It’s no surprise that voters are more unhappy with their apparent choices than ever. In fact, Public Policy Polling is showing that voters are more dissatisfied with Obama and Romney than they are satisfied. And yet, we still hear that there are no other choices in this election. Luckily, for those who are willing to listen (and maybe do some looking around as well), Ora TV has signed on with the Free and Equal Elections Foundation to allow Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party) a chance to debate the issues for the public. They even convinced pundit extraordinaire Larry King to moderate this extravaganza.
Most commenters, if not the entire body of Policymic, know that I am a very vocal proponent of third party candidates and the impact they can have on this election. After the news that this debate was going to happen, I decided to dedicate myself to covering the debate, which is set for Tuesday, October 23, and will be streaming live on Al Jeezera in English, as well as Russia Today (inexplicably).
So, if you are sick of hearing “manufactured gaffes” coming from both sides, or you want to hear what others have to say on the issues, tune in to Ora.tv on October 23 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT, or follow me as I do my best to give you all the play-by-play right here on Policymic.
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Closing Statements are coming in. What are the big differences I see? The Justice Party and the Green Party are more left-leaning, with the Green being very, very liberal on education and environmentalism. For obvious reasons, the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party are similar, but Gary definitely has a more liberal stance on Immigration and the War on Drugs. Jill Stein is still arguing for free public higher education, and her Green New Deal, which focuses on green energy intitatives. Rocky Anderson finally brings up how both Romney and Obama are corporate pawns in his closing statements.
Wow, a question about writing a Constitutional Amendment! What would it be...
Rocky: New Civil Rights (I guess it's on his website)
Goode: Term limits for congressmen, and he makes a good argument for it.
Johnson: Term limits as well. "They are the sliver bullet of Congress"
Stein: "Money is not speech, and corporations are not people." She really doesn't like what happened with the Citizens United decision...
For you anti-NDAA people, the candidates are now talking about it.
Stein: "We must repeal the NDAA" "We must put anend to assassinations, FISA (wire taps), the Patriot Act, and we need to stop harassing whistleblowers"
Anderson: "What we have seen... has been so subversive and anti-American in nature." "It spells Tyrany" "We need to demand more of our leaders."
Googe: "I would have vetoed NDAA"
Johnson: "The ACLU came out with a report card on all the candidates: Gary Johnson had 21 liberty torches out of 24"
Anderson responds, and Stein agrees. "We cannot afford to not give our young people a college education." Agreed, but neither Anderson or Stein talk about how they will make that work.
Rocky Anderson also advocates for free public university education or vocational training. Another big response.
Virgil Goode says "We can't afford more Pell Grants, and more federally-subsidized student loans."
Johnson- "Free comes with a cost. Free is simply spending more money than we take in." A real rebuttal, for once.
Millenials, listen in! College Education reform is the topic. Jill Stein is arguing for FREE (that's right, 100% free) college education at all public universities! How this would work is still unclear, but it still got a big response.
I will say this... it seems that Johnson, Goode, Stein, and Anderson, don't really know what a rebuttal is. They are basically agreeing, and just using rebuttal time to keep talking about it.
Defense Budget being discussed now. Everyone seems to agree that the unintended consequences of our foreign policy only continue to reduce our overall security. Jill Stein wants to ban the use of drones worldwide, for all nations. Surprisingly uneasy applause for that.
Larry King is already a better moderator than any of the others we saw for the other debates.
Next question is on the War on Drugs... finally!
Virgil Goode seems to be just about the only one who does not want to fully legalize marijuana, nor end the War on Drugs. He got some boo's for that. Everyone else seems to agree that abuse is a regulation and education issue.
Johnson admits to having smoked weed before, which is unusual, but admirable. "It is not about advocating drug use."
Jill Stein says that marijuana is a substance that is dangerous because it is illegal, not illegal because it is dangerous.
Johnson- "Lets repeal the Patriot Act!" My computer speakers almost blew. Big response from the crowd.
Wow, we missed out on the opening statements already, so now, just before the second question is asked, they get 2 minutes to actually introduce themselves! This could have used a bit more practicing on the part of the moderators.
Johnson says that candidates should be forced to wear Nascar-like jackets, with the logos of their corporate sponsers, then talks about drones being a terrible plan overseas. Crowd erupts in applause.
Jill Stein talks about how she was arrested and detained for going to the headquaters for the Commission on Presidental Debates. Doesn't seem to resonate with the crowd too much, though.
Question 1: Top-two primary system is in question. "You really can't tell who is representing you"- Jill Stein. Rocky Anderson might have used words starting with the letter "D" more than any other person in history, but he makes a good point. "It only keeps voters in the dark longer." Virgil Goode "Money is not speach, and the top two system only enhances the duopoly. The top two is a state issue, and I would not favor a federal law to tell them what to do." Well spoken. Gary Johnson seems to agree with everyone on this, but makes a nice case that Obama and Romney are "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dumb".
Larry King talks about the format: 2 minute opening statement, 6 questions over 90 minutes (all picked via social media) with 2 minute answering times, 1 minute rebutal times, and a 2 minute closing statement. Time can be saved for later questions if the candidates choose.
Here we go!
On a side note, it sounds like the music could have been inspiring, but it came out like some bad 8-bit video game music instead...
If you are going to watch the debates, be prepared... Virgil Goode has possibly the most southern accent you will hear in modern day politics.
6:07 PM MT
I'm prepped and ready, even took the night off of work to bring you updates as often as something interesting happens. If you want to watch along, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EcaX12h46k&feature=g-all-lik for the LIVE Russia Today broadcast of the debate! If that one is laggy, try http://live.freeandequal.org/stream.html