Political scientist Anthony Gierzynski (University of Vermont) fully recognizes that “the petty, superficial, and distorted nature of partisan debate leaves voters without a sense of what the candidates and their parties represent.” (Saving American Elections, p. 83) and that “elections require that voters pay attention, gather enough information to make an informed choice, register to vote, and vote” (p.87).
With voter fatigue already setting in, this much-needed book prescribes the following so that American voters can do their part in saving American elections:
• Think about elections not as acts of individual expression but in terms of how the actions of aggregations of like-minded people facilitate the exercise of power by choosing similarly like-minded governments
• Vote the party, not the person;
• Gain an awareness of the shortcomings of television’s way of knowing about politics, replace thirty minutes of television time with reading good journalism about politics and government, and join a group
• Be skeptics, not cynics
Saving American Elections has been praised not only by noted political scientists but also by CHOICE, the premier book reviews journal for academic libraries, which recommends the book for all readership levels because “presenting the material in a simple, logical manner … Gierzynski is clear to identify the symptoms by scouring the very rich literature on voting and elections … [and] reviews the many reform ideas presented in previous research … One of the more interesting prescriptions involves a new civic curriculum to teach the public to think of elections as a way to participate in community decisions and less as an individual expression of opinion.”
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