Tag Archives: Elections

Scholars’ Circle – Lula’s election win in Brazil ; Abelism invoked upon Pennsylvania Senate candidate – November 6, 2022

Brazil’s election of Lula da Silva over Bolsonaro has provided hope that the country will retain its democratic institutions. We discuss the elections and the likely policy changes. [ dur: 38mins. ]

The campaign of John Fetterman for a Senate seat from Pennsylvania has produced some truly disturbing ableist discourses about the qualifications of persons with disabilities for public service. How is this ableist narrative framing the rights and abilities of persons with disabilities in the United States? What does this mean for persons with disabilities and their capabilities as elected officials? We explore this debate. [ dur: 20mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Dark Money in Politics keeps Voters in the Dark – October 16, 2022

Money can distort politics. And the lack of transparency where this money comes from can further distort politics and invite corruption. Since much of the money in campaign finance is not subject to transparency laws, it has taken the name dark money. This specifically references spending by nonprofit organizations created for political spending. How much has dark money skewed American democracy? What role does transparency in spending play in ensuring the legitimacy of democracies? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Brazil Presidential Election – October 9, 2022

Brazil is in the midst of Presidential elections. They reveal the partisanship of the nation, with the current right wing President Jair Bolsonaro trailing the former left wing President Lula after the first round. We will examine what the top issues are, what’s at stake, and whether Brazil could face political violence or even an overthrow of the democracy with partisan stakes not dissimilar to the United States. How difficult it might be for Lula to govern if he does, in fact, win? If Bolsonaro loses, does he leave the presidency? What is the future of Amazonian deforestation? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Gerrymandering Districts based on Census Data and Inclusive Politics of Rank Choice Voting – September 25, 2022

State legislatures have traditionally controlled districting, with a decentralization of process and decision-making as to how they are drawn. And in recent years, technology has enabled a more complex system of gerrymandering that can challenge the principles of democracy. Indeed it could produce outcomes where the party with fewer votes has control of the democratic institution. How much have voting districts have been gerrymandered and how might it affect the upcoming elections? [ dur: 26mins. ]

Alaska’s recent special election produced a rare win for a Democrat, rather than a Republican for the state’s congressional seat. How much of it had to do with the voting process known as ranked-choice voting? Rank choice voting is meant to produce majoritarian outcomes in elections with multiple candidates. How exactly does this process work? And what are its implications for democracy? [ dur: 32mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Historic context of January 6, 2021 insurrection event ; Tracking the rise of Christian Nationalism and their effect on American Politics – June 19, 2022

January 6 insurrection has begun televised hearings of their findings. We examine the initial findings of this Committee and the role of former President Trump in the attempted coup. [ dur: 22mins. ]

The rise of the religious right or Christian Nationalism aided in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and has been a significant voting bloc ever since. How much is this movement driving American politics? How organized are the groups that comprise the movement? And what exactly is its political agenda? [ dur: 35mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Philippines Presidential Election – May 22, 2022

On May 9, the Philippines held their Presidential elections. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the election, bringing back the infamous family toppled in 1986 in a popular revolution. What does this say about the memory and the political climate of the nation? How will Marcos govern the country? What policies do we expect of this new Marcos regime and how might they differ from the current policies of Rodrigo Duterte? We explore the historical significance of the return of Marcos to power in the nation. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Will France Elect a Far Right President?- April 17, 2022

The French are electing a new President. On today’s show we explore French politics and society and the potential of a French election of a far right candidate as President. [ dur: 58mins. ]

On April 10, 2022, French voters went to the polls for Presidential elections. Like so many countries, the first round of elections are multi-party. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, then a second round of elections is held with the top 2 finishers. In a repeat of the 2017 elections, Emmanuel Macron received the most votes but fell short of the 50% threshold. He will once again run against National Front candidate Marine Le Pen. This election will be held April 24. What is at stake is French participation in the European Union and NATO. French identity is at stake as well, with Le Pen’s well known white nationalist appeal to French voters. We will discuss political and social developments in France, and what we are watching in the outcomes on April 24.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Politics of Eroding and Sustaining Democracy in USA – February 6, 2022

Democracy is eroding in the United States? What are the causes and what should be done? Is the erosion of democracy because of political elites and specifically the reaction of the Republican Party to the 2020 election? Or does it run deeper? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – California recall process and democracy ; Why people follow QAnon – September 12, 2021

California’s Recall process is broken. It may well be unconstitutional and undemocratic. With an upcoming recall election, we explore these issues and discuss potential reforms. [ dur: 28mins. ]

Q Anon has grown significantly in the last few years. We explore a new book that explains the conspiracy theory with the authors.
Why did Q Anon become so widespread? Who does the theory appeal to? And how is it harming individuals and society? [ dur: 28mins. ]

Together they have authored PASTELS AND PEDOPHILES: Inside the Mind of QAnon

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Election Laws in America ; Underestimated Impact of Seabed Mining – August 15, 2021

Since the 2020 election, Republican state legislators have passed a series of laws intended to shrink the number of eligible voters in future elections. What are the legal implications and what does this mean for the future of American democracy? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 36mins. ]

The search for minerals is leading some corporations to begin mining the ocean floor but scientists warn that this could devastate fragile ecosystems that will have repercussions that we still don’t understand. What is going on in the deep sea? What precautions should be taken to prevent devastating fragile ecosystems? hosted by Maria Armooudian. [ dur: 22mins. ]

  • Craig Smith is Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawai’i.
  • Verena Tunnicliffe is a marine biologist at the University of Victoria in Canada where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Deep Ocean Research.

They are co-authors of the study Deep Sea Misconceptions Cause Underestimation of Seabed-Mining Impacts.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.