This post concludes continues the discussion of things that need to change to make our political system more efficient.
- Access to the Presidential Debates
The Presidential Debates that occur before the elections are run by a group called the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). It was established in 1987 and is sponsored by only the Democratic and Republican Parties which also set the rules for the debates and schedule the events. The League of Women Voters, which had previously been involved in the sponsoring the debates, withdrew support in 1988 after secret agreements were made by the two parties.
Unfortunately, one of the rules regarding participation in the debates is that a candidate must have at least 15% popularity in an average of five polls seven weeks before the election. This has kept any third party candidates, other than Ross Perot in 1992, from being in a debate since the first televised debate in 1960.
Even though the two primary third parties, the Libertarians and the Green Party are relatively small with little chance of winning, their inclusion would open up government to new ideas, something desperately needed given the low approval rating of Congress.
According to a poll by Morning Consult, 52% of voters wanted Libertarian Gary Johnson in the 2016 debates. Although not a vast majority, there is a desire to open up the debates. There is also a dissatisfaction with the two party system.
The 15% limit should be removed to allow at least the top four or five political parties to participate in the debates. The question is whether the major parties would ever allow for changing the rules which they control. The voters should be allowed to make this decision.
This concludes the discussion of how our election process is flawed and ways it should be changed to make it more efficient. The upcoming posts will look at the individual issues facing the country and solutions to these issues based on facts, data, and nonideological logic to come up with the best solution to solving the root cause of the issue.
Next: How our tax dollars are spent