Articles on Political debate

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Winning the support of workers may be key to Democrats winning the 2020 election. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

How Democrats can win back workers in 2020

Hillary Clinton arguably lost in 2020 because she took workers for granted. Will Democrats make the same mistake again?
Twitter and other social media platforms may not be lost entirely to the political partisans and propagandists. Shutterstock

Twitter isn’t just for political hashtag warriors. Many still use the social network to just hang out

'Phatic sharing' reclaims Twitter as a truly social network, rather than simply as a source of breaking news or a place for public debate between politicians, journalists, and activists.
The goal of every public appearance or interview by a politician is to “stay on message”. In itself, it’s not a malign tactic but the constant repetition of the same messages without answering questions can be a form of obfuscation. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The vomit principle, the dead bat, the freeze: how political spin doctors’ tactics aim to shape the news

Any good political spin doctor employs a range of overt and covert tactics to get their message across. Here are some of the most common ones.
Adding bots into an online discussion can definitely affect the views of real people. Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock.com

Even a few bots can shift public opinion in big ways

Measuring Twitter bots' effects on the opinions of real people can yield surprising results about what makes them influential.
One of the worst examples of identity politics came from Malcolm Turnbull on Monday’s Q&A program. ABC News

How conservatives use identity politics to shut down debate

Conservatives are often critical of 'identity politics' for silencing dissenting views. But on ABC's Q&A on Monday night Malcolm Turnbull presented a very narrow vision of national identity.
Children have the right to express their opinions and be heard. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Politics in schools? Yes, if we want children to be active citizens

We want our children to flourish. To ensure that they do, we need to help them develop their sense of good and evil, justice and injustice. Engaging in politics is crucial to this development.
Protesters demonstrate on the University of Washington campus where far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was giving a speech in Seattle on the same day Donald Trump was sworn in as president. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Free expression at universities gagged by anti-Trump backlash

Differences of opinion are the lifeblood of universities and essential to advancing knowledge. But some universities are giving in to intimidation by cancelling events with controversial speakers.
A new book expresses concern that the ‘average American’ has base knowledge so low that it is now plummeting to ‘aggressively wrong’. shutterstock

Book review: The Death of Expertise

Tom Nichols' book The Death of Expertise examines why the relationship between experts and citizens in a democracy is collapsing, and what can be done about it.

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