The League of Women Voters-Downeast in cooperation with WERU FM produces a monthly radio program on topics in participatory democracy. It's called the Democracy Forum.
Broadcasts may be heard live from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the third Friday of the month at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM. Listen live on the Web at WERU FM.
In September, 2018, the Democracy Forum won top honors from the Maine Association of Broadcasting for public affairs radio.
Now available as a podcast from WERU FM.
Here is information about our upcoming broadcast.
"Our Founding Fathers who created this republic did not believe in democracy. When did we come to worship this idol?"
Pat Buchanan, September, 2012
We will talk about whether we live in a democracy or a republic. What do people mean when they say, "We're not a democracy; we're a republic," in the context of different policy debates. Is there a particular subtext implicating minority rights, even minority rule, and possibly states' rights and federalism? We'll take listener calls during the second half of the show.
- Lance Dutson, a principal of Red Hill Strategies, a Republican communications consultant, and a columnist for the Bangor Daily News.
- Joseph R. Reisert, Harriet S. and George C. Wiswell Jr. Assistant Professor of American Constitutional Law in the Department of Government at Colby College.
- What do the words mean: "republic" and "democracy"?
- What were the founders' fears and intent?
- Is this debate as old as the republic? Why does it keep flaring up?
- How has that played out? What do we have now?
- Why are these trigger words right now?
- Are these two diametrically opposed or mutually exclusive? Or is it a false dichotomy?
To learn more, follow these links to related content:
- Democracy or Republic?, Jay Cost in Nationa Review September, 2018.
- Sorry, Liberals, But America Is Not A Democracy, And It's Better That Way,, Clifford Humphrey in The Federalist February, 2018.
- Is the U.S. a Democracy? A Social Studies Battle Turns on the Nation's Values Dana Goldstein in The New York Times April, 2019.
- Is the United States of America a republic or a democracy? Eugene Volokh, The Volokh Conspiracy, at The Washington Post May, 2015.
- You Say Democracy, I Say Republic, Jonathan Bernstein in Bloomberg April, 2019.
- Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, and More YouTube
Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive
CITIZEN INITIATIVES: The Devil's in the Details
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
THE FREE PRESS AND A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY
CYBER ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY: Social Media, Fake News, and Voter Responsibility
ELECTION 2018: What Happened and What Does It Mean?
POLLITICAL POLLs: Can We Ever Trust Them Again?
ELECTIONS IN MAINE: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
DISTRUST IN GOVERNMENT: A Necessary Evil or a Weapon of Destruction?
STATE PRE-EMPTION: Who's Got the Power?
IMMIGRATION: Can We Live Without It?
RANKED CHOICE VOTING: How Will It Work in Maine?
Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.