The Dukakis Center at ACT launched its twentieth anniversary season of public events on March 13-14 with two round tables dedicated to elections and voting in America.
The main event was co-hosted by the Dukakis Center and the Hellenic Institute for Foreign and European Policy (Eliamep) at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens.
Mere hours after voters in Pennsylvania voted in a special Congressional election, American election experts Charles Stewart, Professor of Political Science at MIT, and Michael Ertel, Supervisor of Elections in Seminole County, Florida, shared their insights about what happened in the elections of 2016, and what observers should expect in 2018. Their comments covered the nature of the American political system, the election in 2016 of Donald Trump, the question of Russian hacking and meddling, and the role of social media in election campaigns.
Fellow panelist Aristides Hatzis of the University of Athens focused his remarks on the balanced character of American political institutions and the long term vision of the American founding fathers. Tom Ellis, Editor-in-Chef of the Kathimerini English Edition, moderated the round tale and shared his reminiscences of the political career of Michael Dukakis, the namesake of the Dukakis Center.
A large audience including senior diplomats, political leaders, academics, representatives of the national media, and Americans living in Greece attended and interacted with the speakers in lively fashion. In the words of one of the participants, it was the best election panel he had ever attended.
The round table inaugurated what is hoped to be an annual Dukakis Center event, to take place at a venues in Athens. Thanos Dokos and David Wisner, Directors of Eliamep and the Dukakis Center, respectively, also shared their vision of value of their collaboration to kick off the debate.
On March 13, Mr Ertel and Professor Stewart appeared at round table on similar subjects in the Bissell Library at ACT. They had previously spoken via Skype to an audience at the US Consulate General of Thessaloniki in October 2016.More