August-September, 1980 Home   Newsletters

October, 1980

November, 1980

Juveniles and the Justice System
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
Toot Your Horn
October Units
City Prosecutor Forum (Barbara Farwell)
Presidential Elections Forum (Pat Shutt)
Learn to Lobby Workshop
Happenings at Honolulu Hale
League Office in an Election Year (Carol Whitesell)
Election Day Anecdotes...
Big Winner!
Thoughts on TheBUS (Ghost Rider)
Year of the Coast
Aloha Tower Festival

The Presidential Elections Forum

Does the League always put on workshops this good?

The morning went by so fast - what a great format!

I wish we could have had another two days for the workshop - it was terrific!

These are a few of the remarks heard at the State League sponsored workshop on WHO'S ELECTING THE PRESIDENT AND HOW ARE WE DOING?

The format, designed by Marion Saunders to meet the League committee's desire for maximum audience participation, was most successful. The key to success was round table discussions following speaker presentations. Each table had an assigned discussion leader to keep things moving in the awful event that the audience chose not to participate. This was not the case - table discussion was immediate and vocal and went by too fast.

The morning started off with Stewart G. Brown's talk on the Electoral College and Direct Election. When asked why the direct election process had never come to pass, Brown responded, "Inertia - and I'm part of that inertia." Brown said he prefers the present system over the alternatives being discussed.

Patsy Mink followed with the Primary System - as she put it, the lack of a system or "hodgepodge." We went from trying to make sense of the hodgepodge to a discussion of the role of third parties. Panelists for this topic were Dale Pratt, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Hawaii, Richard Clifton, an attorney with the John Anderson campaign, and Dr. Herbert Margulies, UH history professor. Issues of ballot access, media access and what role the alternative parties and candidates play were explored. Are people throwing their vote away if they vote for alternative candidates - or are they sending a message?

After too little time on these topics, we adjourned to lunch to hear Dr. Herbert Alexander of California's Citizens' Research Foundation talk on campaign spending. He advocates spending floors, not ceilings, and says we are not spending enough money on campaigns. Alexander took the League to task for our campaign spending positions.

The afternoon round tables heard from Richard Frias, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Hawaii, Jack Kellner, Public Service Director of KHON-TV, and Professor Ira Rohter of UH's Political Science Department on the role of polls and the media. One of the major concerns raised was that techniques for taking the pulse of the voters were getting so sophisticated that the packaging of candidates was reaching the level of a pavlovian-dog response.

Eighty seven people attended the workshop, half of whom were not League members! All in all, it was a great day and the committee is to be commended.

Pat Shutt

TAKE SOME TIME OUT NOW to read the very interesting attached LWV pub on the Electoral College System.

There is bound to be a lot of discussion on the pros and cons after this election!

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