Please sign the Free and Equal petition.By The Free and Equal Elections Foundation
Often political debates set high thresholds for participation. When an independent or third party candidate manages to meet them, the thresholds are pushed higher. Democratic and Republican candidates often only agree to participate in debates that exclude other choices available to voters. Yet when a Democratic or Republican candidate unexpectedly fails to meet the threshold, it's changed to accommodate them! The clear intent is to control the debate by excluding candidates, so that voters are left in the dark.
Voters deserve to hear what every candidate on the ballot has to say. Informed decision making is fundamental to a healthy democracy. Candidates on the ballot should not be excluded based on the self-fulfilling prophecy that they are not "electable" -- if they're on the ballot, they are certainly electable if given a fair chance. Excluding candidates on the ballot from debates is contrary to the spirit of democracy and it must stop.
The only threshold for participation should be successfully qualifying for the ballot under the various state election laws. Since the process has been clearly and shamelessly abused, no other threshold can be considered acceptable.
We call on all candidates to accept debates with any and all of their ballot qualified opponents.
We call on the media, debate sponsors, and all those involved in election debates to demand the inclusion of all ballot qualified candidates in debates, forums, political news coverage, and public speaking opportunities. All debates and media coverage of elections should include all choices available to voters.
We call on citizens like YOU to demand accountability from politicians and the media by signing this petition!
The text of the Free and Equal petition follows. Sign it here
We the undersigned:
Believe that any candidate who appears on the ballot is electable, if given fair and equal treatment.
Believe that debate participation is being unfairly and disingenuously restricted by excluding candidates who have qualified to appear on the ballot.
Call on all candidates to accept debates with any and all of their ballot qualified opponents.
Call on the media, debate sponsors, and all those involved in election debates to demand the inclusion of all ballot qualified candidates in debates, forums, political news coverage, and public speaking opportunities. Debates and media coverage of elections should include all the choices available to voters.
Inform you as a candidate or debate sponsor, that if you fail to adhere to the above, you will be excluded in turn when we cast our votes, open our wallets, or give you our attention, as the case may be.
This article is reproduced from the Care2 Petition Site. The Free and Equal Elections Foundation works on ballot access issues and for open debates, and is a major opponent of "top two" primary elections.