Independent candidates for the presidency cause a great deal of debate in political circles. Independents are excited for a different approach to elections. Party loyalists are concerned or elated, based on their analysis of who will benefit. Others are alarmed that an independent candidate will result in an elected president with substantially less than 50% of the popular vote, questioning the legitimacy of the election. While ranked choice voting would address this concern, it is not available in the presidential primary or general elections. Our system currently functions as a two party system. How well is this serving us? Let’s talk.
Let's Get Started!
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
- What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
- What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
Independent Candidates (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows.
- Has an independent candidate affected how you vote What happened?
- Have you ever volunteered as an organizer with a political party or a particular candidate? Why or why not?
- What do you see as some advantages and disadvantages to a two party system?
- Are there ways you would like to see our systems change to improve voter satisfaction?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
- What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
- Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?