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VOTER EDUCATION - Enlightening a Population

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Lucy Hochschartner

on 3 March 2016

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Transcript of VOTER EDUCATION - Enlightening a Population

VOTER EDUCATION - Enlightening a Population
The Problem
Who Cares?
We should not encourage silence, increased education should place importance on participation - 1/4 of eligible people are not registered to vote and turnout is low (Wayne)
"Incorrect" voting has the power to change election outcomes and favors democrats and incumbents (Bartels)
Possible Solutions
Decentralize government
foot voters - those who "vote" with their decisions would have more sway (Somin)
people will be closer to and more knowledgeable about subjects (Somin)
they would feel as if their vote mattered (Somin)
Downsides - some issues are national, our government is based off of national elections, would most likely be unfavorable for democrats
Deliberation Day - parties present their ideas directly to voters. (Shafer) Downside - logistical nightmare, nothing preventing misinformation
Only let informed voters vote. (Shafer) Downside- how do you judge?
Make news outlets have a mandatory amount of political programming Downside- Violates the 1st ammendment, people still wouldn't want to watch (Shafer)
What is Civic Education?
Increase Civic Education WE SHOULD CARE!
This is our government... We all have something at stake.
"'A POPULAR GOVERNMENT without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to Farce or Tragedy or perhaps both,' James Madison wrote. 'A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.'” - The Economist
36% of people can't name the three branches of government (Somin)
Citizens ingested less news in 2012 than 1994 (Shafer)
Incumbents are frequently judged by factors they have limited or no control over such as the weather and the economy (Bartels)
civic education in schools has gone down (Guaghan)
Ads have influence (although short term) and appeal to fear and rather than logic and fact (Bartels)
1997 college freshman decreasing engagement- 26.7% thought "keeping up to date in political affairs" was important.... The all time high was 57.8% in 1966 (Branson)
people don't feel as if their vote will matter - no incentive to research (Somin)
even if we do research, we tend to focus on what supports our opinions or reinforces stereotypes (Jackson and Jamieson)
Information is more widely available than ever, but ignorance still runs rampant
Civic Knowledge (Facts)
Civic Skills (Conversations)
Civic Dispositions (Attitudes)(Branson)
start from an early age - in school - focus on critical thinking and attitude rather than knowledge (Branson)
There should be a nonpartisan governmental authority in charge of programming, releases, indexes (Branson)
Don't brainwash (Branson)
Bartels, Larry M. "The Irrational Electorate." The Wilson Quarterly Fall 2008: n. pag. PDF file.
Branson, Margaret Stimman. The Role of Civic Education: A Forthcoming Education Policy Task Force
Position Paper from the Communitarian Network. N.p.: Center for Civic Education, 1998. PDF
Corley, Matt. "Most Voters Aren't Stupid." The American Prospect 27 Mar. 2012: n. pag. Web. 28 Feb.
2016. <http://prospect.org/article/most-voters-arent-stupid>.
Somin, Ilya. "What No One Talks About During Election Season: Voter Ignorance."
Forbes 3 Nov. 2014: n. pag. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Greguska, Emma. "United States of fallacies: ASU philosophy professor urges voter to use reason,
logic when making decisions." ASU Now: Access, Excellence, Impact 24 Feb. 2016: n. pag.
Arizona State University. Web. 28 Feb. 2016. <https://asunow.asu.edu/
Guaghan, Anthony J. "Ignorant Voters are the Problem: campaign finance laws
won't save the nation from uninformed voters." U.S. News and World Report
31 July 2015: n. pag. U.S. News and World Report. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Jackson, Brooks, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. unSpun. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Shafer, Jack. "More media won’t solve political ignorance." Jack Shafer. Reuters, 8 Oct. 2013. Web.
24 Feb. 2016. <http://blogs.reuters.com/jackshafer/2013/10/08/
"Voter Turnout Rates, 1916 - 2014." Chart. Fair Vote. Fair Vote, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
Wayne, Stephen J. Is this any way to run a democratic election? Fifth ed. N.p.: CQ Press - Sage
Publications, n.d. Print.
"What do you know?: Citizens are not as well-informed as they think." The Economist: n. pag. The
Economist. Web. 28 Feb. 2016. <http://www.economist.com/node/18563612>.
Works Cited
Mathematical Aggregation means its all okay!
Wrong. Its not random (Bartels)
Information Shortcuts work
study showed that uninformed don't vote with informed in all cases (Bartels)
Our brain tricks us (Jackson and Jamieson)
Full transcript