Home > Are Primary Elections Ruining Democracy?: A Debate
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The U.S. Constitution has a lot to say about government and how Americans choose their leaders. But nowhere in the document is there any mention of primary elections, the process by which voters winnow down the field of candidates for president and other offices ahead of a general election. Though primary elections may seem integral to the U.S. political system, they are in fact relatively new, arising in the early 20th century to wrest power from political party bosses and place it in the hands of the people. Of course, much has changed in the last hundred years. While party bosses and political "machines" have practically disappeared, gerrymandering has greatly reduced competitive districts, urban-rural divisions have grown exponentially, and the American electorate—often motivated by social media—has grown increasingly polarized. In recent years, many have accused primary elections of undermining democracy by fueling extremism, boosting fringe candidates, and hindering compromise. Defenders of primary elections disagree, arguing they empower voters and provide an important bulwark against political corruption and a hedge against elitism. Are primary elections ruining democracy? Audio only.
Length: 52 minutes
Copyright date: ©2022
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Dealer customers.
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