Are you planning to vote in this year’s presidential election in November?
If so, do you know all the candidates running and their positions on the issues? I am willing to bet money that you don’t and for some very good reasons. There are major forces at work to make it appear that Obama and Romney are the only candidates running for the position. These forces include the mainstream media (tv, radio, and newspapers), the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), and even the Montgomery County Election Board.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, this year’s election will be a historic one in that this will be the first time in recent history that a presidential candidate other than Democrat or Republican will be on the ballot in PA. The Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala are running for president and VP, respectively, and have qualified for the PA ballot. This is big news that every voter should be aware of, but most people haven’t even heard the name Jill Stein, or have even heard of the Green Party.
First and foremost, the lack of awareness is attributable to the blackout in the mainstream media of alternative parties. It is a major responsibility of the media to ensure the public is informed to have a functional democracy. Sadly, our American media is more of a form of entertainment than a source of real news and information.
Second, the CPD, which runs the presidential debates excludes alternative party and independent candidates from the debates. The presidential debates are one of the major ways voters learn of the positions and platforms of the candidates. If Jill Stein or any of the other independent candidates were included in the debates, these candidates would become household names and voters would actually learn about real solutions to some of the problems we face, and they would have a real choice come Election Day.
Finally, the Montgomery County Election Board has decided not to inform voters of who is running for each position on the ballot. They can do this by sending a sample ballot to all registered voters, containing all the races being contested and the candidates running for each position. Usually, in counties where this is done, this is the first time a voter learns of who will be running for each position. The voter can then take the time to research the candidates and their positions. By not doing so, voters are not educated and informed of the candidates or the issues. This also ensures low turnout because many voters are unsure of the day, place and times when they can vote. The reason for the Montgomery County Election Board not sending sample ballots to voters is they claim it is too expensive. The cost of ensuring a strong functional democracy should outweigh the cost of the mailing in this instance.
I know this is short notice, but voters can learn more about the alternative candidates, Jill Stein (Green Party) and Rocky Anderson, by tuning into Democracy Now! Tonight, October 03, 2012, 8:30pm – 11:30pm. As many people are aware, tonight is the first debate between Obama and Romney, and as usual Jill Stein and the other candidates have been excluded from the debate. However, Democracy Now! Will be hosting a parallel debate in which they will air the debate and allow Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson to also answer the questions posed to Obama and Romney
The details of the Democracy Now! Program can be found at this link, and below:
Third Party Candidates Join in Real Time on Democracy Now!’s Live Coverage of Presidential Debate
As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney square off in their first debate tonight, Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential debate from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET. We will air the Obama/Romney debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.
As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney square off in their first debate tonight, Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential debate from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET. We will air the Obama/Romney debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.
Stream our special 3-hour show on the Democracy Now! livestream or tune in on television on Link TV (DISH Network Channel 9410 or DirecTV Channel 375) or on Free Speech TV (DISH Network Channel 9415 or DirecTV Channel 348).