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Columbia University Minor Party Debate In Trouble

Published on October 17, 2008, by in General.

The proposed Baldwin-McKinney-Nader debate that had been planned for Sunday evening, October 19, is very unlikely to happen. It seems that none of the candidates who were originally invited (including Bob Barr, and on a theoretical basis, the major party nominees) had really committed and really wanted to participate. McKinney and Baldwin have both expressed displeasure that communications between their campaigns and the debate organizers were not clear. Nader seems to have concluded that he will only debate with Barr (except, obviously, he would also debate with the two major party candidates).

It is still conceivable that a Barr-Nader debate will be organized.

13 Responses

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  2. Whats with Nader saying he would only debate with the main 2 and Barr? What about Constitution and Green candidates?

    Has he turned into an Elitist 3rd position’ist?

  3. Richard

    Nader debated in 1996, once, with Harry Browne, John Hagelin, and Howard Phillips. He seems to have concluded from that experience that he won’t debate presidential candidates with a lesser campaign, any more. And he didn’t in 2000, and he didn’t in 2004. In 2004 there was a Badnarik-Cobb-Peroutka debate, but Nader wouldn’t participate in that.

  4. Peter M.

    Mikebloke,

    Seems that way. While there definitely is something to be said for having different tiers of debates (one with all the candidates who can theoretically win, and one for all presidential candidates), refusing to debate other minor party contenders indicates an opposition to democracy, in my opinion. Considering the state third parties are in in the US today, any work with other third parties on issues of inclusion and ballot access should be seen as a positive step forward, and a win for democracy. Any opposition to that, in my view, puts the candidate as an opponent of democracy, even if their political views are the same as my own.

  5. paulie

    I’m interested in the sources for Nader’s position (IE when and where he said what, what exactly he said, whether it was him or a spokesperson, etc).

    The NY Times story posted at Free and Equal under “News” indicates that

    Ralph Nader, who is on the ballot in 45 states as an independent candidate, has indicated he will show up

    Votetruth08.com says

    AMY GOODMAN: Super rally on Wall Street at noon. And will you also be at the debate on Sunday night, third-party debate at Columbia University?

    RALPH NADER: Well, I just heard about it after you told me about it last night, and-Amy, and I’ve got to look at the schedule and see.

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, if-

    CYNTHIA McKINNEY: I’m with Trevor-I’m with Trevor Lyman at the thirdpartyticket.com from 7:00 to 9:00 on October 19th.

    AMY GOODMAN: And we’ll put information on our website, because supposedly I will be moderating this debate if it does happen, and we’ll let our viewers and listeners know.

    Thirdpartyticket says

    Click here to contact Chuck Baldwin

    Click here to contact Bob Barr

    Cynthia McKinney – CONFIRMED

    Click here to contact Ralph Nader

    BAN says

    Nader seems to have concluded that he will only debate with Barr (except, obviously, he would also debate with the two major party candidates).

  6. paulie

    @ IPR

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/10/third-party-presidential-debate-when-and-where-if-at-all/

    paulie, it sounds like no one wanted to do the debate. Barr has been roughed-up by many (including myself) over nothing.

    I just spoke to Christopher Thrasher of Free and Equal. He told me the following (going by my notes, please pardon and correct any mistake):

    1. Free and Equal did not say which candidates would attend its debate. The confusion came in because when you go to

    freeandequal.org

    and go to news

    http://freeandequal.org/news.php

    What is there is actually an article from the NY Times, not a press release from Free and Equal.

    Thrasher said that in fact, Free and Equal had learned that Nader was “likely” to attend their event and that McKinney “would be” attending it from the NY Times (that is, from the article posted on their site).

    It appears that in the case of McKinney, the NY Times reporter may have been confused, and that she was in fact referring to the ThirdParty Ticket debate, which is the one her website says she will be at.

    2. According to Thrasher, national Green Party members reported being told by McKinney staff that other candidates (including Barr) had confirmed that they would be in the Third Party Ticket online debate.

    3. Chuck Baldwin will not be available for either debate, but is interested in being in a debate in the future.

    4. Amy Goodman will not be available to moderate, but may be available at a future time.

    5. High level negotiations are under way between the Nader and Barr campaigns for a debate.

    6. Thrasher said that Trevor Lyman lost interest in the Third Party Ticket debate; however, ThirdPartyTicket.com still lists Lyman as the contact (see bottom of page), and the site is still being regularly updated.

  7. paulie

    @ IPR

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/10/third-party-presidential-debate-when-and-where-if-at-all/

    paulie, it sounds like no one wanted to do the debate. Barr has been roughed-up by many (including myself) over nothing.

    I just spoke to Christopher Thrasher of Free and Equal. He told me the following (going by my notes, please pardon and correct any mistake):

    1. Free and Equal did not say which candidates would attend its debate. The confusion came in because when you go to

    freeandequal.org

    and go to news

    freeandequal.org/news.php

    What is there is actually an article from the NY Times, not a press release from Free and Equal.

    Thrasher said that in fact, Free and Equal had learned that Nader was “likely” to attend their event and that McKinney “would be” attending it from the NY Times (that is, from the article posted on their site).

    It appears that in the case of McKinney, the NY Times reporter may have been confused, and that she was in fact referring to the ThirdParty Ticket debate, which is the one her website says she will be at.

    2. According to Thrasher, national Green Party members reported being told by McKinney staff that other candidates (including Barr) had confirmed that they would be in the Third Party Ticket online debate.

    3. Chuck Baldwin will not be available for either debate, but is interested in being in a debate in the future.

    4. Amy Goodman will not be available to moderate, but may be available at a future time.

    5. High level negotiations are under way between the Nader and Barr campaigns for a debate.

    6. Thrasher said that Trevor Lyman lost interest in the Third Party Ticket debate; however, ThirdPartyTicket.com still lists Lyman as the contact (see bottom of page), and the site is still being regularly updated.

  8. Bob Marston

    Richard wrote: “Nader debated in 1996, once, with Harry Browne, John Hagelin, and Howard Phillips. He seems to have concluded from that experience that he won’t debate presidential candidates with a lesser campaign, any more. And he didn’t in 2000, and he didn’t in 2004. In 2004 there was a Badnarik-Cobb-Peroutka debate, but Nader wouldn’t participate in that.”

    Ralph came to the logical conclusion that he has nothing to gain by demolishing the other 3rd Party Candidates in a debate. But he has plenty to lose by even appearing on stage with crackpots like Chuck Baldwin. 3rd Party Debates are in and of themselves marginalizing events.

    He gesture to debate Barr provides opportunity to contrast his views to those of the business structure.

  9. #3 and #8: The Socialist Party nominee, Walt Brown, also participated in that 2004 debate with Peroutka, Cobb, and Badnarik. I found it much more stimulating than the major parties’ so-called “debates.”

    If Chuck Baldwin is a “crackpot,” what does that make Cynthia McKinney?

    Since Ron Paul has endorsed Baldwin, is Ron Paul also a “crackpot”?

  10. Ralph came to the logical conclusion that he has nothing to gain by demolishing the other 3rd Party Candidates in a debate. But he has plenty to lose by even appearing on stage with crackpots like Chuck Baldwin. 3rd Party Debates are in and of themselves marginalizing events.

    Then why should I care when he complains about the two major parties doing the same thing to him? They have nothign to gain by debating him, so why should they?

  11. citizen1

    #11 is right. I do not understand Nader at all. By running a an independent he is destroying the Green Party. The GP would be on the ballot in CT if many Greens did not work on the Nader drive.

  12. Tom Yager

    “Ralph came to the logical conclusion that he has nothing to gain by demolishing the other 3rd Party Candidates in a debate. But he has plenty to lose by even appearing on stage with crackpots like Chuck Baldwin. 3rd Party Debates are in and of themselves marginalizing events.”

    I see. It’s much more productive to not debate at all and just whine about not being included in the CPD’s events. Nader is not a major party candidate except in your imagination, and snubbing other third party candidates will not get him more media attention or the respect of Obama and McCain.

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