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Common Dreams

Third Party Candidates Add Fresh Perspective to Debates

Largely ignored by US cable news, int'l networks give outsiders platform

Common Dreams staff

Four third-party candidates met Tuesday night to debate issues otherwise unheard. (Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Eclipsed by the wake of the final presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, four third-party candidates took the stage last night in Chicago: Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party, Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party and Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party.

In an event sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, arguably the most well-known person present was moderator Larry King.

Though they represented the poles of the political spectrum, the four nominees agreed on a number of issues unheard of in the previous debates. The ineffectiveness of the War on Drugs and the imperative to cut defense spending were echoed across the board.

The Commission on Presidential Debates excludes parties with less than 15 percent support nationwide. So far, the only candidate who has met that criteria is billionaire Ross Perot, who debated Bill Clinton and George H W Bush in 1992.

A second third-party debate will be held on October 30. Tuesday's debate was broadcasted by Al Jazeera and Russia Today—which can be viewed below—but largely ignored by all major US cable news networks.

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