Reprinted from October2011.org…
“On October 3, 2012, the first presidential debate will be held in Denver, Colorado and a people’s dialogue will be held at the same time to provide broader perspectives. The live-streamed event will provide an opportunity for the public to discuss how to solve the pressing challenges of the nation.
The presidential debate is being produced, as it has since the mid-1980’s, by the corporate and partisan Commission for Presidential Debates (CPD) and only the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates will be permitted to debate. George Farah, Executive Director of Open Debates which joined 17 good governance groups in calling for release of the debate contract, said, “The Commission on Presidential Debates undermines our democracy. Because of the Commission’s subservience to the Republican and Democratic campaigns, the presidential debates are structured to accommodate the wishes of risk-averse candidates, not voters.”
Occupy the Debates is concerned about the anti-democratic restrictive nature of the debates and about the lack of connection between what will be discussed in the debates and what the people actually care about. “Most people who watch the highly-scripted debates will believe that they are seeing two sides of a debate when in fact the corporate-party candidates mostly agree within a narrow spectrum on each issue. The views of other viable candidates and the concerns of the people will be excluded,” says Dr. Margaret Flowers, co-director of It’s Our Economy, who helped to organize Occupy the Debates.
To bring the people’s voices to the forefront, Occupy the Debates worked with Occupy Denver and other local advocacy groups to canvas the community and determine their top concerns. This past weekend, public events were held in Denver to bring people together to discuss these top issues, which were corporate influence over politics, education and student debt, the environment and climate change and health care.
“We found that the discussion in the community is very different from what is being said in the campaigns,” said Kevin Zeese, also co-director of It’s Our Economy, “People at the Occupy the Debates events developed solutions to key problems facing the country. It was evident to everyone in the room that none of these solutions will be discussed by either Obama or Romney. The duopoly politicians are out of touch with the people.”
On the night of the first debate, Occupy the Debates will bring together a diverse group of people who are in touch with what is happening in the communities and who have perspectives different from what will be said in the debate and among the commentators on corporate TV.
This alternative debate coverage program will be live-streamed on UStream and Global Revolution. It will begin at 8:30 pm eastern with pre-debate commentary and will be moderated by Lisa Simeone. During the debate, the panelists will comment on what is said and will respond to comments and questions from the audience through social media such as twitter and online chat. After the debate, the panelists will break down what was said and how that compares to the candidates’ records and will explore what was omitted.
Occupy the Debates is partnering with Its Our Economy and U Stream TV for this dialogue. U Stream TV has 57 million unique hits each month and 1.4 million twitter followers. The debate will appear on the U Stream channel: Economic Democracy Media, Its Our Economy.US.
Only two candidates are allowed to participate in debates organized by the National Corporation on Presidential Debates (they call themselves a commission, but that is just to disguise the fact that they are a private corporation created by the Democrats and Republicans and funded by big business interests). Two other candidates, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, are on enough ballots to receive 270 Electoral College votes, but the Debate Corporation has created barriers to their participation.
October2011/ Occupy Washington, DC”