For several decades, the two major parties have worked together to insulate themselves from external competition in the marketplace of political ideas, elections, and media.


A healthy democracy promotes the free flow of ideas and embraces different perspectives. And the presidential debates are the most important conversations between candidates for the Presidency of the United States of America and the American people. 


Yet, the Commission on Presidential Debates (“CPD”) has established a 15% rule of entry to presidential debates that, in practice, prevents popular alternative party and independent candidates from participating in the debates, narrows the flow of ideas in our political discourse, and insulates well heeled major party candidates from the hazard of confronting different perspectives. 


The CPD is an extra governmental organization originally sponsored by the major political parties and sanctioned by the federal government, the effect of which is to calcify an existing ruling political class.


Our forefathers never could have contemplated such a system for controlling presidential debates and, given their predisposition to oppose political parties, would have opposed any such granting of governmental powers to a private corporation simply because it enjoyed the mantle of the major political parties.


For the purpose of uniting all those opposed to the exclusionary practices of the CPD, we the undersigned, join the Free & Equal Open Debates Coalition to create real change in 2024.


For more information about freeandequal.org and the Open Debates Coalition, please contact zak@freeandequal.org or 206-775-0626

Free & Equal’s Open Debates Coalition Statement of Intent

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