Anxious world watches lead up to US election
13 October 2020
The outcome of the US election on 3 November will have such far reaching impact that no one can afford to ignore it.
So to offer insight into the electoral process, analysis of the key issues and pre-election predictions, three American academics from the University of Auckland's Faculty of Arts have created a weekly podcast for RNZ Nights.
Hosted by Dr Maria Armoudian, a senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations, 'The Americans: US election 2020' broadcasts just after 9pm on Wednesday evenings.
It features a half hour panel discussion with historian Associate Professor Jennifer Frost and Dr Tim Fadgen from the University’s Public Policy Institute, as well as weekly guests based in the US, depending on the topic.
Dr Armoudian says the idea for the series came from a brainstorming session with her colleagues and their desire to share their knowledge about US politics, history and law with a Kiwi audience.
“My wonderful colleague, Tim Fadgen, and I began talking about how crazy US politics must seem to New Zealanders and we thought we could shed some light on the subject.”
And having hosted The Scholars’ Circle, a current events radio programme where academics discuss the news of the day, she thought a podcast/broadcast roundtable style would allow listeners to hear from four people with different areas of expertise.
This election is the most important in our lifetime and is likely to affect so many international affairs, from climate change to peace in our world.
Topics include voter supression, foreign interference, how the media shapes the message, what matters to voters and how Americans have become so polarised.
It has already been a bizarre campaign, made even more so by Trump himself recently contracting Covid, alongside the First Lady and various members of the White House, but its significance remains.
“This election is the most important in our lifetime and is likely to affect so many international affairs, from climate change to peace in our world,” says Dr Armoudian.
As well as the office of the president, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 Senate seats will be decided on 3 November.
The ‘Americans’ will be live in the RNZ studio on election night, analysing results as they come to hand.
The series was engineered by senior technician Tim Page from the University of Auckland.
Julianne Evans | Media adviser
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