commission on Presidential Debates" and colluded to give this private corporation a monopoly on the presidential debate process.When the League ultimately backed down, they did it forcefully, saying "The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public" and that the parties were working to "perpetrate a fraud on the American voter." In 2020, the LWV will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. It is time to celebrate just as forcefully, with a bold re-entry as a fair and inclusive host for meaningful and informative presidential debates.
Stop begging the CPD to #OpenTheDebates. Organize an irresistible alternative.
Every 4 years, a self-appointed "Commission" on Presidential Debates pretends to be a steward of a critically important ritual of presidential debates. But the CPD was created by the 2 major parties in 1987 to take control of the process in order to insulate the parties and their nominees from outside competition and meddling (like hard-hitting questions or informative debate formats). And every 4 years, civic-minded citizens, journalists, and organizations try to ask, even beg, the CPD to improve the debates in the public interest. The CPD pretends to take all of the feedback under advisement, yet never quite get around to improving on any of it. US citizens, journalists, interest groups, and organizations have unnecessarily ceded their rights to inclusive, meaningful, robust, and informative debates to an unaccountable organization.The solution is staring us in the face.We, the People of the United States, must come together, across the political spectrum, across our issue areas of concern and ideological, social, and economic divides, to put forward the most creative and compelling debate alternative that this country has ever seen. Freed up from the artificial constraints of the corrupt CPD, we can put together a debate format that reflects the deepest desires and strongest aspirations of the American people. Every single aspect of this alternative debate can be based on shared values and participatory discussion. The contrast with the approach of the secretive, anti-democratic CPD will be crystal clear. Open the Debates has been asking the CPD to open them up to more voices and more choices since 2012. But we're tired of asking, and we already know the answer. The answer is in each of us to take action and build the alternative they can't refuse to participate in!
Hey Republicans: Endorse our call to open the general election debates to more voices!
For too long, the Republican Party has worked with the Democratic Party to actively silence competition from outside the two major parties. With just 1 in 10 Americans feeling the two party system is working fairly well, 4 in 10 Americans identifying as independent, and 6 in 10 wanting a 3rd major party, it's time to open up the presidential debates to fresh voices and more choices.Please join the call to #OpenTheDebates to all candidates on enough state ballots to win the Electoral College. The major party candidates hold sway over the decision of the Commission of Presidential Debates, and you can refuse to participate in any anti-democratic, exclusionary debate that they try to produce.
Hey Democrats: Endorse our call to open the general election debates to more voices!
For too long, the Democratic Party has worked with the Republican Party to actively silence competition from outside the two major parties. With just 1 in 10 Americans feeling the two party system is working fairly well, 4 in 10 Americans identifying as independent, and 6 in 10 wanting a 3rd major party, it's time to open up the presidential debates to fresh voices and more choices. After all, 76% of US voters prefer open debates, compared to just 17% who want closed, exclusionary debates.Please join the call to #OpenTheDebates to all candidates on enough state ballots to win the Electoral College. The major party candidates hold sway over the decision of the Commission of Presidential Debates, and you can refuse to participate in any anti-democratic, exclusionary debate that they try to produce.
It’s time to declare our political independence! #DeclareYourIndependence #OpenTheDebates
From the Stamp Act in 1765 to the Tea Act in 1773, and ultimately the shots fired in Lexington in 1775 and the ensuing Revolutionary War, the American people have resisted the vile concept of taxation without representation. Yet with just two independent Senators in the Senate and zero independent or third party Representatives in the House, there is a large and growing segment of the population that is only minimally represented in the major legislative bodies of our federal government. The picture in state legislatures is just as dismal -- there are a total of 33 independent and third party legislators out of 7,383, or 0.4% (just like the 0.4% in Congress). We are at a crisis point in American democracy. The way we get out of this mess is to view our votes differently, to recognize all of our options, and to step out of the partisan box. The second we start to even consider all of our options, the blinders come off and we can see our own agency to change what’s broken. We can start to demand more from the candidates who have been taking our votes for granted. We can advocate more effectively for reforms like Ranked Choice Voting and Open Debates that are so clearly beneficial to our system of self-governance. If we declare our political independence, we recapture the theoretical power of our votes and our voices. If they can’t take our votes for granted, after all, they actually have to start listening to us. It’s time to declare our independence and send a clear message to ALL politicians that time is up for the two-party duopoly: Sign this petition to #DeclareYourIndependence & be counted #RegisterYourIndependence by registering to vote independent or changing your party affiliation to unenrolled, unaffiliated, or No Party Preference, where allowed. Try vote.org or vote.gov. Let it be known that you will no longer support duopoly candidates who don’t publicly pledge to support #RankedChoiceVoting & #OpenDebates Share the petition & the badge to spread the word
#OpenTheDebates! Include All Qualified Candidates in Presidential Debates
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the organization in charge of the presidential debates, has been keeping qualified candidates off the debate stage. Created by the Republican and Democratic parties, the CPD has set up rules making it almost impossible for independent and third party candidates to be included in the debates. Americans deserve to hear from everyone who will be on their ballot. Starting in 2020, candidates who qualify on enough state ballots to possibly win the presidency should be invited to participate in the presidential debates. Currently, candidates must average 15% or higher in 5 predetermined national polls. Most national polls exclude third party candidates, making it impossible to achieve the required percentage of support. Even third party candidates getting taxpayer money for their campaigns and qualifying for Federal Election Committee matching funds are not being allowed to participate without polling over 15%. Presidential debates have been critical in deciding who goes to the White House. They are watched by millions of Americans and give the public a closer look at the candidates. The presidential debates should not be dictated by any party. Now is the time to shake things up and give Americans the debates we deserve. Join us in calling on the CPD to allow all candidates who qualify on enough state ballots to possibly win the presidency to participate in the presidential debates. Please sign and share the petition now so we can get the debates we deserve in 2020. #OpenTheDebates!