Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kent Mesplay: An Open Letter to the Organizers of Science "Debate" 2008

An Open Letter to the Organizers of Science "Debate" 2008:

I would like to call attention to the apparent exclusion of alternative party candidates from the “Science Debate 2008.” Global Climate Change, in particular, is an important Green Party topic as it affects public health and safety, contains social injustice elements and is related to non-sustainable development. Moreover, as an Air Quality Inspector II for the county of San Diego, the issue is close to my vocation and avocation.

Selection of a “15% rule” of popularity for inclusion is arbitrary, capricious and unscientific. Some points must be made regarding “viability.” In 2004 the Green Party presidential candidate, David Cobb, was statistically capable of being elected president (see Richard Winger’s Ballot Access News). Especially during the primary election season, events such as yours further perpetuate the myth that there are only two political parties in this country by excluding alternative parties and limiting actual debate. Our candidates do quite well when they are heard. Would you now exclude Mrs. Clinton as she appears to not be a viable candidate? How about excluding John McCain since a broad coalition of progressives are united in seeing an end to Republican control and damage? Your “formula” does not account for the roughly half of the potential voter population perhaps being sufficiently inspired by an actual multi-party debate to register to vote and to participate. Nor does the benchmark account for late-breaking campaigns with “exponential” growth: witness the late-breaking run of Matt Gonzalez who nearly won the mayor-ship of San Francisco!

A Green Party presidential candidate would do well enough in your “debate” to subsequently poll over 15%. If you are accepting two Democrats then certainly you have room for one Green (and our party could decide whom to choose). I ask that you allow a Green to participate, especially in light of the subject matter and the reality of onerous, inconsistent ballot access laws that, together with exclusion from polls and “debates,” effectively outlaw political free speech.

Gore would not have done as well as he did had Nader not inspired people to register to vote by his run (a scholarly study backs this up). Plus, more Democrats voted Republican in Florida in 2000 than voted Green. Are you interested in facts or propaganda? It would seem the latter.

Thank you for reconsidering,

Kent P. Mesplay, Ph.D.

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