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26 Sep, 2008 21:07

Independent U.S. presidential candidate banned from debates

While millions of people around the world watched Barack Obama and fellow U.S. presidential candidate John McCain debate each other, another man running for the high office was ignored. Independent Ralph Nader is not allowed to debate McCain and Obama.

Ralph Nader is on the ballot in 45 states. In his fifth run for office Nader is polling roughly five percent nationwide. His move to cement a third party system can very well swing the election – each voter Nader gains is a vote McCain or Obama loose.

In 2000 Nader received nearly three million votes. Some argue it cost Al Gore from beating George W. Bush.

The memory is causing some supporters to abandon him on the election day.

“I'm voting for Obama only because I just don't feel Nader can win. Although I like Nader, it's just more, I'd rather not McCain win,” a voter says.

Most opinion polls list him as the third most popular in the race. But you would not think so watching the mainstream U.S. news channels.

As Americans are inundated daily with wall to wall coverage of the two major party candidates one may find Ralph Nader giving a press conference inside a university classroom with two television cameras and around ten reporters in attendance.

Slashing the military budget, clipping power of big corporations, and renewable energy – these are views that won't be heard during the televised presidential debates.

Nader is excluded from taking part.

The majority of voters attending Nader's rally are under 21 years old. Their ten dollar contributions do not put a crack in the McCain or Obama piggy bank. The donations do, however, show – even young voters are disenchanted by the status quo.

Nader’s campaign is more than just about the US presidency. He and his supporters say it's about opening up a system dominated by two parties that they say have failed the country for decades.