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Posts tagged ‘politics’

Tip of the Week: Poly Sci Nerd Goodness

Yes. I am a poly sci nerd. Love elections. Love debates. Love the data. So meeting in DC this last week was . . . awesome.

And this morning, I ran across LegEx. A great way to close out a Poly Sci nerd week.

Short for Legislative Explorer and maintained by the University of Washington Center for American Politics and Public Policy, the site is a interactive visualization that allows you and your students to explore actual patterns of lawmaking in Congress. The graph provides a great way to get the big picture while providing opportunities to dig deeper. Compare the bills and resolutions introduced by Senators and Representatives and follow their progress from the beginning to the end of a two year Congress. Go back in time and compare / contrast different years, bi-partisan vs. partisan, parties, or House vs. Senate.

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Only true election and poly sci fanboys will enjoy this post

Fanboy

Syllabification: (fan·boy)
Pronunciation: /ˈfanˌboi/

noun
An extreme fan or follower of a particular medium or concept, whether it be sports, television, film directors, video games, etc.

Yes. That’s me. I follow politics. I’m an extreme fan of elections and love talking strategy, candidates, and poll numbers – and just about anything else that connects somehow with the process. I’m an election fanboy.

So I’m probably one of a very small group of election geeks who cares much about yesterday’s presidential election.

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Technology and 21st century elections

Negative ads. Political mud-slinging. Character attacks by supporters of various candidates. Dirty tricks. Personal insults. Outrageous newspaper editorials. Predictions of national collapse and disunity.

Yeah. Elections can be rough. Imagine if it was this bad in 2012, rather than the election of 1800. John Adams was running for re-election against the challenger Thomas Jefferson. And it was not pretty. But the election of 1800 is interesting not so much for its ugly of its temperament or even the change in the Constitution that it caused.

It’s interesting to me because this was one of the first elections in which new technology, the use of newspapers as a part of the campaign process, became widespread.

And while the mudslinging hasn’t really changed that much, the technology has. It’s a different world than Jefferson’s – one full of social media, internet ads, Twitter, texting, email / online campaign contributions, and instant video are creating a different sort of election process. The infographic below highlights some of these changes. Read more

7 great places to watch the election

For political junkies like me, this is Super Bowl week. If you haven’t noticed, the 2012 election is tomorrow. Yes. Tomorrow.

I’ve been loving all of the online / TV coverage of polls, events, speeches, fundraising, and pundits. And I’ve been just a little freaked out.

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Tip of the Week: Voting Information Goodies

Apparently the election is over and the results are in.

The Scholastic Student Vote started earlier this fall and ended  this week. President Obama finished with 51%, Governor Romney finished with 45%, and 4% of the kids voted for another candidate. The Vote may not be official, but its results have often indicated who eventually wins the presidential race. Scholastic has conducted the student mock vote during every presidential election since 1940 and the results have mirrored the actual outcome of all but two elections—1948, when kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman, and 1960, when they selected Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy.

I’ll post more election goodies next week but thought I would start with some voting information so that you can get you own mock election started. Read more

iCivics: Awesome games, lessons, materials

Need some handy civics / government video games, lesson plans, and teaching materials? (And really . . . who doesn’t need handy civics / government video games, lesson plans, and teaching materials?)

If your answer is yes, iCivics just saved your bacon.

Back in 2009, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to reverse Americans’ declining civic knowledge and participation.

Securing our democracy requires teaching the next generation to understand and respect our system of governance.

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