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Democracy Now Asks Third Party Candidates Questions From Last Night's Debate 257

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the third-party-circus dept.
As they did with the first debate, Democracy Now has published the debate questions answered by third party candidates. Jill Stein (Green), Virgil Goode (Constitution), and Rocky Anderson (Justice) were present. There's a (long) video with the answers spliced in, and (thankfully) a transcript of all their answers. Gary Johnson was not present, but you can catch him debating Jill Stein Thursday October 18th at 7 p.m. EDT.
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Democracy Now Asks Third Party Candidates Questions From Last Night's Debate

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:01PM (#41684657)

    FWIW, Gary Johnson = Libertarian candidate (the other parties are noted in the opening paragraph)

    • by jitterman (987991) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @04:21PM (#41685723)
      I initially thought I would be the only person I knew who'd vote for him. However, when the topic has come up (the election in general), I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of people I know who - without my prompting or mentioning him - have said that they are voting for Gary Johnson as well. Of course, it's not ENOUGH people, but he has more support than I expected. I like many of you am extremely disappointed that the non-insiders don't get some attention. OTOH, I guess the "liberal media" may not be as liberal as some suspect, else the more dangerous-to-the-establishment candidates would get some air time.
    • by The Moof (859402)
      Gary Johnson = Republican Governor who got badly beaten in the primaries and dropped out early, now running as Libertarian.
  • Will no gentleman stand forward to represent the people on the slavery issue?!?

    • by emurphy42 (631808)
      Funny you should ask... [wikipedia.org]
    • No. This discussion has been tabled under the Pinckney Resolutions. Please return to your seat.
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:26PM (#41684971) Homepage Journal

      Will no gentleman stand forward to represent the people on the slavery issue?!?

      Gentlemen? Jill Stein is no gentleman, she was arrested last night for trespassing at the debate.

      She's getting my vote, and I didn't even RTFA. Obama will win in a landslide here in Illinois, so a vote for either him or Romney is wasted here. Rather than wasting my vote, I intend to vote for a candidate who doesn't want to put my friends and family in prison for pot. I choose her over the Libertarian, because the Libertarians stupidly think you can have a clean environment without environmental regulations, and I'm old enough to know what it was like before the EPA (So does Ron Paul, which makes me think he's either an idiot or in bed with the polluters).

      As to the slavery issue... which one?

      • by Bigby (659157)

        A Libertarian would support the ability of people to sue for pollution (even air pollution). They would also support the more practical way of controlling those externalities by taxing it. Because a Libertarian (as opposed to an anarchist) does believe in a government, which requires taxes, and something must be taxed.

        So cap-n-trade is a far better solution to all pollution than current regulations. Wipe the current ones clear and tax each pollution at certain rates. If that means putting a cap to creat

    • It's the THIRD PARTY debates. Better question would be "Why were there three candidates there and a fourth one mentioned, and which one was the one true third party that was supposed to be there?"
    • Will no gentleman stand forward to represent the people on the slavery issue?!?

      Certainly nobody from the Whig party will. It was an inability to take stand on slavery that caused the Whig party's dissolution and replacement by the Republican party.

    • If by "the people" you mean people in favor of slavery, then some Republicans have you covered:

      State Rep. Loy Mauch (R-Bismarck)
      In two letters, Mauch wrote about the Bible and slavery. The Arkansas Times quotes from a letter Mauch wrote in 2009:

      "If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?"

      State Rep. Jon Hubbard (R-Jonesboro)

      “But I think the end result -- that they [African-Americans] did get to live in America, although the means for getting here were terrible -- I think the end result was better than it would have been if they had to live in Africa themselves.”

      Tip of the hat to Keef of the K-Chronicles ( http://www.kchronicles.com/ [kchronicles.com] ) for these and to the http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ [huffingtonpost.com] for the quotations and background.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_slavery [wikipedia.org]

      I'd be quite ecstatic to see someone in real power step up and address this.

      Yes, I know what you were actually going for with your post.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:04PM (#41684681)

    The unfortunate part of these 3rd party debates is that people who are wanting to consider a third party candidate have probably already made up their mind, and probably already know the answers to the the questions that are going to be asked of their candidate. Gary Johnson not apearing is irrelevant when pretty much any of his followers know how he would answer them anyway.

    I'm not saying these debates are bad, and I'm already planning on voting 3rd party (so it's not a wasted vote argument,) I just think we need more messages targeted at people who DON'T already know the 3rd parties and candidates.

    • by poity (465672)

      Exactly, only people who already support them will watch or read. They need to debate on national TV, and it's tragic that both major parties have worked to exclude them.

      • by nigelo (30096)

        So, how does that work?

        Why were they not included in (the) other debates?

      • They need to debate on national TV, and it's tragic that both major parties have worked to exclude them.

        When third party candidates are given a chance to participate, their support usually goes down. The reason is that they are a bunch of ideologues, and don't have good answers to real world issues. There was a debate a while back here in California, and the Libertarian candidate spent most of his time talking about the "ferret ban". He felt that the state impinging on his right to import invasive species was more important than jobs, the state's debt, or any other issue that actually matters to the voters

        • by AuMatar (183847)

          Because most of the people in 3rd parties aren't practical, they're philosophers. They have a point of view and anything that doesn't 100% conform to it is wrong. Pushing that point of view is more important than any other problem that may be looming, and solutions to all problems will be looked at in terms of that philosophy and how the solution can push it.

          Philosophers make horrible politicians. They're usually unable to compromise, dogmatic, and tend to scare off the middle ground voters. They're val

          • Practical people realize that the two party system is here for a while in the US. They evaluate the two, and choose whichever is closer (dems for green, reps for libertarians). Then they try to change the party from the inside, bowing to party demands on less important issues in order to use political capital on big ones. These people actually get things done.

            And how much have these people actually "gotten done"? How much has the Democratic party been moved closer to the Green position of late? Did I miss Obama stumping for Single Payer healthcare? A maximum wage law? Windfall profits taxes on oil companies? Arresting and prosecuting the bankers responsible for the financial meltdown?

            On the other side, how much has the GOP been moved in a more Libertarian direction? Is Mitt Romney calling for an end to the War on Drugs? Closing down foreign military bases? El

      • Exactly, only people who already support them will watch or read. They need to debate on national TV, and it's tragic that both major parties have worked to exclude them.

        Tragic or not, it's more or less mathematically dictated in a first past the post voting system. Read Wikipedia (and its references) for a technical explanation, but I've found these videos [cgpgrey.com] by C. G. P. Grey to be excellent for educating people from all sorts of backgrounds.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      The point of these things is to draw attention to the fact that the CPD excludes many candidates from the "official" debates. It may be futile, but shouting "HEY WE'RE HERE!" is about all we can really do.

    • It was telling in this morning's headlines (not the top of the page headlines of course) that Jill Stein had to be described as a presidential candidate in relation to her arrest last night.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)
      There's also the winner-take-all voting system which makes anything more than two parties pointless, if you're going to start listing reasons why this was a waste of time.

      If you're libertarian or green, I'll listen to your arguments about policy changes we should make with an open mind even though I don't identify with those positions usually. If you're trying to pitch why you should get elected, but seem unable to grasp the realities of the election process as they are in this country, however, I real
  • This is good and all but its not quite the same. There is no "surprise" or real time response. I'm sure Obama and Romney could provide much better answers in writing the next morning. Still, its better than nothing.
    • by wstrucke (876891)
      Sounds like you missed the whole point.
      • by perpenso (1613749)

        Sounds like you missed the whole point.

        Or maybe I wanted to only comment on a different point, the problem one has if they compare Obama and Romney's responses to the 3rd party candidate responses.

        The exclusion of third party candidates and various other points do not need to be brought up in every post do they?

        • The exclusion of third party candidates and various other points do not need to be brought up in every post do they?

          True. It is also worth explaining that the Democracy Now extended-town-meeting had to be scheduled for the next day -- instead of being "nearly live" -- because the Green Party's Jill Stein got herself arrested while trying to enter the actual debate.

          The first extended-presidential-debate was very interesting, and was "nearly live". However, it also had the disparity that Obama and Romn

  • Third party candidates have the benefit of knowing what the questions are and are able to give prepared answers.

    Not that it really matters. We all know that none of the third party candidates will come close to getting even 5% of the votes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wstrucke (876891)
      They won't because the system is rigged against them. It's a catch-22 - - they can not get enough votes to make the average person think they should be included and since they aren't included or given any coverage throughout the political season they can't get any votes.
      • Ron Paul obviously suffered the same fate even though he wasn't running third party, as did Dennis Kucinich. Thus, I'd argue it's not a problem specifically for third party candidates, it's a problem for candidates who don't pander to voters and tell them what they want to hear.
    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:30PM (#41685033) Homepage Journal

      Third party candidates have the benefit of knowing what the questions are and are able to give prepared answers.

      You don't seem to understand just how badly this debate process has been subverted. From Democracy NOW! [democracynow.org]:

      "The town hall debate we’re going to see tonight is the most constrained and regulated town hall debate in presidential debate history. The first town hall debate was introduced in 1992, and no one knew what anyone was going to ask, none of the audience members were going to ask. The moderator could ask any follow-up questions. It was exciting, and it was real.

      Well, President George H.W. Bush stumbled in response to an oddly worded question about the federal deficit, and the candidates—the campaigns have panicked and have attempted to avoid that kind of situation from happening again. In 1996, they abolished follow-up questions from the audience.

      In 2004, they began requiring that every single question asked by the audience be submitted in advance on an index card to the moderator, who can then throw out the ones he or she does not like. And that’s why the audience has essentially been reduced, in some ways, to props, because the moderator is still ultimately asking the questions.

      And this election cycle is the first time that the moderator herself is prohibited from asking follow-up questions, questions seeking clarification. She’s essentially reduced to keeping time and being a lady with a microphone." -- George Farrah, author of No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates.

      It's a goddamn circus, and an obvious one at that. anyone who can't see the forest for the trees in this situation, is probably one of the clowns.

      • Democracy NOW!'s claims with regard to the debate format are blatantly false. Particularly, this bit:

        And this election cycle is the first time that the moderator herself is prohibited from asking follow-up questions, questions seeking clarification. She’s essentially reduced to keeping time and being a lady with a microphone.

        The Commission rules for this debate did not include this prohibition. The Romney and Obama campaigns agreed to it, but -- and this was pretty heavily covered all over the media

    • by tobiah (308208)

      Well, Jill Stein didn't know the questions beforehand, because she spent the night shackled to a chair in a warehouse.
      http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/17/green_partys_jill_stein_cheri_honkala [democracynow.org]

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Well, the Republicrats could have solved that by simply inviting the parties on enough ballots to win to their debate.

  • when you know you haven't got a chance in hell in getting elected. Special interests and corporations don't pay for Truths, they only pay for their Agendas.
  • by NettiWelho (1147351) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:14PM (#41684801)
    Yet only candidates approved by the majority parties are allowed in the real debates. Stay classy.
    • .... Why am I getting modded down? I am trying to start serious on-topic discussion here with what in my opinion are valid points, If you disagree please do it throught an argument with your name on it and stop hiding behind modding options.
    • Yep. And that's the way it should be. I like it when the farthest right the wingnuts will go is to photograph themselves at a fried chicken restaurant, and the farthest left the loonies will go is to maybe-kinda-suggest that investment income should be counted as normal income.

      Change comes, but slowly and in a stable way. And that is a good thing. Multiparty systems can go screw themselves.

      There, I've poked the sacred cow. Flame away, Slashdot.

      • Yes, places like switzerland are really the epitome of unstability and places like Syria, Saddams Iraq, Gaddafis Libya, USSR, Nazi-Germany and the like are really the places after which you should model your political system by. (now, I regonize those are some pretty extreme examples and that US is actually a bi-party and not single-party state but when those 2 parties actively act to keep the competition stomped down the net effect is the same; the ones in power get to decide what gets done because if you
    • Perot was allowed in, got 19% of the popular vote but zero electoral votes. So one could say that history proves that's of little consequence, especially when the "approval" process, the primary, is itself an open, democratic process.

      Speaking of the electoral college, that DOES make the democracy thing a joke.
      • ... I'm not american so I'm not all that familiar with your system, but are you saying that if Perot had got over 50% of the popular vote he still wouldnt have won?
  • by night_flyer (453866) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:30PM (#41685029) Homepage

    Why do the parties always go for the big prize? It's like a high school student wanting to become the CEO of IBM immediately after graduating.

    Even if they do win, then what? they will have zero support from either of the parties that dominate the congress.

    If a 3rd party wants to be taken seriously start at the bottom. city councilor, mayor, state senator, work your way up, then people will see what you really believe in and have a track record... and while you are at it get more of "your party" elected to those roles as well.

    This is one case of "go big or go home" doesn't work, it just means you are going home empty handed

    • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:42PM (#41685181)

      The greens are starting at the bottom. There have been 136 green party members elected to local office, 3 elected to state offices (all no longer serving), and 0 elected to federal offices.

      Participation in the presidential election builds name recognition and motivation for the party, improving their chances at lower offices even if the presidency is hopeless.

    • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:48PM (#41685299) Journal

      Why do the parties always go for the big prize? It's like a high school student wanting to become the CEO of IBM immediately after graduating.

      Gary Johnson was already governor of New Mexico for two terms.

      Even if they do win, then what? they will have zero support from either of the parties that dominate the congress.

      Maybe that would be a good thing. Gary Johnson vetoed more bills in his 2 terms as governor than all other governors combined. We don't need tens of thousands of pages of new laws every year.

      If a 3rd party wants to be taken seriously start at the bottom. city councilor, mayor, state senator, work your way up, then people will see what you really believe in and have a track record... and while you are at it get more of "your party" elected to those roles as well.

      The Libertarian Party has done exactly that: http://www.lp.org/candidates/elected-officials [lp.org]

      This is one case of "go big or go home" doesn't work, it just means you are going home empty handed

      No, it doesn't mean that at all. In Michigan, if the top of the ticket gets 5% or more, then they get major party status, which means they don't need to waste money trying to get on the ballot the next time around. It helps to build momentum in that you're not wasting money, time & energy on something you had to do previously.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Gary Johnson was already governor of New Mexico for two terms.

        Yes, and he got there as a Republican, not with the LP.

    • There are a lot of countries with multi-party systems that actually work. If your reprentatives put their party affiliations ahead of the good of the country perhaps you should consider changing your presentatives.
  • Stupid questions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:30PM (#41685031) Journal

    I watched this debate, and none of the questions were even worth answering. Not one question was asked about civil liberties. Not one question about the TSA, or drug policy, or drone strikes. Not one mention of science. Not one question addressed the regulatory capture of just about every government agency. Not one question about Obama's failure to prosecute any banking execs for fraud after the 2008 financial crisis. Absolutely no worthwhile questions were asked, and no worthwhile answers were given.

    • by Gothmolly (148874)

      And stupid answers, even by the so-called fringe candidates.

      "End illegal immigration!"
      "Fuck Wall Street"

      Lots of good discourse there.

    • Thats because the debates and the rules are literally set up by the majorty parties meaning they can choose to skirt around any inconvenient topic if they want to. linky [wikipedia.org](The first sentence of the article tells you everything you need to know.) They can regurgitate their party talking points as much as they want because theres noone present to call them both out on it.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Maybe we should take a hint from Pizza Hut. Crowd source a bounty for any individual in a town hall debate that asks why third party candidates aren't allowed in debates. Pizza Hut was offering $15K for anyone who asked "pepperoni or sausage" during the Town Hall debate. I bet the internet could beat that for a question of real importance.

  • When Poppa Bush lost to Clinton because of Perot being the election, the rules were changed. At that point, the republicans pushed through rules that pretty much prevented 3rd parties. Sadly, the dems went along with it. Now, that our system really is down to 2 parties, you can see the republicans pushing for 1 party rule. A good example is Chuck Norris claiming that it is unpatriotic to vote for ANYTHING except a republican. [townhall.com] In fact, even if the guy was Hitler or Stalin, it appears that he would be OK with
    • by magarity (164372)

      When Poppa Bush lost to Clinton because of Perot being the election, the rules were changed. At that point, the republicans pushed through rules that pretty much prevented 3rd parties.

      What are you babbling about? I just got my mail in ballot and there's 16 choices in the presidential election section. And the top one is some guy from a party I've never even heard of. It's getting like the cereal section of the supermarket. All I want is basic no-nonsense wheat flakes and there's all this sugary crap in over-produced packaging.

  • Why was Gary Johnson not included in this? He is going to be on the ballot in at least 48 states and the District of Columbia.
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      I don't think they say why. Maybe he was busy.

    • Rules and debates got changed after Poppa Bush lost because of Perot taking votes from him. As such, the neo-cons pushed for rule changes, and dems went along with it. Prior to that, we had the league of women voters hosting the debates and yes, included a number of 3rd party candidates. IIRC, they had to have to be on more than 45 states ballots and then they were included.

      Now, these debates are a joke.
      • by Githaron (2462596)

        Has any organization made any effort in taking back the presidential debates or even just having an alternate nationally televised live debate? I realize that at first it wouldn't be as popular as the current debates since the republican and democrat candidates would probably simply refuse to participate but if it was promoted enough it eventually might become popular enough that they would be forced to participate or be severely hurt in their campaign.

        Also, the debate questions need to be tougher. I have s

        • Has any organization made any effort in taking back the presidential debates or even just having an alternate nationally televised live debate? I realize that at first it wouldn't be as popular as the current debates since the republican and democrat candidates would probably simply refuse to participate but if it was promoted enough it eventually might become popular enough that they would be forced to participate or be severely hurt in their campaign.

          IIRC, First election after that, the league actually did host a debate, but neither dems nor pubs showed up (that would be Clinton vs. Dole). More importantly, NONE of the networks televised it. With that being the time when us nerds were the only ones on the net, it was a none-starter. Now, with the net developed enough, it MIGHT be the way to go.

          Personally, I am hoping that when rootstrikers amends the constitution, they will also push to bring back such debates.

          Also, the debate questions need to be tougher. I have said this earlier but the debates should happen at least three times a week for a month. I could even see the candidates choosing their cabinets early and having them as part of the debates. Any good leader should surround themselves with smart, capable people.

          Oh yeah. Those questions sound like they

  • I watched the first mashup presidential debate on DemocracyNow and it was excellent, they would cut from the official debate to Stein and Anderson also behind podiums and keep it rolling. With the official rules preventing Obama and Romney from interacting with each other [gawker.com] there really isn't a need for them to be in the same room.

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