Sunday, November 3, 2013

11/4 Discussion (The Polarization Paradox)

In their article, Nisbet and Scheufele argue that when it comes to the increasing polarization of political parties, Democrats are at a disadvantage. "Conservatives win even when they lose" as long as they remain unwilling to compromise.

Based on their arguments, do you think these things are true?

Are conservatives to blame for the direction politics have gone in?

Nisbet and Scheufele offer solutions to reform our current civic and political institutions, from online voting to instating the "top two" primary model (where the top two candidates who receive the most votes progress to the general election, regardless of party affiliation).

Do you think making these changes will decrease the intensity of party divisions and/or improve our current system overall? Or should we leave things as they are?

They also state the importance of local newspapers to "[help] citizens identify and understand important regional interests" and "[serve] as partial counterweight to partisanship in Congress."

Do you think the decline of regional newspapers can be linked to increasing party polarization? Are people turning more to the "echo chambers" Nisbet and Scheufele talk about (FOX, MSNBC, etc.)?

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