The Tea Party Movement: How Did it Affect the 2010 US Elections?

March 3, 2011 :: Trevor Harrison
Moderated by Mary Shillington

The Tea Party is an American populist political movement, which is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009. Reduced government spending, opposition to taxation in varying degrees, reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit are on the Tea Party’s agenda, as is adherence to an originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution.
The name "Tea Party" is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a protest by colonists who objected to a British tax on tea in 1773 and demonstrated by dumping British tea taken from docked ships into the harbor.
The present Tea Party movement in the US arose seemingly out of nowhere. Yet within two years, it moved from being a fringe right-wing movement to one of some prominence. What is the Tea Party movement really aiming to achieve? Who are its supporters? Is it an Astroturf or a grassroots movement? What was its real impact on the 2010 American midterm-elections? Is there the chance of a comparable movement in Canada? These are a few of the questions examined in this talk.

Speaker: Trevor Harrison

Trevor Harrison is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economics at the University of Lethbridge. In 1996, he also co-founded Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta. Trevor is best known for his studies in political sociology, political economy, and public policy.

In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, Trevor is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books, and a frequent contributor to public media. During the fall of 2010, he was a visiting Fulbright Research Chair at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

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