Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
In the Comments to my Guess Which Presidential Candidate Will Speak at Hempfest, and Which at Paul Festival? post last week, TPAZ asked if I knew of any ?second-tier presidential debate? plans. It was a very good question for which I didn?t have an answer, so I said I?d look around. I?m very glad to say I found something (video above), very unhappy to say I missed it when it actually happened.
To give credit, I first found the information at Corrente, American Third Parties Presidential Debate 2012: Justice, Green, and Socialist Parties.
The Alternative Party Debate was hosted by the Maggie Phair Institute on April 21, 2012, at Echo Park United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. The Phair Institute ?is an educational venture? promoting civic involvement, democracy, free speech, decent affordable housing, dependable public transit, a living wage, free education for all, universal health care, and world peace.
Participating candidates, and their party status at the time of the debate: Rocky Anderson (Justice Party nominee); Roseanne Barr (Green Party candidate); Stephen Durham (Peace and Freedom Socialist Party nominee); Peta Lindsay (Party for Socialism and Liberation nominee); Dr. Kent Mesplay (Green Party candidate); and Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party candidate).
Other alternative party candidates, and their status at the time, who were not at the debate include: Stewart Alexander (Peace & Freedom Party & Socialist candidate); Roger Gary (Libertarian Party candidate); Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party candidate); Carl Person (Libertarian Party candidate); Buddy Roemer (Reform Party & Americans Elect Candidate); Danny Woodring (independent candidate); R. Lee Wrights (Libertarian Party candidate).
From The Maggie Phair Institute, about the debate:
Six candidates from four political parties presented their ideas on public policies to nearly 200 people in the audience and numerous representative of mass media. The debate was audio taped by radio station KPFK for airing on affiliate stations of the Pacifica Foundation.
The Young Turks from Current TV featured the debate on their April 23rd program.
So, about 200 attendees. When last I checked, the video at YouTube had received 2444 views. More will have used Pacifica and Current to hear the debate, though I have no idea about those numbers. Compared to the Big Two, very small numbers.
But, consider the context. Acknowledging a fairly quick search on my part, and with no criticism of the Institute or of the media present, apparently there was little attention provided the event beforehand, and not much afterward. This, of course, isn?t surprising. Only ?serious? candidates deserve ?serious? attention, and those in control of maintaining their ?serious? roles in the Duopoly and the ?press? which covers them work to keep that ?serious? stuff all to themselves. You think, just maybe, it has something to do with the money involved?
Take another look at what the Phair Institute promotes: civic involvement, democracy, free speech, decent affordable housing, dependable public transit, a living wage, free education for all, universal health care, and world peace, and should have the time and inclination, check out the websites of some of the ?alternative? party candidates.
Would the two Very Serious candidates, or the joined-at-the-pocketbook Corporate Parties they represent, ever seriously address such issues, with policy plans in place and intentions to follow-through?
Of course not. And that?s one of many reasons we need ?alternative? parties, in the news, in debates, on the ballots, and in office.