U.S. Election Campaign

“While Obama’s health-care bill was useful in riling up Tea Party protesters, his environmental and energy policies were the real target of many of the multimillionaires and billionaires in the Koch circle.”

― Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

U.S. Election Campaign

The Fall 2016 focus for the Lind Initiative series is the U.S. Election Campaign. High profile speakers will explore the state of U.S. politics as seen through the drama of the 2016 U.S. election. The Lind Initiative in U.S. Studies Fall series aims to provoke a national conversation around issues such as hyper conservatism and the widening rifts in the two major American political parties.


Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart

Contributing Editor

Peter Beinart is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and National Journal, an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.

Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne


Andrew Coyne is a Canadian columnist with the National Post and a long-time member of the popular At Issue panel on CBC’s The National. Previously, he has been national editor for Maclean’s and a columnist with the Globe and Mail.

E. J. Dionne Jr.

E. J. Dionne Jr.

Author, Political Commentator, Op-ed Columnist

E.J. Dionne, Jr. employs his passions for people and politics and his keen intellect to deliver reasoned analysis that is followed by a wide circle of policy-makers nationwide – on the left, right and center.  His latest book, Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism–From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond, offers a historical view of the right since the 1960s. Its core contention is that American conservatism and the Republican Party took a wrong turn when they adopted Barry Goldwater’s worldview during and after the 1964 campaign. Dionne began his now twice-weekly op-ed column for The Washington Post in 1993, and he now appears in more than 100 newspapers in the United States and abroad. Other books include Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious Right, Stand Up, Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge, and They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate The Next Political Era.
Byron Shafer

Byron Shafer


Byron Shafer is the Hawkins Chair of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and teaching is focused on American politics. He has co-authored the book, The American Political Landscape (2014) and has published major monographs on reform politics such as Quiet Revolution: The Struggle for the Democratic Party and the Shaping of Post-Reform Politics and related topics. He is concerned with the ‘big picture’ in American political life, and with locating further research within this larger framework.

David Frum

David Frum

Senior Editor

David Frum is a senior editor at The Atlantic and the chairman of Policy Exchange. He served as a White House speechwriter during the early years of the George W. Bush presidency. In 2007-2008, as senior adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign. He has also written for outlets like the National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and Canada’s National Post.
Jane Mayer

Jane Mayer

Staff Writer, Author

Jane Mayer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three bestselling and critically acclaimed narrative nonfiction books. She co-authored Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984–1988, with Doyle McManus, and Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, with Jill Abramson, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. For her reporting at The New Yorker, Mayer has been awarded the John Chancellor Award, the George Polk Award, the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, and the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence presented by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard. Mayer lives in Washington, D.C.
Hans Noel

Hans Noel

Associate Professor

Hans Noel is an Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University. His research is on political coalitions, political parties and ideology, with a focus on the United States. He is the author of Political Ideologies and Political Parties in America (2013) and a co-author of The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform (2008). He is interested in the way that a focus on competing policy demands helps explain political parties, coalition building and coordination. Noel blogs on political parties and related issues at Mischiefs of Faction, and occasionally at The Monkey Cage. Noel teaches on parties, elections, political history and political methodology, and he has lectured around the world on the American political system.

Richard Johnston

Richard Johnston


Richard Johnston is Professor of Political Science at UBC. He studies parties and elections in the Canada and the US, with campaigns as a special focus.

Join the conversation


September 15th, 2016 | 6:30PM

How Populism is Transforming American Politics — On the Left and Right

Peter Beinart, Contributing Editor, and
David Frum, Senior Editor at The Atlantic
Moderated by Andrew Coyne, columnist with the National Post

Venue: Old Auditorium, UBC

A discussion about the future of the Republican and Democratic parties, from two of the sharpest observers of each, in light of the results of the primaries and the populist forces they both exhibited.

Watch our talk with editors David Frum and Peter Beinart, moderated by Andrew Coyne with introductory remarks by Liu Director Moura Quayle.

Watch an interview by UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues with Peter Beinart, well-known columnist, author and Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at City University of New York. Beinart speaks about the role of media in the 2016 US presidential race, internal party politics. and a potential Clinton Administration’s foreign policy.

Watch an interview by UBC’s  Liu Institute for Global Issues with Andrew Coyne, political columnist and regular CBC panelist about the wider implications an American political unraveling.

September 23rd, 2016 | 6:30PM

Dark Money: How Money is Shaping the U.S. Election

Jane Mayer, Staff Writer at the New Yorker, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

Venue: Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre – Jack Poole Hall, UBC

An analysis of how super PACs and big donor money has shaped the 2016 election, or in the case of the GOP, how this money failed to counter the rise of Trump. Based on Jane Mayer’s book, Dark Money.

Watch the live taping of our event with author & New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, moderated by UBC Journalism Professor Peter Klein.

Watch an interview by the Liu Institute for Global Issues with Jane Mayer, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of “Dark Money.” Mayer provided UBC audiences with an acute analysis of how super PACs and big donor money has shaped the 2016 U.S. election, or in the case of the GOP, how this money failed to counter the rise of Trump.

October 14th, 2016 | 6:30PM

Why the Right Went Wrong: The State of U.S. Conservatism in the Year of Trump

E. J. Dionne Jr., Author, Journalist and Political Commentator, Op-ed Columnist for The Washington Post

Venue: Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre – Jack Poole Hall, UBC

An analysis of the election and the shifts in the GOP, building on his book, Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism–From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond.

Watch the live taping of our event with author and columnist E.J. Dionne, moderated by Erik Snowberg, UBC Professor of Economics and Political Science.

October 26th, 2016 | 6:30PM

Examining the Nomination Process: How did we get here? Where are we going?

Hans Noel, Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, and Byron Shafer, Professor of Political Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderated by Richard Johnston, UBC Professor of Political Science

Venue: Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre – Jack Poole Hall, UBC

The Republican nomination battle defied prediction and challenges much of what we think we know about parties in the U.S. Is this all just an accident of history, doomed to be forgotten once the election is over? Or will the landscape of nominations and elections be permanently transformed?

Hot chocolate, coffee & tea will be served from 6:00 pm onwards.

Seats are still available. To register, please contact Jordan Irwin Rongavilla at 604-827-0036 or Jordan.Rongavilla@ubc.ca before 4:30 PM on October 26th or simply arrive at reception in the Alumni Centre lobby.


Fall 2016: The U.S. Election Campaign

UBC is not currently offering a course for the Lind Initiative Fall 2016 series. Stay tuned for information on a Winter Term 2 course beginning in January, 2017.

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