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Civics lessons students learn in schools have an impact on how they view government when they are older. Students' civics experiences or lack of experiences starting from elementary school all the way through college can shape the way they view our politics today. I'll use my own experience as an example.
Today, the United States falls short of its goal to create generation after generation of educated citizens to ensure the continuation of our democracy. Once the founding motivation for the creation of public schools, civics education has fallen into the shadows of math and science. It is taught in a passive learning environment, and lacks any development of critical thinking essential to the democratic process. Without a thorough revamping of our education system, civics education will continue to be sidelined and our democracy will suffer.
Krist Novoselic has been chairman of the board at FairVote since 2008. He first became politically active while playing bass for the band Nirvana in the early 1990s. Novoselic published his book "Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy" in 2004 and joined the FairVote board in 2005. This is the first of The Chairman's Corner series.
Through at least 40 years of polling, the American public has claimed that the number-one purpose of the nation’s schools is “preparing people to become responsible citizens.” Civic education is a key factor in personal and social development, as well as essential to the democratic process, and the only institution that can provide opportunities to cultivate democratic experience-not for elite groups, but for all children and youth- is the school.
- Posted: May 11, 2012
- Author(s): Sheahan Virgin, Rob Richie
- Categories: Instant Runoff Voting/Ranked Choice Voting, Reforms, Congressional Elections, Research & Analysis, Home, FairVote
U.S. Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Kent Conrad (R-ND) share a history of bipartisan policymaking -- and the reality that they are leaving Congress. With its "the-rules-matter" perspective, FairVote explores the way in which our winner-take-all voting system disadvantages centrist candidates and discourages bipartisanship.
- Posted: May 8, 2012
- Author(s): Rob Richie, Sheahan Virgin
- Categories: Fair Voting/Proportional Representation, Congressional Elections, Research & Analysis, Redistricting, Home, Cumulative Voting
On April 24, two moderate Blue Dog Democrats, Tim Holden and Jason Altmire, lost in Pennsylvania's primary election. They are the latest examples of an accelerating "no-more-moderates" trend within both major parties. But fair representation of the left, right and center is essential to the health of a democracy. Grounded in its unique the-rules-matter perspective, FairVote explores how winner-take-all voting rules today disadvantage candidates willing to seek bipartisan solutions to problems.
- Posted: May 7, 2012
- Author(s): Lindsey Needham, The Non-Majority Rule Desk
- Categories: Instant Runoff Voting/Ranked Choice Voting, Home, FairVote
Over the last two years, a staggering 28% of gubernatorial races were awarded to candidates who failed to win 50% of the vote. With so many state executives in power without the expressed consent of the majority, we have to question whether our system successfully functions to deliver the will of the people.
- Posted: May 4, 2012
- Author(s): Chris Beaulieu
- Categories: Presidential Elections, National Popular Vote, Home
Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are zeroing in on the swing states where either candidate could come out on top in the November elections. However, the unusual amount of attention given to certain states while others are essentially left by the wayside illustrates the problems with the Electoral College system.
The French presidential election of 2012 is the 10th presidential election in the 5th Republic and the 9th election by direct universal suffrage. The winner will serve a term of five years. The first round was held on April 22 and the runoff will take place on Sunday, May 6.