04/10 - Are Politics Destroying Democracy?

Is representative democracy no longer working?

Gridlock. Party politics. Lack of bipartisanship. Is representative democracy no longer working? And if the system is broken in Washington, what’s the collateral damage to Louisiana? Watch “Are Politics Destroying Democracy?” on Louisiana Public Square, Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB.

Backgrounder

“It is a very toxic environment in Washington right now, and it's very stressful, and people are going to say things that they may sometimes regret." Those were the words from Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine on March 2nd reacting to comments from Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu suggesting Levine should leave his post because of his opposition to the Democrats’ health care overhaul proposal. In an interview with The Associated Press Landrieu said of Levine, "I just think he's wrong, usually morning, noon and night, and as far as I'm concerned, he can go get another job." The Senator soon after apologized by phone and Levine accepted what he described as a genuine apology.

The “toxic environment” Secretary Levine was referring to is what some analysts see as growing tensions in Congress due to partisan politics and a lack of civility. A recent Gallup poll shows that 72% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing and 60% of respondents to a recent Rasmussen poll feel that neither Democratic or Republican leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. The political climate and voter distrust in the nation’s capital has some wondering if representative democracy is no longer working. And if the system is broken in Washington, what’s the collateral damage to Louisiana?

National Public Radio series “Trust in Government: The Season of Discontent”
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126051549

Pew Research Center Survey on “The People and Their Government”
http://people-press.org/report/606/trust-in-government


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