Thursday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m.
Smith Recital Hall, Silver Center for the Arts
Who Has a Megaphone? Who Speaks in a Whisper?: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy
While inequalities of income are currently in the spotlight, political inequality receives much less attention. A basic tenet of democracy is that the preferences and needs of all citizens should receive equal consideration. Political voice—expressed when citizens vote, get in touch with public officials, protest, join organizations that take stands in politics, make political contributions, or otherwise take part in political life—informs policy makers of citizen preferences and needs.
Policymakers do not hear from everybody, and the people and political organizations they do hear from are not representative of the American public. Those who express political voice, especially those who make financial contributions, are, on average, better educated and more affluent, and since the Supreme Court has taken the lid of campaign contributions, those with deep pockets are poised to speak even more loudly in politics. If political voice is unequal, then democratic equality is jeopardized.
Kay Schlozman is the J. Joseph Moakley Professor of Political Science at Boston College and author of The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy.
All Sidore lectures are free and open to the public. Tickets are required and may be picked up at the Silver Center Box Office. Reservations are recommended: call (603) 535-ARTS. A reception with light refreshments follows each lecture.
For more information on the series, visit the Sidore Lecture Series website.