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Letter: Let third parties participate in political debates
Aug 20, 2014 | 542 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Editor, 

We’re in the year 2014 in Utah and there still hasn’t been a fair debate I have seen in my lifetime. 

Initially I was excited with the new debate commission in Utah coming out with a strong non-partisan message. 

However, this hasn’t been what I’ve experienced over the last several months as I have been involved in campaigning for Utah’s 1st Congressional District. 

It seems that the Utah Debate Commission is sticking with the two major parties as the only options and not extending invitations out to third parties or independents. 

I don’t find this as good practice for “informing voters” of choices as the Debate Commission states in its mission. 

Take for instance the 1st District Race. Dwane Vance (Independent American Party), Donna McAleer (Democrat), Congressman Rob Bishop (Republican), and I (Libertarian) are all running for the seat, but only Congressman Bishop and Ms. McAleer are going to be able to debate. 

The claim is that a viable party is entered into the debate, but the standard set is 10 percent polling. 

I find this odd, because in 1st District, to have a chance at beating Mr. Bishop, one would need closer to 30 percent before the race even started to look close. 

The Democrat candidates have gotten just over 20 percent in the last two races, making them just as much a long shot as any third party option. 

I think in order for there to be a truly fair election process we need to have fair debates; including all parties. This way Utah voters will get to truly see their choices displayed, and defending their ideas in much the same way they would in the halls of Congress. 

It’s time the antiquated approach of the two parties falls to the wayside and allow others to speak as well. 

Craig Bowden

North Ogden

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