Gary Johnson and Jill Stein’s exclusion from the debates is a travesty for democracy

How is it fair?

The Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party nominee Jill Stein have officially become excluded from the first presidential debate.

In addition, their running mates will sit out from the vice presidential debate, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In order to qualify for the presidential debates, each presidential candidate must make a 15 percent polling threshold across several national polls. Clinton received 43 percent, Trump 40.4 percent, Johnson at 8.4 percent and Stein at 3.2 percent.

The big question we must ask ourselves here is if the United Sates is truly a democracy how can we preventing presidential candidates from campaigning for themselves and sharing their point of views?

To be fair to both the candidates and the voters, I believe our election debates should have the nominee for each serious party present. Our country needs to be more like the United Kingdom, which automatically has each candidate from every legitimate party on stage. But no, this is not the case for us. Due to some percentages, these candidates are missing out. It seems that, as shown by the candidates at this debate, that the only two political parties that you can support are the Democratic Party and Republican Party.

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TV election debates in the UK

Even Gary Johnson has announced that being excluded would be a death sentence to his campaign. According to his campaign manager Ron Nielson, Johnson’s campaign lawyers believe that there are “several serious flaws in the court’s basis and reasoning.” Guess what? The lawyers are completely right.

As an independent, I am not tied to any party which means I will judge each candidate on how they would be as the leader of our country. But how is it fair that half of the four major parties will not be allowed to share their views at the first presidential debate? So many votes will be taken away from them now since voters will not be able to hear what they would do for our country and how they would do it.

We should NOT have this polling percentage minimum to decide who gets to participate in the debate. When we have this, we’re teaching our young electorate that the only two real parties are the Democratics and Republicans. How the hell is that helping anyone in our country? We pride the United States on liberty, human rights and freedom. We should own all of these crucial statutes for ourselves by being able to hear all of our options, not just a few. How is that right or fair to any member of the electorate?

Even if this is only the first presidential debate, there are just two more after this one as the date gets closer and closer to when we must elect our president. I am quite worried that something like this will happen for the next two debates that will exclude Johnson and Stein once again.

We need change in our country, and that is a fact. Even if it only has to do with the presidential elections, we need to change this, as the president will run our entire country and have a huge say in our lives.

So let’s be fair here and give everyone an equal chance.

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University of Maryland Politics