The Green Party of Ohio has committed ourselves to having open debates, where all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, have the opportunity to present their case to the voters.
The Democratic and Republican Parties have sought to limit debate participation at local, state, and national levels. This penchant for limiting voter choice is evident in this election cycle as the Senatorial candidates of both those parties have decided to hold debates without the participation of the Green Party nominee, Joe DeMare.
As a result of this lack of inclusion, the DeMare campaign is organizing protests of the Strickland/Portman debates.
These protests will occur at debate sites in Youngstown, Columbus and Cleveland. We invite the public to join members of the DeMare campaign and The Green Party of Ohio as we stand firm against the exclusionary policies of the Democrats and Republicans.
The first protest will occur in Youngstown on Friday the 14th at the Wick Park Recreation Center.
That will be followed by an event in Columbus on the October 17th outside the studios of WBNS-TV.
Finally, on October 20th, we will protest at the IDEA Center at Playhouse Square.
In a true participatory democracy, it is vital that the voters be given a real opportunity to decide for themselves which candidate, and which party, is worthy of support. The false choice engineered by the Democrats and Republicans is inherently undemocratic.
This year is like no other, voter dissatisfaction with the two established parties is at an all time high. Alternative parties are poised to take advantage and the entrenched power structure is reacting by limiting the exposure of other voices in a desperate attempt to maintain their grip on the legislative and executive branches of our government.
It is up the electorate to demand fair debates, where all candidates are heard, where the “debate” is more than soundbites and posturing. The Green Party of Ohio and the DeMare for Senate campaign seek a real discussion of substantive issues and actual policy proposals.
Will the Strickland and Portman campaigns respond? Time will tell.