Oct 30, 2015 7:34 PM

The debate over the Democratic debates


The chair of the Democratic National Committee has set an unprecedented rule. If a Democratic candidate participates in a debate outside of the six approved by the DNC, they will be banned from the remaining debates.

Among those who disagree with this rule are a coalition of 80 Democrats and independents who are calling their group New Hampshire Debates.

"One of the real problems with democracy is limitation of debate, limitation of discussion," argues one member, state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a Democrat from Manchester.

NH1 News is planning to host the "Live Free or Die 2016 Democratic Forum" on Feb. 3, but the group is pushing for the event to be a debate and encouraging candidates to participate despite the DNC's rules.

"If you watch the debates and you get engages in it then you really have an opinion or you want to do more research on the issues and find out more," says Lorrie Carey, a small business owner.

"It comes at a time in the history of this country when internationally there are more things giong on that effect everybody, that effect the world, that's a very important situation you got to know where people stand on the issues," D'Allesandro says.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz is sticking by the decision, saying "We're not changing the process. We're having six debates.

Supporters of the limit say it prevent over-saturation and voter fatigue.

The campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley are among those calling for more debates.

One Democratic debate will be held in New Hampshire on Saturday, Dec. 19.

But the group New Hampshire Debates will continue to push campaigns to participate if other debates are scheduled.


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