TAMPA, November 4, 2012 – “Remember, remember the 5th of November.”
So says Christina Tobin, founder and chair of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, a 501 (c)3 non-profit formed to ensure a fair an open electoral process for all. The organization is sponsoring its second presidential debate this election season on November 5th at 9 PM EST. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson will square off against Green Party nominee Jill Stein.
Johnson and Stein won the right to participate by finishing first and second, respectively, in an online vote conducted after the first Free and Equal debate on October 23rd. In addition to Johnson and Stein, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson also participated in the first debate.
While united in their opposition to the two-party system, Johnson and Stein have very different ideas about the role of government and the solutions to America’s problems.
“They do have a different take on things such as healthcare and so on, but my feeling is that the two-party system has been playing us for over a century now and they’ve made us quite divisive. I do foresee, after this election, a huge movement of independents running for office and finding, well, we do have a lot in common across the spectrum,” said Tobin.
One thing that all four candidates agreed on during the first debate was opposition to the last NDAA bill, which gives the president the power to arrest an American citizen, without charges or a warrant, and hold him indefinitely without recourse to a hearing or other due process. While Johnson, Stein, Goode and Anderson all oppose this, Romney and Obama both support it.
“Well, because they’re owned by private interest money,” explained Tobin. “It’s that simple. It’s the money in politics, Democrats and Republicans alike, the money in media and so on that has gotten us where we are today. So, in order to change that, we need to… Of course, opening up the debates is the first step of many.”
Tobin believes her organization can play a vital role in an emerging independent movement.
“In 2013, we’ll have conferences, big conferences uniting leaders. Honest organizations, media, authors all coming together and recognizing that the reason we have the passage of the NDAA and the Patriot Act – shame on the Democrats and Republicans – is because of the money. It’s the money in politics that’s forcing these D’s and R’s to…to make these sort of wrong decisions, unconstitutional decisions. So we the people will have run for office in 2014.”
Tobin also sees movement away from the two-party systems as a long-term trend.
“We’re here for the long haul. I’m 31 years of age and I’ll be doing this full-time for the rest of my life. I’m the luckiest girl ever. I love this. It’s so much fun.”
Listen to the entire interview here.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.