Third party candidates should be included in debates | Fair Vote Minnesota


Third party candidates should be included in debates

October 24, 2014In a functioning democracy, its critical that voters have full access to information and points of views from the range of candidates on the ballot. This access is essential to making informed choices and holding the candidates accountable.

Fairvote Minnesota is concerned that some candidates are being excluded from candidate debates and forums.

In denying voters the opportunity to hear from all the candidates, debate organizers appear more concerned with the partisan interests of the two major-party candidates than the interests of the electorate, said FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey.

FairVote Minnesota calls on debate organizers to open debates to all candidates and ensure voters have full access to the choices and range of ideas offered in this years election.

The exclusion of third-party candidates in debates is symptomatic of our broken plurality, winner-take-all system. Elections should offer a diverse marketplace of ideas and solutions to the challenges facing our society. Third parties seek to bring fresh ideas to process. Yet under the current system, in which the majority can split its vote and lose, third-party candidates have a tough time gaining traction because many voters are worried about wasting their vote on a candidate who can't win or about spoiling the election by taking votes away from a viable major-party candidate.

FairVote Minnesota applauds Minneapolis and St. Paul for leading the way for Ranked Choice Voting in Minnesota. Along with producing candidates with broad popular support, RCV helps level the playing field for all candidates and offers more choice to voters by removing spoiler and wasted vote dynamics. It removes barriers to open debates and discourages attack campaigning while fostering campaigns based on issues and ideas, building the capacity for consensus-making and creative problem-solving once candidates take office.

Lets ensure all voices are heard equally this election seasonand lets continue to work toward expanding this popular and proven political innovation in Minnesota, RCV, that better reflects the multi-party state weve become and can help bridge the political divides we face.





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