Examiner.com: ‘Let libertarian Kennedy debate’

By Eric Sundwall

The Boston Globe has written an abominable editorial regarding the issue of whether libertarian Joe Kennedy should be included in the upcoming debate for the special election for US Senate in Massachusets this January. Democratic candidate Martha Coakley has stated that all three ballot qualified candidates should be included. The Globe’s stance is that this is only being demanded for Coakley’s advantage and that the voters are entitled to a one on one debate amongst ‘major party’ candidates. While Mr. Kennedy has a place in other debates according to the Globe, it seems like their position is based on the prospects of a prize fighting mentality driven by their own desire to be the promoter. The Globe fascinates . . .

” Yet a one-on-one debate would be a microcosm of the political environment awaiting the next US senator – an intensely partisan climate in which Democrats and Republicans are forever jockeying for advantage – and give voters a look at how Coakley and Brown would hold up in it. “

Over 13,000 voters expressed through their signatures, a desire to have another candidate on the ballot. If that many people showed up on the Globe’s doorstep demanding they sponsor or cover something, you bet the publishers and editors would react in a favorable way. Half the voters don’t even bother to show up, knowing that it doesn’t matter. While these two heralded parties enjoy the favor of these Olympian perched cockatoo’s, the country’s debt spirals out of control and two unjust, illegal occupations continue. If Ms. Coakley’s preference/demand can’t be honored just for the sake of the principle involved . . . well let’s just say that these editorial boards are hopelessly out of touch. They would do well to get out of Bean Town and visit the parts of the Berkshires that are not holiday or tourist related.

As someone who has gone up against these types of boards and participated in a live candidate debate, I can assure the readers that a hubris beyond the measure of the average voter is at play. To their credit, some strive to be fair. Mr. Kennedy and his signatories have done what the state asks of it. The public at large ought to start questioning why a major publication should advocate blocking a legitimate ballot qualified candidate from a debate based on the insinuation that it will benefit the supplicant of such a request. Glorifying a fictional fight between classic opponents is stuff even the smallest college newspaper wouldn’t do anymore. Whether the Globe thinks Coakley is just staying above the fray or wants a one on one brawl amongst bloody opponents, they should stop taking sides. When newspapers endorse or favor one of the main party candidates or both, they do a disservice to their readership. It’s no wonder their model is failing and they can’t figure out why.

Let Mr. Kennedy debate !

7 thoughts on “Examiner.com: ‘Let libertarian Kennedy debate’

  1. Dale Sheldon

    “Democratic candidate Martha Coakley has stated that all three ballot qualified candidates should be included. The Globe’s stance is that this is only being demanded for Coakley’s advantage and […]”

    The sad part, of course, is that they’re both right.

    That voters deserve to see all candidates debate hopefully stands without comment. But Coakley *IS* primarily doing this because she things it will bring her an electoral advantage; she wants Kennedy to pull votes from the Republican. If the third ballot-approved candidate were from the Green party, I’m absolutely certain her and her Republican opponent’s tunes would be switched.

    Let’s be honest here though: spoilers suck. If you think you’re going to get spoiled, you’re going to get pissed off at the spoiler. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but as long as we keep using voting methods where spoilers are possible, where two-party domination is the only equilibrium, then these kinds of exclusionary moves (and the “magnanimous” counter-move by the party that stands to benefit from the inclusion) will continue to be part of our political environment.

    Ballot-access laws are not a CA– USE of poor third party performance, they are a result of GOOD (but not good ENOUGH) third-party performance: good enough to spoil, but not good enough to win. And the same goes for this debate-debate. Do you want to fix the SYMPTOM or do you want to fix the disease?

  2. Eric Sundwall

    Actually Dale . . . I’m quite a fix it guy. Betcha I could fix your lawn mower.

    Of course the system suks. Duh. But cranking a little about debates here and there isn’t the end all of political action. Is Coakeley looking for advantage ? Absolutely. Call it the ‘Sundwall’ effect. Debate a Libertarian, go to office. I have a Senator and Congressman notched on my belt . . how about you Cathotrot ?

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