For those voters looking for choice in the presidential market, two candidates are simply not enough. Tonight’s Third Party Presidential Debate provides an opportunity for the American public to learn more about the four other candidates. The debate will be hosted by Larry King and there is no specific format as viewers are encouraged to submit real time questions via social media using the hashtag #AskEmThisLarry.
The following candidates will be participating in the debate: Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson.
Rocky Anderson - Justice Party
Anderson is the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah and will be running under the Justice Party that he created last year. He advocated impeaching George W. Bush and is also an environmentalist. His policies include an end to corporate warfare, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and the legalization of industrial hemp.
Virgil Goode - Constitution Party
Goode is a former congressman that left the Democratic Party for the Constitution Party. He opposes illegal immigration and wants to repeal President Obama’s health care plan. A few of his policies include the support of fencing the border and English as the official language of the US.
Gary Johnson - Libertarian Party
Johnson is a former governor of New Mexico and he initially ran as a Republican this year. He supports the legalization of marijuana and legalizing gay marriage. His policies also include an end to the war in Afghanistan and a strong belief in gun rights.
Jill Stein - Green Party
Stein focuses on a job creation through her program called the Green New Deal. Highlights of her policies include a nuclear free Middle East, demilitarized US border crossings, and a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
These candidates have some very interesting ideas and the openness of the structure has the potential for an informative and lively debate. I hope that the debate format will promote in-depth discussions, clash on ideas, and provide Americans with more choices. Even if you know you won’t vote for or end up choosing not to vote for a third party candidate, tuning into tonight’s debate will provide interesting and fresh perspectives.
PolicyMic will be covering the third party presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATE - Post-Debate analysis here.
10:30PM The debate is over and Christina Tobin announces that based on votes on Free and Equal site, the two candidates with the most votes will appear in a debate next Tuesday at 9PM focused on international issues. Stay tuned for post debate analysis.
10:26PM Gary Johson says that voting for a third party candidate is not a waste of a vote. Wasting your vote is voting for someone you don't believe in.
10:25PM Rocky Anderson explains the need for democratic solutions in the public interest and the failures of the major party candidates.
10:21PM Jill Stein quotes Alice Walker (YES!) - i'm done - drops mouse and walks away.
10:20PM On closing statements, Goode gives a speech and Johnson reads his resume.
10:16PM Jill Stein speaks about corporate influence and the need to get rights back from the corporations that seized them.
10:13PM Gary Johnson says term limits as well. Begins with the idea that folks will promise everything awesome to get elected. Question - isn't that what campaigning is? and isn't that what they are doing right now?
10:11PM Virgil Goode says we need term limits between 6 and 12 years. I concur Goode, finally.
10:10PM Rocky Anderson starts off with providing protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. Well, we didn't hear any of this in the previous three debates.
10:09PM Final debate question. If you could amend the Constitution and it would get passed, what would it be?
10:08PM They all agree on this issue. I do believe that a discussion of the NDAA and the choices of President Obama is completely necessary but I wish the discussion also includes the impacts of repealing those laws.
10:04PM Jill Stein is just railing on all of this post 9/11 legislation and she quotes Benjamin Franklin (the same quote I used in many a Lincoln-Douglas Debate).
10:02PM These are some decent questions. NDAA 1021 on the ability to detain indefinitely. Wish someone had the balls to ask these during the major party debates.
10:01PM AND MORE CLASH!! This time from Rocky Anderson who says we need to provide opportunities for all - Prosperity not Austerity! Jill Stein seconds.
10:00PM Gary Johnson strikes back. Finally we see some clash. He says free college equals more debt. But what happens to those who can't afford it - no college? Well that just doesn't seem like a great idea.
9:58PM Rocky Anderson proposes dischargeability of student loans. Once again Virgil Goode stands out and says we cannot afford Pell Grants and subsidized loans.
9:56PM Dr. Jill Stein lets it be known - FREE COLLEGE. She stresses a secure start for students and that a high school degree does not cut it. She whips Johnson on this answer.
9:55PM Gary Johnson says the result of tuition hikes are guaranteed loans. He does not provide a plan for changing that but states that if students just don't go then rates would go down.
9:53PM And there goes the student debt question.
9:52PM Gary Johnson moves us to Iran and and Larry King says that neither major party candidate say they would bomb Iran- boom- fact checked.
9:48PM Dr. Jill Stein also mentions climate change which was absent from the major party debates.
9:47PM Dr. Jill Stein agrees but puts forward the complete ban of drones.
9:46PM Gary Johnson compares the situation in Syria to that of Afghanistan. Funding insurgents in Syria is the same as funding Bin Laden in Afghanistan. So far the only point of contention was Virgil Goode on the drug debate.
9:44PM Virgil Goode says we need a strong defense but the budge needs to be cut. Gary Johnson says the same thing but specifies a 43% reduction and gets us out of all of the military enagagements and reducing troops and bases.
9:43PM Next question - what should be the role of the US military abroad and do we spend too much on Defense.
9:42PM This question in a picture:
9:41PM Rocky Anderson recommends a pardon for all those incarcerated solely for drug offenses. Now that is an interesting proposal. Is anyone going to push him on this? What will be the impact of that pardon?
9:39PM Dr. Jill Stein also believe in legalizing marijuana. I also appreciate her referring to the future president as woman.
9:37PM Gary Johnson's policy in two words - Legalize and Regulate. Done.
9:35PM Virgil Goode -leave it states (I have a feeling this is going to be a trend). Goode does not want to fund Planned Parenthood (boos from the audience). He will ultimately reduce funding for the war on drugs and Larry King makes sure he stays on topic.
9:34PM Rocky Anderson request an end to war on drugs and to treat drug addiction as an educational and not a criminal problem.
9:31PM Gary Johnson up now. Really getting the crowd support. Legalize marijuana, marriage is a right for all, balanced budget, bring the troops home TOMORROW. Everything sounded awesome until the tomorrow part because that's just rhetoric and not possible at all.
9:29PM Virgil Goode with his lovely drawl differentiates himself from Barack Obama. He does say he proposes a complete moratorium on green cards until employment is under 5%.
9:28PM Rocky Anderson bringing up some great points about presidential war powers and the trials of suspected terrorists. I wish we could stop his speech right here and just start discussing those topics.
9:27PM Jill Stein opening statement focuses on her Green New Deal. More information about this deal can be found here.
9:25PM I wonder if one of the six question will be about student debt.
9:24PM Nevermind. Opening statements first then onto the second question. Let's get some scripts here.
9:23PM War on drugs question.
9:22PM Gary Johnson getting the most audience support and he goes in for the horrible nature drones. I hope drones come up again in the discussion later. Larry King calling Johnson Governor gives him more credence, poor form.
9:20PM Larry King is keeping them check on time. I hope this extends to keeping them on topic as well.
9:17PM Gary Johnson throws out a zinger. Romney and Obama are Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum - lets get some memes folks.
9:15PM Virgil Goode differentiates himself by making this a state issue. He is succintly answering the question. Thumbs up to Goode right now for keeping it simple and keeping it moving.
9:12PM Larry King needs to reel Rocky Anderson in. He moved from discussing the election system to the problems with Romney and Obama. He brings it back to the necessity of more choices but I hope these rants don't continue.
9:11PM Jill Stein answers the question and begins with an awkward rant about the meaning of political party names. She picked up momentum when she began discussing the impact budgets on the top two primary system.
9:08PM First question from the folks hosting the debate. It is on the top two primary system. An obvious question given the current problems with third party candidates getting on the ballot.
9:07PM Six questions in total, candidates get two minutes to respond and an additional minute that can be saved for later.
9:04PM Tobin trying to sound impassioned why Larry King sips on something in a coffee mug.
9:01PM It is supposed to be getting started but we are watching the preparations. Maybe a little more polish next time. HERE WE GO!
8:58PM Only 2 minutes remaining. Lets get ready for a good debate (hopefully). Feel free to use Reddit as well.
8:51PM Since these candidates don't currently have enough support to win the presidency, I hope this discussion gets detailed and tough. We need to hear these difficult topics discussed in depth, something that cannot happen in a major party debate due to the high stakes and the need to win over the entire nation.
8:40PM Correspondents now discussing the difference between bipartisan and transpartisan. The electoral system needs to be transpartisan and include all voices, not simply Republican and Democratic ones.
8:30PM A few potential questions submitted from the Twittersphere:
8:28PM Virgil Goode up now. I appreciate the correspondents taking time before the debate to introduce the candidate to those that may not be familiar with their policies. Although the conversations are dry and awkward at times, it is still beneficial.
8:22PM Dr. Jill Stein speaking now about the Green New Deal. In summary, the Green New Deal is an emergency plan that creates 25 million jobs and ends unemployment. It would cost about 600 billion dollars.
8:15PM Gary Johnson speaking now on how to change the electoral system. In summary, he says that when two parties become obsolete then it is up to the people to supplant those parties; he is a part of that process.
8:10PM For your convenience the following hashtags will be used tonight: #Ora2012, #nowthatsadebate, and #thirdpartydebate. To submit questions use #AskEmThisLarry.
8:08 PM Watching the pre-debate coverage on Ora TV and I agree with the correspondents that the lack of third party presidential candidates in the major party debates prevents American voters from hearing all of the positions and prevents significant change in the political system.