On Tuesday night, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, were arrested while trying to gain entrance to the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Stein was attempting to gain access to the debate as a form of protest after not only her own party was excluded from the debate, but no third party candidates were allowed to have their voices heard at all. Third party presidential candidates were not invited to participate even though some of them, including Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, are on the ballot in most states and are mathematically capable of winning enough electoral votes to win the election.
As she was arrested outside the man gates of Hofstra University, where the debate was taking place, Stein said:
“If you have done the work to get on the ballot, if you are on the ballot and could actually win the electoral college by being on the ballot in enough states, then you deserve to be in the election and you deserve to be heard.”
Jill Stein also commented on what she regards as the illegitimate nature of the debate commission and the exclusionary nature of presidential debates in general. She claims that many key issues will be completely ignored in this and all future elections as long as third party voices continue to be left out of the national dialogue and remain uncovered by the media at large. For voters who are tired of the grip of the two major parties on our political system, her message rings true. Stein argues:
“It’s time for the American people to hear about the solutions that can really fix this problem and to hear about the candidates that they have a right to vote for.”
IVN.us will be hosting the first online presidential debate between Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson on Thursday, October 18, 2012.