Archives for Democracy Forum

Democracy Forum 4/15/16

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine    
Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Participatory Democracy

Program Topic: Moochers and Freeloaders: Welfare for the Rich, Welfare for the Poor

Key Discussion Points:
a) We’ll discuss the relationship between free markets and democracy;
b) Have the rules of government and markets have been rigged in favor of big money interests and corporations?
c) Has populist sentiment has been played to generate resentment over welfare for the poor?
d) Who is being served in American democracy today?
e) What can ordinary citizen do? What policies should they support?

Guests:
a) Vanessa Williamson, Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution
www.brookings.edu/experts/williamsonv?view=bio

b) Garrett Martin, Executive Director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy

MECEP Staff Bios

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Linda Hoskins
Ann Luther
Marge May
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 3/18/16

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine    
Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Participatory Democracy

Program Topic: Whose Democracy Is It? Wealth and Income Inequality, Money in Politics

Key Discussion Points:
a) The great American experiment in democracy was founded on the ideal of a sovereign people —
government responsive to the will of the people. Does American democracy still serve that ideal?
b) Are policy outcomes today more responsive to wealthy donors than to the majority voters?
c) Is the new populism evident in the current presidential primaries fed by voter frustration with government? Is
money in politics somehow responsible for that frustration?
d) If it’s not practical or even wise to think of eliminating income and power disparities, do we even have a
problem?
e) What are some practical solutions?

Guests:
Mark Schmitt, Director of the Political Reform Program at New America
www.newamerica.org/experts/mark-schmitt/

Tony Corrado, Professor of Government at Colby College
www.brookings.edu/experts/corradoa?view=bio

Democracy Forum 2/19/16

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine    
Engineer: Amy Browne

Program Topic:  Political Equality: The Founding Vision, the Modern Reality

Key Discussion Points:
a) What do we mean when we talk about political equality?
b) Was it an ideal embraced by our founding fathers?
c) What did it mean to them? What does it mean to us today?
d) To what extent has the founding ideal been realized or thwarted?

Guests:
a) Prof. Ralph Ketcham, Maxwell Professor Emeritus of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, www.maxwell.syr.edu/psc/Ketcham,_Ralph/

b) Prof. Mark Brewer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine, umaine.edu/polisci/faculty-and-staff/mark-brewer/

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Linda Hoskins
Ann Luther
Marge May
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org                    

Democracy Forum 10/8/12

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters
Engineer: Joel Mann
Issue: Participatory Democracy

Program Topic: Political Advertising and Its Effect on Voters and Elections

Key Discussion Points:
a) How important is political advertising in helping people learn about candidates?
b) How does political advertising work and why is it worth the many millions of dollars being spent on it.
c) Is it good for democracy?
d) What can citizens do?

Guests by name and affiliation:
A) Richard R. Lau, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, fas-polisci.rutgers.edu/lau/.
B) Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, www.asc.upenn.edu/faculty/Faculty-Bio.aspx?id=129.

Call In Program: No

Democracy Forum 8/13/12

Producer/Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters
Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

Issue: Participatory Democracy
Program Topic: Tea Party: What Can We Learn about Civic Engagement

Key Discussion Points:
a) the Tea Party movement, who are its members and what do they believe; and
b) the Tea Party’s impact on elections and governing,
c) what it means for civic participation

Guests:

-Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/skocpol
-Amy Fried, Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine, umaine.edu/polisci/faculty-and-staff/amy-fried/

Call In Program: No

Democracy Forum 6/18/12

Producer/Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters
Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Participatory Democracy

Program Topic: Wealth and income inequality in the U.S. and why it matters for democracy
Key Discussion Points:
a) What are the trends in wealth and income disparity? Who is affected?
b) What structural or public policy factors are contributing to this trend?
c) What are the consequences for democracy and the general well-being?
d) What can citizens do?

Guests:

A) Professor Susan Feiner, Professor of Economics and Professor of Women and Gender Studies, University of Southern Maine, www.usm.maine.edu/eco/susan-feiner.
B) Dr. Richard Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University and director of the National Bureau of Economic Research, www.nber.org/~freeman/.

Call In Program: Yes
Political Broadcast: No

Democracy Forum 5/14/12

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters
Engineer: Joel Mann

(NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, this audio file is 47 mins long, and the recording starts with the show in progress)

Issue: Participatory Democracy

Key Discussion Points:
a) Do corporations have too much power in politics and government? What is the source of their power? Campaign finance? Lobbying? How does corpororate economic power translate into political power?
b) Do you think free enterprise and democracy go together? Do concerns about corporate power translate into concerns about capitalism as an economic system?
c) Discuss your ideas on what is needed for a healthy democracy to work? Has our own system been healthier at other times? What would be the proper role of corporations and very wealthy individuals? What can ordinary citizens do to make things work better?

Guest:
Robert Monks, shareholder activist, author, and corporate governance adviser, www.ragm.com/.

Call In Program: Yes