Open The Debates!

28,265 supporters

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

Petitioning U​.​S. Voters

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.

Open The Debates!
463 supporters
Petitioning We the People, Open the Debates, League Of Women Voters, Alternative media, Alternative Candidates, Alternative Parties

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!

Open The Debates!
6 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Voters

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 or 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

Open The Debates!
523 supporters
Petitioning Commission on Presidential Debates, Barack Obama, George W. Bush

#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.

Open The Debates!
32,257 supporters