Voices & Choices

FairVote Webinar Rewind: Redefining representation for American Voters

FairVote Webinar Rewind: Redefining representation for American Voters

On Thursday, October 1, FairVote hosted the third webinar in our Fall series about The Future of American Elections. The topic of the webinar was “Redefining representation for American voters.

FairVote Senior Communications Fellow David Daley hosted the event. He was joined by former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and Harvard professor Danielle Allen, who serves as Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Both panelists are serving as honorary co-chairs for the campaign to pass Question 2 to adopt ranked choice voting (RCV) in Massachusetts.

Throughout their conversation, the panelists discussed how many modern American problems, such as growing polarization and the unresponsiveness of the government to our needs, are rooted in the flawed way we conduct our elections.

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  • Professor Allen says that many well known problems in the United States, such as healthcare and racial injustice, relate back to the unresponsiveness of our political institutions (7:00). She then discusses how structural reforms like RCV can help make American government institutions more responsive to the people (9:05).
  • Professor Allen overviews several of the democracy reforms recommended in a report she worked on with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, titled Our Common Purpose (14:04).
  • Gov. Weld discusses his own experience voting in multi-winner RCV elections while living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He says that the system encourages diverse sets of candidates to run and win (21:22).
  • Gov. Weld explains how hyper-partisanship and the two-party duopoly in our elections damages American politics (23:42).
  • Professor Allen warns that if we fail to reform our democracy, the sense of connection and commitment to democracy will disappear in future generations (36:43)
  • Gov. Weld urges citizens to make noise about how they want their elected officials in Washington to cooperate (38:30)
  • Professor Allen ends the webinar by encouraging citizens to vote, and work to reform how we vote to bring a sense of safety back to our lives (48:25)

On October 13 at 12 pm EDT, David Daley and FairVote President Rob Richie will be joined by entrepreneur and former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang for a discussion about how to end tactical voting in the United States. You can sign up here for the webinar.

If you want to watch the other webinars we have held this year, a full list can be found here.


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