The final gubernatorial debate before Election Day will be held at the Haymarket Theatre in Squires Student Center on Oct. 24. It will feature two candidates in the race for governor, Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe.
There is, however, one candidate who rightfully deserves a seat in the debate who doesn’t have one.
Robert Sarvis, a libertarian candidate, has been denied a spot in the debate. Since Sarvis currently holds a projected 12 percent of the votes — one of the highest percentages for a third party candidate in Virginia gubernatorial election history — it is ridiculous that he isn’t being given a fair chance to speak on his platform.
Although his name will be on the ballot, Robert Sarvis cannot participate in the last debate, which could arguably decide the fate of one candidate over the other.
In fact, WDBJ-7 established the terms on which a candidate may attend by a share of the votes: 10 percent. As of last week, Sarvis holds 12 percent, which poses the question: why was he excluded?
Excluding Sarvis from this debate goes to show the inherent corruption of the two-party system and its unwillingness to allow change.
George Washington warned Americans of the dangers of a two-party dominant system, where discord and self-interest would supersede the interests and welfare of the nation. Excluding a legitimate candidate from a debate evinces the truth of his prediction.
Perhaps the establishment is intimidated by the idea of a third-party candidate, but the reality is that party politics have control over this election, and the likelihood of anything changing anytime soon is not good.
Sarvis is a well-qualified candidate. His education, sensibility and lack of mudslinging campaign tactics show us that he is not a career politician like McAuliffe and Cuccinelli.
From an unbiased standpoint, Sarvis seems to stand strongly by his principles, and wants to serve Virginia well, if by some chance, he were elected. His intentions are evident in his campaign ads, which only mention his own platform instead of petulant personal attacks on other candidates.
Although I do not identify strongly with any political party or ideology, the fact that a sensible, rational man like Sarvis is being excluded from this decisive debate goes to show party politics in action, muting different voices and supporting the unwavering platitudes of the Democrats and Republicans.
If this is the way our system is run, then clearly no real problems will be solved, no matter who gets elected.
The fact that a candidate who has a real presence in the election will be denied the chance to speak his mind solely because he is neither a Democrat or a Republican is a disturbing outcome of our current system.
My advice? Let your voice be heard with your vote; it’s all you can do.