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Are Politics Destroying Democracy? (2010)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: News, Public Affairs, Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2010-04-28

Duration: 00:57:37

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Politics | Government | Democracy | United States. Congress | Louisiana. Legislature | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Voter turnout | Media


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Freeman, Craig Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Godoy, Al Producer
  • Sanford, Shauna Producer
  • Carville, James Interviewee
  • Matalin, Mary Interviewee
  • Cassidy, Bill Interviewee
  • Landrieu, Mary Interviewee
  • Ewing, Randy Interviewee
  • Ellington, Noble Interviewee
  • Tucker, Jim Interviewee
  • Datz, Jack Speaker
  • Casteel, Chad Speaker
  • Cutrer, Ronnie Speaker
  • Ramey, Robert Speaker
  • Lewis, Davante Speaker
  • Bonner-Davis, Janis Speaker
  • Earls, Mary Speaker
  • Brown, Thomas Speaker
  • Clapper, Angela Speaker
  • Joseph, Gayle Speaker
  • McRoberts, Melanie Speaker
  • Omoike, Brenda Speaker
  • Tipton, Kenneth Speaker
  • Jones, Thomas Speaker
  • Mann, Bob Panelist
  • Buckels, Charlie Panelist
  • McHale, Michael Panelist
  • Nungesser, Sally Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from April 28, 2010, features Craig Freeman leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on the impact of political partisanship on democracy. A background report on the growing political polarization in the United States Congress and Louisiana Legislature precedes the discussion and includes interviews with Democratic political strategist James Carville, Republican political strategist Mary Matalin, Congressman Bill Cassidy, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, former Senate President Randy Ewing, State Representative Noble Ellington, and Speaker of the House Jim Tucker. The audience members discuss: the impact of political campaigns on the governing process; politicians not following through on their campaign promises; the importance of an informed electorate; the healthy nature of differences of opinion in a democracy; and the need for politicians to remember that they serve the people. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Bob Mann, a senior fellow at the LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs and the former Communications Director for Governor Kathleen Blanco; Charlie Buckels, the Vice Chair of the Louisiana Republican Party; Michael McHale, the Vice Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party; and Sally Nungesser, a Republican political consultant. They discuss: how to increase voter participation; political acrimony; the impact of the media on partisanship; the importance of compromise in government; the two-party system; the lack of collegiality in Congress; and the responsibility of citizens in a democracy. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Craig Freeman