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
Tell Donald, Joe, Jo, Kanye & Rocky to #JoinTheDebate to #ElevateTheDebate!
The Commission on Presidential Debates is a self-appointed gatekeeper, created by the Democratic and Republican Parties in 1987 to take the debates away from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters. Their duopoly debates have predictably done great damage to any notion of U.S. democracy. One organization alone, the Free & Equal Elections Foundation, has consistently put on alternative debates designed to truly serve the American electorate (something the corrupt CPD claims to do) since 2008.Not only is it time to open up the debates to more voices and better choices, it's time for these 5 holdouts -- President Trump, former Vice President Biden, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen, Alliance Party candidate Roque De La Fuente, and Birthday Party candidate (yes, seriously) Kanye West -- to join the one debate that's putting We the People at the core of its mission.Learn more about the 3rd and final Open Presidential Debate of the 2020 election. Learn more about the inaugural Independent National Convention, taking place Oct 23-25 in Cheyenne, WY.
ABC + NBC: Equal time for Jo Jorgensen & Howie Hawkins!
Due to the failed stewardship of the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the 2020 presidential debates are unraveling. Instead of the 2nd presidential debate in Miami, voters will get dueling duopoly town hall forums on ABC and NBC. However, due to the Equal Time Rule, these networks now have to provide similar airtime and promotion to the other presidential candidates on enough state ballots to win the election. Exceptions to the Equal Time Rule have been made for "bona fide news events", and political debates have fallen into that category. But free airtime to individual campaigns should be seen as nothing other than an in-kind contribution to that campaign, and MUST be made available to all candidates who request it. Let's make sure ABC and NBC invite Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins to future town hall events!
CPD or LWV: Have an Empty Chair Debate! #OpenTheDebates #EmptyChairDebate
When the Commission on Presidential Debates decided to move the 2nd presidential debate to a virtual debate, and President Donald Trump backed out, it further demonstrated the need for revamping our nation's political debate process. When the League of Women Voters decided to go ahead with an "empty chair debate" in 1980 in spite of President Carter's refusal to share the stage with independent candidate John Anderson, they showed us what's possible with truly nonpartisan debate stewardship that serves the American people. Now we are calling on the Commission on Presidential Debates to go ahead with a debate between the 3 ballot-qualified candidates who are willing to participate in a virtual debate: former VP Biden, Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins.Short of that happening, we are calling on the League of Women Voters to hold another empty chair debate.US voters have more than just 2 choices, and it's time we are provided an opportunity to hear from everyone on enough ballots to win.
US voters: you have more than 2 choices!
Very solid majorities of U.S. voters have been expressing strong desires for opening up our political system to more voices and better choices: 76% want to see all ballot-qualified candidates included in presidential debates. 71% of millennials & 68% of all voters want at least third major party 65% want to make it easier for third party & independent candidates to win office. As of September 2020, 40% of voters are politically independent, compared to 30% Democrat and 29% Republican. At the same time, there are exactly two third party candidates who have made it through the byzantine ballot access barriers created by the two-party duopoly itself to secure ballot placement in enough states to win the election. One of them, the Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen, will appear on the ballot in all 50 states and DC. The Green Party nominee, Howie Hawkins, will appear on 30 ballots with a total of 381 electoral votes. Yet the Commission on Presidential Debates, an official-sounding organization created by the Democratic and Republican Parties in 1987 to take control of presidential debates away from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters, has done everything in its power to shut out independent competition. The self-serving media establishment, in full collusion with the two parties in power, never holds the CPD accountable to its mission working "for the benefit of the American electorate" while ignoring the clear preference of that electorate for more inclusive debates. The CPD's exclusionary criteria, on the other hand, give media companies all the license they need to outright ignore half of the ballot-qualified candidates. This results, by design, in a dramatically skewed playing field with billions of dollars of free media exposure for the duopoly candidates. Instead of challenging this as an illegal campaign contribution to the two duopoly candidates, the FEC protects the duopoly's debate commission and fights off third party court challenges. None of this is OK, but they get away with it because virtually nobody knows it's happening in the first place. It's time for US voters to learn about this con job. It's time for US voters to learn they have more choices on enough ballots to win the election. It's time to force open the debate and the national political conversation to more voices, viewpoints, and visions.
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!
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 to Jo Jorgensen & Howie Hawkins! #LetThemDebate!
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the official-sounding private entity running the televised presidential debates, has been rigging the presidential debate process for 32 years. While portraying itself as nonpartisan, the Commission was established by the Democrats and Republicans in 1987 to take control of the debates from the League of Women Voters. While claiming to serve the American electorate, the CPD has willfully ignored the overwhelming will of the American electorate to open the debates to ALL ballot-qualified candidates. In 2016, in the only major poll to ask US voters who they wanted to see included in the debates, We the People wanted to see the Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates invited to the fall debates, by a count of 76% to 17%. In 2020, only three candidates will appear on the ballot for all US voters. Only four will appear on enough ballots to win the Electoral College. In order to have a free and fair election for President of the United States, it is absolutely essential for US voters to hear about ALL of their ballot choices with a mathematical chance to win the election. Media gatekeepers and an unelected, unaccountable, bipartisan “commission” have no place in determining for voters who is “viable”. In a democracy, that is the job of the voters. We hereby demand that the Commission on Presidential Debates, “for the benefit of the American electorate,” open the fall debates to Libertarian Party candidates Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen, and Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker. Anything less is unacceptable domestic interference in our elections.