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No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates

Farah, George

23 valutazioni da Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1583226656 / ISBN 13: 9781583226650
Editore: Seven Stories Pr, 2004
Usato Condizione: Very Good Rilegato
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Dati bibliografici

Titolo: No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic...

Casa editrice: Seven Stories Pr

Data di pubblicazione: 2004

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro:Very Good

Descrizione articolo

Riassunto:

Broadcast to tens of millions of Americans, the presidential debates are the Super Bowl of politics. A good performance before the cameras can vault a contender to the front of the pack, while a gaffe spells national embarrassment and can savage a candidacy. The slim margin for error has led the two major parties to seek—and achieve, under the aegis of the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates—tight control through scripting, severe time limits, and the exclusion of third-party candidates. In No Debate, author and lobbyist George Farah argues that these staged recitations make a mockery of free and fair presidential elections.

With urgency and clarity, this book reviews the history of presidential debates, the impact of the debates since the advent of television, the role of the League of Women Voters, the antidemocratic activity of the CPD, and the specific ways that the Republicans and Democrats collude to remove all spontaneity from the debates themselves. The author presents the complete text of a previously unreleased secret document between the Republicans and Democrats that reveals the degree to which the two parties—not the CPD—dictate the terms of the debates. In the final chapter, Farah lays out a compelling strategy for restoring the presidential debates as a nonpartisan, unscripted, public events that help citizens—not corporations or campaign managers—decide who is going to run the White House.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Review:

For pure political drama at the height of election season, there's nothing quite like a televised presidential debate. Though the candidates are stringently prepped before entering the event, surprises and raw candor often slip through as voters get their best opportunity to make direct comparisons. But according to author George Farah, Americans are not getting all the drama they're entitled to. Through the combined efforts of the Democratic and Republican establishments, legitimate third-party candidates are denied an arena to present their views, usually based on the notion that they are not viable contenders. This leads to a tautological situation: they can't debate because they aren't viable and they aren't viable because they're not allowed to debate. In No Debate, Farah provides extensive background on how the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), dominated by Democratic and Republican party operatives, took over the debate process from more non-partisan groups and then entrenched their parties in power. Farah also provides illuminating insight on how, despite such collusion, the major parties continued to joust for power, telling of when the Clinton campaign feigned a desire to include Ross Perot the 1996 debates and agreed to drop the demand only when the hapless Dole camp caved in on all other issues. All of these backroom deals and shenanigans undermine democracy itself, according to Farah, as the electorate is denied access to ideas outside the self-perpetuating dominant parties and is thus disenfranchised from open democracy. To remedy the problem, Farah also proposes to return power of the debates to a non-partisan panel of citizen experts. The magnitude of the entrenchment problem Farah describes bodes ill for the implementation of his proposals, but No Debate is sure to make one watch more skeptically the next time presidential hopefuls approach the podium. --John Moe

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