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The PoliSci Newsletter

Beyond the Blue “The Human Situation”

Is there a right way to be a person? Does the quality of our community somehow depend on whether people live that way? Dr. Stewart Gardner was featured in a podcast that invites you to join in the exercise of cracking open such questions.

Read more and listen to the podcast on Read about “The Human Situation” in Beyond the Blue.

Women running for office

For those interested in the political races happening this year be sure to read the Washington Post article Twenty years on, ‘Year of the Woman’ fades.  In the article Professor Gary Moncrief is quoted on the race in Idaho and how women are playing a part in that race.

In conservative Idaho, whose filing deadline was this month, nearly four in 10 of the Democratic candidates for the state legislature are women, while only 13 percent of the Republican candidates are, said Gary Moncrief, a political science professor at Boise State University.

“In other words, a Democratic candidate is three times more likely to be a woman than is a Republican candidate,” he said. “In Idaho, it isn’t a gender gap; it’s a gender chasm.”

This story was first published in Read about the Gender gap in Update.


Wisconsin recall issues

Gary Moncrief was quoted in a report on WUWM Milwaukie Public Radio on efforts to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Moncrief said that no matter what other political issues have arisen in Wisconsin during the past year, he expects a recall election to focus on unions’ collective bargaining rights, a divisive issue in that state. Read the story here.

This story originally appeared in the Read about Gary Moncrief’s thoughts on the Wisconsin Recall Effort in Update.

Ambitious Political Science Student runs for Idaho House of Representatives

Gus Voss, a senior political science major, is running for the Idaho House of Representatives, seat 17A, in the 2012 election.

Voss feels he has a moral duty to fix the legislature.

“Given our current political climate, I feel it is my ethical duty to run for office,” Voss said. “I feel that constituents of district 17 deserve a lot more than that, especially since we are much more intelligent than the candidates of district 17 are willing to demonstrate.”

Voss is a Boise native and said he was largely influenced by his father and grandparents who, “taught me a hard work ethic and a strong sense of morality.”

He said he believes this work ethic helped him  through a variety of occupations. Voss has worked several customer service jobs such as the Boise Co-Op as stock-boy and the Owyhee Plaza Hotel as a banquet server during his four years at Boise State.

Read the Arbiter Online article about Gus’s campaign.

Women in the House: Political Stories

Boise State Public Radio and the Boise State Women’s Center are presenting, Women in the House: Political Stories.

The event will feature a panel of some of the most influential women from politics who will share some of their inspiring experiences, from their motivations to overcoming adversity.


Kathy Kustra
Jana Kemp
Patricia Kempthorne
Lauren McLean
Cathy Silak
Emily Walton

You’re invited to join us for an engaging evening of storytelling.  Seating is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible.  You may RSVP on the BSU Public Radio website.

Event Information:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Simplot Ballroom: 2nd Floor Student Union Building
Free parking is in the Liberal Arts Lot

This article was originally posted on Boise State Public Radio’s website.

Canada Week 2012

Canadian Maple LeafCanada Week 2012 is March 19 – 21.  Be sure to mark your calendars to join us for the fun!

MONDAY March 19th, 10:00AM-1:15PM
, Students Union Building
Canadian Trivia Contest (with Canadian chocolate bars for all participants!)

MONDAY, MARCH 19th 6:00PM-7:30PM, Barnwell Room of the SUB
Why Sovereignty? Why Quebec has Considered Leaving Canada and Where the Movement Stands Today

Dr. Guy Lachapelle, Professor, Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

In 1995, the province of Quebec held a referendum on whether to leave Canada and pursue sovereignty. The measure failed but the vote was extremely close — 50.6% voted to remain in Canada while 49.4% were in favor of sovereignty. Professor Lachapelle will address the growth of the sovereignty movement and where it stands today. In doing so he will illuminate for the audience what it means to be francophone in Canada.

TUESDAY MARCH 20th, 6:00PM-7:30PM, Barnwell Room of the SUB
The Keystone XL Pipeline: The Issues Behind Bringing More Canadian Energy Down to the United States

Scott Farris, Director, Government Relations, TransCanada
Moderated by Dr. John Freemuth, Department of Political Science, Boise State University

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline has become a hot political issue. One side argues it will bring much needed energy down from a friendly country and create jobs in the process, while the other side worries about the environmental impact of such a project and contests the benefits that are touted. Scott Farris has been at the forefront of this issue as TransCanada’s Director of Government Relations. He will address the company’s pipeline proposal, its advantages, its drawbacks and the issues that have arisen with it.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21st, 2:30-4:00PM Simplot B Room of the SUB
The New ‘Beyond the Border’ Agreement: Modernizing US-Canada Borders and What it Means for Americans
Dr. Geoffrey Hale, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Lethbridge

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper signed an extensive bi-national border agreement in December 2011. With $1.6 billion in trade happening every day between Canada and the United States, the “Beyond the Border” agreement seeks to ease trade impediments and implement a more uniform regulatory environment between the two countries while dealing with post 9/11 security concerns. Professor Hale will address the content and importance of the Beyond the Border agreement, explaining what Americans should know and why the agreement is important to understand.


Scholarships applications due March 15

The Political Science department is accepting scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic period.  Information and the application are available in the “scholarships” section of this website.  The deadline for submitting applications is March 15.

Beyond the Blue: Congressional Redistricting: How the Process Works

Reapportionment and redistricting are an integral, and often controversial, component of the American political process. In the “Congressional Redistricting” podcast, Boise State Political Science professor Gary Moncrief discusses the important terminology and theories involved, as well as the history of redistricting in the United States, and how redistricting issues are different in various regions of the country. He also analyzes the difference between having the legislature do the redistricting work and having an independent commission in charge of the task. Utilizing his research and expertise in the field, Dr. Moncrief sheds significant light on a sometimes complicated and contentious part of our political structure.

Read More About Gary Moncrief in Beyond the Blue.

Panel Looks at Climate Change and Policy March 5

The Department of Public Policy and Administration presents the second panel event in its Science-Policy Interaction Series. “Connecting Science to Policy: The Issue of Climate Change” is at 6 p.m. Monday, March 5, in the Student Union Bishop Barnwell Room. This event is free and open to the public.

Three Boise State professors will discuss issues of climate change, including why scientists and policymakers have difficulty communicating on the topic, how policy should be formed based on scientific research, and the impacts on designing cities and informing the public. The panel will include Les Alm, professor of public policy and administration; Jen Pierce, associate professor of geosciences, and Venkataramana Sridhar, assistant professor of civil engineering.

The series explores the role of scientific research in public policymaking, as inspired by the Environmental Research Building on campus (pictured above). In May 2011, the departments of Public Policy and Administration, Political Science, Civil Engineering and Geosciences moved into the building, creating an opportunity to explore the interaction and relationship of their respective disciplines.

For more information, contact Lesley Krone at

Read Panel Looks at Climate Change and Policy March 5 in Update

Redistricting in the West

Idaho has new political boundaries this year. That means you could be voting in a new district come the May primaries. So far the latest map detailing these lines hasn’t been challenged although earlier versions were.  Boise State political science professor Gary Moncrief has watched this process unfold in Idaho over the years. Now he’s the editor of a new book “Reapportionment and Redistricting in the West.”  He told Samantha Wright redistricting happens every ten years and it’s important for a number of reasons.  Listen to the interview on BSU Public Radio.  Monday marked the start of filing for state legislative offices in Idaho.  Find out who has filed here.

This article originally appeared on Boise State Public Radio.

Copyright 2012 BSPR