Opening Presidential Debates

Since Iowans are my audience, I’ll repost this from another blog. It’s really pertinent for Iowans who are interested in third parties or merely in seeing all views treated fairly:

In the opinion of Ballot Access News, the only realistic hope to expand presidential general election debates in 2008, is for people to pester the leading Democratic and Republican candidates for president, and get them to say that if they are nominated, they will agree to participate in at least one debate in the general election campaign that includes the leading minor party and independent candidates.

The only general election presidential debate in U.S. history that included the Republican nominee, the Democratic nominee, and anyone else, was in 1992. Ross Perot was included because both major party nominees wanted him included. The opinion of the debate sponsor, the Commission on Presidential Debates, didn’t really matter.

Democrats and Republicans who want to be president will be spending lots of time in New Hampshire and Iowa, during the next year. If, every time they speak to a group of voters, someone asks them to agree to at least one inclusive general election debate, perhaps eventually some of them will make this commitment. A Republican or Democrat who makes such a commitment would gain certain degree of popularity, since polls consistently show that the public likes debates with more than just two participants.

A commenter at Ballot Access News who claimed to be from New Hampshire already promised to bring this up when he sees candidates in his state. Who will do it in Iowa?

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