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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Open Debate Coalition Ask McCain And Obama To Open Debates

A new coalition has been formed including Conservatives and Liberals and they are asking John McCain and Barack Obama open the remaining presidential debates to the public domain.

The LA Times' Top of the Ticket target="_blank">reports of a new coalition of what they call Internet pioneers from all sides of the political spectrum want two things.

First they want the debates open to public domain with Lawrence Lessig, law professor and Stanford Law School & Founder, saying "Copyright, in my view, is essential and important, in some places. This isn't one," referring to the debates.

The second issue at hand for the Open Debate Coalition is how the questions are decided for presidential debates and they are asking the two presidential candidates to insist on a new method of choosing the questions.

Right now choosing the questions is up to whoever is hosting and moderating the debate although during the primary season, some formats included questions received online.

The suggestion from the coalition for deciding the questions is that online questions be submitted and voted on putting the most voted on questions at the top of the list and choosing from the top 25 on the list.

The Presidential Commission on Debates has only offered a limited amount of new technology into their debate rules of late, so the newly formed coalition decided to go around the Commission and trying to directly influence the candidates to insist on altering the current methods.

In one portion of the letter the Open Debate Coalition has sent to the candidates, they state, "This is a historic election. The signers of this letter don’t agree on every issue. But we do agree that in order for Americans to make the best decision for president, we need open debates that are 'of the people' in the ways described above. You have the power to make that happen, and we ask you to do so."

The members of the Open Debate Coalition include, Lawrence Lessig – Professor, Stanford Law School & Founder, Center for Internet and Society, Glenn Reynolds – Professor, University of Tennessee Law, and founder of blog, Craig Newmark – Founder, Craigslist, Jimmy Wales – Founder, Wikipedia, David Kralik – Director of Internet Strategy, Newt Gingrich's American Solutions, Eli Pariser – Executive Director, Political Action, Adam Green – Director of Strategic Campaigns, Political Action, Mindy Finn – Republican strategist, former Mitt Romney Online Director, Patrick Ruffini – Republican consultant, Bush/Cheney 2004 eCampaign Director, Arianna Huffington – Founder, Huffington Post, Markos Moulitsas – Founder,, Jon Henke – New media consultant, including for Fred Thompson, George Allen, and Senate Republican
Caucus, Mike Krempasky – Founder of, Matt Stoller – Founder/Editor,, James Rucker – Executive Director,, Robert Greenwald – President, BraveNewFilms, Kim Gandy – President, National Organization for Women, Carl Pope – Executive Director, Sierra Club. Micah Sifry – Co-Founder, Personal Democracy Forum and, Shari Steele - Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation,
Josh Silver – Executive Director, Free Press, Carl Malamud – Founder, Public.Resource.Org, Roger Hickey – Co-Director, Campaign for America's Future.

It is not often, if ever, the political blogosphere sees these names together promoting any issue.