Talk:Commission on Presidential Debates

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The CDP is not controlled by the Dem/GOP parties.[edit]

From the Commission on Presidential Debate website:

"The CPD is an independent organization. It is not controlled by any political party or outside organization and it does not endorse, support or oppose political candidates or parties. It receives no funding from the government or any political party, political action committee or candidate. The CPD has sponsored general election presidential debates in every election since 1988." [1]

So I'm going to go ahead and remove where it says the Dem/GOP parties control the CPD and are its "parent organizations", unless anyone can provide a damn good reason why such a wholly untrue statement should be included in this article. DojoIrl (talk) 16:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)[]

As a compromise, I would avoid language using the phrase "bi-partisan" or "non-partisan" altogether. The CPD was created in 1987 by the then-heads of the Democratic Party (Paul G. Kirk) and Republican Party (Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr.) to sponsor the debates (see: nytimes) and while it touts its financial and de jure political independence, it still has deep ties to both parties by virtue of its leadership - e.g. there are no current or former Green Party, Constitution Party, or Libertarian Party members on the board - and has acted to the detriment (rightly or not) of third parties ever since Ross Perot was invited to debate in '92. I think it would be more appropriate instead to include the history of the CPD and the facts surrounding its establishment and leadership, rather than edit-warring about shades of meaning between the terms "bi-partisan" vs. "non-partisan". Reading the NYTimes article from 1987, the CPD's establishment seems hardly non-partisan. The founders stated at the time (emphasis added): "We believe the Democratic and Republican Parties are making history today by assuming their rightful responsibility for the single most effective voter education project" and "The extremely competitive nature of the two parties will ensure that we will reach the best possible agreement for all concerned, most importantly for the voters of this nation." I will BE BOLD and expand the history section accordingly.-Ich (talk) 21:40, 28 September 2016 (UTC)[]
Also worth looking at is this article from FAIR from August 2000.-Ich (talk) 21:59, 28 September 2016 (UTC)[]
If Democrats and Republicans CREATED the commission and fill the commission, and set the standards for exclusion, it is FAIR to say it is "controlled" by them. How many independents are on their board. Tom Ruen (talk) 23:38, 29 September 2016 (UTC)[]
I still don't think it's correct to list it as having the DNC/GOP as parent organizations. It's true it has shared history and deep ties, but it's not a subsidiary of either party. Perhaps the "|affiliations = " field would be more suitable, as it sidesteps the argument between de jure vs. de facto control.-Ich (talk) 11:16, 30 September 2016 (UTC)[]
Sounds better. I moved them to "affiliations". Tom Ruen (talk) 16:50, 1 October 2016 (UTC)[]
There's been some more back-and-forth on the use of "controlled" in the lede. While there is an appearance of de facto control, there is no de jure control by the parties as User:DojoIrl clearly pointed out above. As a compromise, I will change to "created by" rather than "controlled by". "Created by" is backed up by available sources, and "controlled". For the reasons I listed above, I will remove "bipartisan".-Ich (talk) 16:15, 11 October 2016 (UTC)[]
I still feel the tone of the article strays outside the bounds of neutral POV so I suggest amending the introduction to say that the CPD was initially "sponsored" by the two main political parties in 1987 to replace the rather ad hoc nature of presidential debates prior to this. Creating something really isn't the same as sponsoring something. I suggest the following: "The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is an independent nonprofit corporation, first established in 1987 under the sponsorship of both the Democratic and Republican parties for the purpose of conducting US presidential debates. A non-party political organization, the CPD sponsors and produces debates for presidential and vice-presidential candidates and undertakes research and educational activities relating to the debates. It has run each of the presidential debates held since 1988. The Commission's debates are sponsored by private contributions from foundations and corporations." Also, the fact that it doesn't receive funding from either party, or any other political party for that matter proves it is a totally independent body. I feel this would be the most neutral and fairest way of presenting this introduction. The section below on the CPD's creation does a good job in going into detail the body's creation and establishment. If anyone wishes to edit the introduction then do so on the understanding that the article's neutral POV is respected. Thank you. DojoIrl (talk) 19:36, 11 October 2016 (UTC)[]
Thanks for your feedback and changes. I find that fair and agree that there's a fair amount of POV in terms of perhaps undue focus on the controversies: the article contains a laundry list of complaints, lawsuits, and legal challenges. I tried before to flesh it out with content unrelated to its conduct vis-a-vis third parties. As it is, separate "Criticism" sections are best avoided (WP:NOCRIT); the content should be integrated into the article. Given that much of the article is already about the perceived 3rd-party-exclusion and attendant court cases, it might make sense to include a sentence in the lede noting that this controversy exists while acknowledging the CPD's financial and political independence in spite of its genesis. I would also move the board of directors out of the lede and into a separate "Leadership" section or similar. What say you to adding to the lede: "The CPD has drawn criticism from third parties for adopting rules that exclude their candidates from the general election debates" or "The CPD has been the subject of controversy over the years for its exclusion of third-party candidates from the general election debates". I will be bold about the leadership section.-Ich (talk) 20:16, 11 October 2016 (UTC)[]


September 29th, 2020[edit]

Someone less angry at the CPD than me should take to the task of documenting how thoroughly effed up the whole process is and how it led to this debacle. Seanr (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:47, 30 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Possible overhaul and unbalanced tag[edit]

Hi everyone, so I went ahead and tagged the article for being unbalanced due to the heavy focus on the anti-third party stance of the Commission in most of the sections. Given that by its very nature this article concerns political topic, I think getting input and taking a more collaborative approach to revising the article would be beneficial.

Some of the suggestions I would make include:

Moving all information about the third-party controversies to the criticism section or making one of its own.

Adding more information about presidential debates prior to the commission’s founding and what led to it being established

Reworking the leadership section to provide a more chronological list of the commissions leaders similar to other articles and sections showing membership of a group body

Possibly listing the debates, participants and locations of the debates sponsored by the Commission again in a chronological list format

Again, I would stress that it might be beneficial to avoid bringing up the controversies except where strictly relevant to the commissions history except in a dedicated section. Antcomp (talk) 03:53, 1 October 2020 (UTC)[]