Independent Candidates

Conversation Guide

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Independent candidates for the presidency cause a great deal of debate in political circles. Independents are excited for a different approach to elections. Party loyalists are concerned or elated, based on their analysis of who will benefit. Others are alarmed that an independent candidate will result in an elected president with substantially less than 50% of the popular vote, questioning the legitimacy of the election. While ranked choice voting would address this concern, it is not available in the presidential primary or general elections. Our system currently functions as a two party system. How well is this serving us? Let’s talk.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 2:

Independent Candidates

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • Has an independent candidate affected how you vote What happened?
  • Have you ever volunteered as an organizer with a political party or a particular candidate? Why or why not?
  • What do you see as some advantages and disadvantages to a two party system?
  • Are there ways you would like to see our systems change to improve voter satisfaction?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ of the following questions:
  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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