February 15, 2018, University of Maine, How You Vote

What influences your vote?

Let’s find out!

Thursday evening, February 15, 6pm to 8pm

Wells Commons, University of Maine, Orono, Maine

 

 

A Make Shift Coffee House is where people with differing political views can meet and learn from each other. There’s coffee and food and live music. Guided by a neutral moderator, all voices and views are heard and respected.

It’s not about persuading each other. We ask questions and hear what’s important to the “other side.” It’s okay if we don’t agree. All are welcome.

 

At this Make Shift Coffee House, we are focused on:

What influences your vote?

Do you carefully analyze candidate positions or the pros and cons of specific proposals? Or do you rely more on a “feeling” about the candidate or proposed policy; and general sense of trust or mistrust?

What role do your values play? Your religion? Your education? Your race? Your gender? Your world view? Your life experiences?

And what does “voting” mean to you? Do you vote only at the polls? Or do you consider yourself “voting” when you spend money, show up at events, or boycott products or events?

Or perhaps you have given up on voting in political elections; thinking it doesn’t matter. If that’s your view, why do you think that way?

These are some of the topics that we are going to discuss at this Make Shift Coffee House.

Our country and our state and many of our communities are deeply divided along political lines. Evidence shows that the Democrats and Republicans are more polarized than ever. People are leaving each of these parties in high numbers. And many people don’t vote at all.

Yet when we vote, however we “vote,” we do so based on…….something. What influences YOUR vote.

Live music by special guests

Dylan Cunningham and the Crystal Radio Flyers
Austin Bragdon

Format

Free food and live music starts at 6:00; a chance to get a snack and chat with in pairs or small groups for 10-15 minutes.

The heart of the event is the next hour where the full group will engage in facilitated discussion. Following guidelines for a civil conversation, we learn from each other by asking questions and hearing what’s important to the “other side.” All that’s required is a desire to understand and the willingness to listen.

After the full group discussion we’ll strike up the music again, get another cup of coffee, and talk in small groups about specific topics. Some of us will talk in pairs. It’s informal. It’s a coffee house!

Before wrapping up, Craig will bring the group back together in one last group dialogue. This time could be used for a wrap up with a summary of key concepts as well as any more input from the group. Depending on the topic and the people involved, the time frame may vary. It might look like this.

6:00 pm      Live Music. Coffee, tea, snacks. Small informal conversations.

6:15 pm      Full Group Conversation

7:15 pm      Live music. Coffee, tea, snacks. Small informal conversations.

7:45 pm      Full Group Conversation

8:00 pm      End

Click here to learn about the Make Shift Coffee House culture and why understanding each other is so useful.

This Make Shift Coffee House will be moderated by Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions. A professional meeting facilitator, Craig will manage a civil exchange of ideas as a neutral third party. It’s not about judging right or wrong or good or bad, it’s about understanding each others’ perspectives.

 

Interested in future Make Shift Coffee Houses?

Click here if interested in receiving notices, hosting, or volunteering.