In the midst of election season, there is no shortage of frenzied news coverage and high-volume opinion sharing. UCTV Prime, a YouTube original channel from the University of California, elevates the level of discourse with “Prime: Vote,” a recurring series of short videos featuring prominent UC faculty offering reasoned, rational discussion and commentary — backed by academic research– on issues being raised in the public debate during the 2012 election season.
“Prime: Vote” launched this week with three video commentaries by faculty from three different UC campuses. The first, “The High Cost of Austerity,” features Peter Gourevitch, political scientist and founding dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, on the historical justification for government spending versus austerity to boost the economy.
In “Incumbents, Are You Listening?” UC Merced political scientist Jessica Trounstine describes factors that affect how incumbents respond to voters and argues that the presence of a local newspaper, along with information on ballots, registration and polling places, increase the responsiveness of incumbents to their constituents.
UC Davis economist Giovanni Peri rounds out the trio with “The Case for Immigration,” arguing that immigration helps the U.S. economy. He calls for reforms that would include granting more H1B visas for highly skilled workers and creating temporary visas for low skilled workers who have job offers from U.S. employers.
On April 3, “Prime: Vote” shifts from commentary to analysis when UC San Diego’s Thad Kousser interviews UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck, a noted expert in political messaging. UCTV Prime is asking viewers with a question about political messaging for Professor Vavreck to email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it as a comment on this YouTube video by March 21 at Noon Pacific.