EVENT - Forum on Democracy & Fair Debates

 David Cobb (Green) and Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), candidates for President of the United States who oppose the Iraq war and fight for voting reforms, spoke out on the need for third party participation in democracy and the Debates at a forum Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Holiday Inn Ballroom in Coral Gables.
    
Former independent Presidential hopeful John Anderson was the program Presenter, with Jennifer Van Bergen, J.D. as moderator. Video. Forum. Info

CANDIDATES (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

MICHAEL BADNARIK, LIBERTARIAN PARTY

Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian Party's 2004 presidential nominee. Badnarik, 50, hails from Indiana and currently lives in Austin, TX. His background is in computer programming for nuclear power plants and defense-related projects. He's also an avid shooter, skydiver and scuba diver and has served as an adult Scout leader and Red Cross volunteer. He teaches a course on the Constitution to audiences around the United States.

As a Libertarian, Badnarik emphasizes individual freedom, personal responsibility, small government and a non-interventionist foreign policy. He favors immediate withdrawal from Iraq, the elimination of the federal income tax and dramatic reductions in the size, scope and power of government.

The Libertarian Party, founded in 1972, is America's third largest political party. More than 600 Libertarians serve in public office at all levels of government.

DAVID COBB, GREEN PARTY

David Cobb is the Green Party nominee for President in 2004. Raised in the small shrimping village of San Leon, Texas, David graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993. He served on the Law Review and worked in the Public Interest Law Clinic. David lectures and facilitates "Rethinking Corporations/ Rethinking Democracy" seminars and workshops across the country, which explore the social, legal and historical context of how corporations have become the dominant institution of our times.

As the Green candidate, David stands for environmental responsibility, social justice, economic fairness and non-violence. He is committed to ending the war in Iraq, universal healthcare, and energy independence.

The Green Party of the United States was formed in 2001 as a reincarnation of the older Association of State Green Parties (1996-2001). Green Party growth has been rapid since our founding in 2001and Green candidates are winning elections throughout the U.S. State party membership has more than doubled since its founding.

SPONSORS

University of Miami's Council for Democracy

Council for Democracy is a non-partisan, student-run political organization dedicated to raising students’ socio-political awareness and sense of political efficacy by creating an open and neutral forum where students can learn and discuss what's going on in government, politics and society without feeling the pressure of having to accept one point of view or the other. We firmly believe that a well-informed and freethinking individual is democracy's greatest supporter.

Center for Voting and Democracy

The Center for Voting and Democracy supports electoral system reforms that promote fair representation, voter participation, electoral competition, better debate and policy that better reflects the will of the majority. We support national and local efforts to secure and enhance the right to vote and improve election administration. Through research, analysis, education and advocacy, we promote a "right to vote" constitutional amendment, full representation voting methods for legislatures to represent our racial and political diversity, and instant runoff voting to achieve majority rule and voter choice. For more information, visit www.FairVote.org.

Miami Dade College (North) Student Government Association

Student Government Association (SGA) is the representing voice of 22,000 students at Miami Dade College-North Campus (MDC-N). SGA serves as the student governing body responsible for communicating scholars’ interests and academic needs to the administration of the institution. Members apply leadership, communication, and many other skills they have acquired throughout their academic careers at MDC by providing management, mobilization, and many other traits to the development of projects instigated by SGA.

PRESENTER

Former United States presidential candidate John B. Anderson

Mr Anderson received 6 million votes as an independent candidate in 1980, and has served as chair of the Center for Voting and Democracy since 1996. He is a frequent lecturer and expert commentator on issues of electoral reform, United Nations reform, foreign affairs, American politics, and independent candidacies.

A graduate from the University of Illinois and Harvard Law School, Mr. Anderson served ten terms as U.S. Representative to Congress. He served on the House Rules Committee and for a decade was Chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Mr. Anderson has taught political science as a visiting professor at numerous universities, including Nova Southeastern University.

MODERATOR

Jennifer Van Bergen, J.D.

Jennifer Van Bergen, who resides in South Florida, is on the State Board and Legal Panel of the Florida ACLU and has written, spoken, and debated widely against the PATRIOT Act and other civil liberties concerns.

Jennifer is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. Her new book, The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America (Common Courage Press), has been called "a primer for citizenship that puts current events in a context that reveals what is really at stake for the American people in the war on terrorism... the survival of democracy itself." She was an adjunct faculty member of the New School for Social Research in New York She also taught The Anti-terrorism Laws, the Constitution, and Civil Rights in the Social Sciences Dept.

Ms. Van Bergen works frequently with numerous South Florida peace and justice groups to organize events, forums, debates, and rallies.


 
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