Sunday, October 12, 2008

Conversation Recap forSeptember 28, 2008

Today we checked in, and noted that next week is our potluck (once each month we will do that, on the first meeting of the month).

Today we heard Dalton’s story.

Several agreed that chats between fathers and sons were scarce during the 1950s and 1960s.

We also talked about the politics of our times, in particular electoral politics. The presidential election commands our attention—and we want to look at what we think about leadership, what we know (and want to know) about our political institutions and practices.

We started with burning questions.

1. The electoral college, and its relevance today. An 18th century method of counting votes, originally a way to count votes for President.

2. What ideas about leadership did the authors of the Constitution have in mind, and what are some significant shifts since then?

3. What is the safest way to vote today, to make sure my vote gets counted?

4. Can we split our ticket in a national election? (Can you vote for who ever you want?)

5. Representative democracy (which the authors of the Constitution called “republican” government) does not seem, in our system, to represent the majority of the people. What are ways to get more people’s voices heard?

6. What are the advantages of having a two-party system? Why do we have it?

7. Is there a way we can keep the next election from being manipulated, or, as some in the room put it, stolen?

We discussed some of these, and ways that they overlap. We will go back to these questions.