I think it would be great to see a third-party candidate such as Gary Johnson, be a part of the presidential debates this election year. However, no matter how well Johnson does, I question whether he would be allowed to participate in a three-way debate with Romney and Obama, for the reason given below.
When Ross Perot ran for president for the first time in 1992, he scared the hell out of both the Democrat and Republican establishments. Because, with him being a billionaire, he had the resources to actually win the election; and he just about did, if he wouldn't have dropped out of the race for a couple weeks right in the middle of it all, which killed his momentum.
Anyway, after the 1992 election occurred, I distinctly remember a news reporter interviewing someone on TV about how a pact was signed between the leadership of the Democrat and Republican parties. I think the person being interviewed was one of the presidential candidates; I'm not sure. But, the pact that they were talking about was essentially an "establishment protection plan" where, from that point on, both parties agreed to exclude any third party candidate from their public debates. In other words, the Democrat and Republican candidates would only publicly debate each other, from that point on. That way they would exclude any third-party voice from the national discussion in their debates.
I remember the reporter bluntly questioning the person being interviewed, that what they had done was essentially to protect their own mutual interests, to which the interviewee agreed.
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