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Presidential debates are a fraud without third parties

Debates are of great value, but only when all relevant voices are included and can freely participate in them. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), however, has determined that only Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be heard during this month's presidential debates. This despite that fact that there are two more viable candidates running for this office. The League of Women Voters has called the situation a fraud on the American voter, and it certainly is.

Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties respectively, both have a demonstrated the level of support — either 1% of the vote in a credible national poll, or qualification for federal matching funds, or both. Their opinions, ideas, and arguments should be heard and considered alongside the two front-runners if we are truly interested in moving our country forward. New ideas should be welcomed and encouraged in a healthy democracy. However, alternative voices are being silenced by the CPD and this amounts to censorship.

The CPD, which is run by and for the two major parties, took over the debates from the League of Women Voters to limit the stage to their own candidates and to make sure that no challenging questions get asked. It's time for Americans of all political persuasions to unite and demand debates with the participation of all candidates in a free and fair exchange of ideas and opinions.

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