School of music
Thinking Aloud
Chris Achen: Why U.S. Elections Do Not Necessarily Produce Good Government
Christopher Achen, co-author of the new Princeton UP book Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government argues that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is wrong: even well-informed and politically-engaged voters (the vast minority) mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues.  As well, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns—thus making election outcomes essentially random.  So the fickle, whacky, and largely injudicious nature of voting in America is the subject of discussion on tonight’s Thinking Aloud.  —Original airdate: 11/14/2016

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