I have taken the liberty not watching any of the major party Presidential debates to protest their exclusion of non-major parties. I also did not watch the “third” party debate because no one is really debating policy differences so much as they debating how it sucks to be left at the kids table every four years.
Which is not their fault of course, having been excluded by a oligarchy which determines for itself the rules of participation. And it’s too bad because who loses out but voters who cannot decide among a wide variety of views. Monday’s so-called debate on foreign policy such a “me too” fest one wonders what could be any worse in terms of excitement level (Chess on TV? Congressional committee hearings? Watching the advertisements on the local cable access channel?)Viewers missed on a chance to hear a real debate on foreign policy if say Jill Stein of the Greens or Obama mixed it up on Guantanamo or having Gary Johnson question Mitt Romney on preventative war.
You may ask how many candidates should we let in the debates since there are many more than just three parties in U.S. politics? I would say an appropriate standard is any party which has enough ballot access to get to 270 electoral votes should have that chance. A five or six person debate involving the Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, Constitutionalists and what’s left of the old Reform Party (Rocky Anderson’s Justice Party) is more than suitable to have a proper debate which is a give and take of ideas and views, thrust and parry of words and notions. Not: “I agree, but I can do it better than you.” Obama and Romney could have soared us the lack of drama.