What You've Always Wanted to Know About American Politics but were Afraid to Ask


September 8, 2011 :: Ed Webking
Moderated by Einard Haniuk


Over the last few months the news has been filled with stories of stalemates and showdowns in the halls of the United States Congress. Sometimes it has seemed as though the country was on the brink of collapse. For Canadians, the specter of American politics can appear very confusing, even if it does dominate our media airwaves. As the United States prepare for the November 2012 elections, interested outsiders have many questions about American politics and the structure of an American government that often see party politics work against the common good of the country.

The speaker is a political scientist and seasoned observer of American politics for many decades. He will consider the historical backdrop to today’s events in Congress and the Senate and why Americans find themselves in stalemate after stalemate. Is the US Constitution so difficult to amend that change is unlikely? What needs to happen before Americans get a government that can efficiently deal with the current impasse? And, more broadly, are we witnessing the decline of American hegemony in a world where emerging economic superpower China is competing for that leadership role?

Speaker: Dr. Ed Webking

Dr. Ed Webking grew up in the western United States and earned his BA at Pepperdine; his MA in Government at California State University at Los Angeles, and his PhD in Government at Claremont Graduate School and University Centre. He has been an Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge since 1973. As well, he is the President of the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre and was the recipient of the Province of Alberta Human Rights Award in 1994.

Though now retired from the University, Dr. Webking remains deeply interested in the politics of the United States and in human rights and international law.


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