Curious Minds: America Votes – Making Sense of the US Presidential Election



Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Oct 7, 2016 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Oct 14, 2016 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Oct 21, 2016 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Oct 28, 2016 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Nov 4, 2016 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Nov 11, 2016 10:00 AM


The ongoing US Presidential election is a tense and provocative political spectacle. Americans are grappling with dramatic social and economic challenges and, according to some observers, the survival of democracy itself. During the final weeks of the campaign, join former CBC Washington Correspondent Alison Smith for a series of six presentations that will examine what’s at stake in this historic campaign and the two wildly different candidates who are running for President. We’ll assess the issues and events that could decide the outcome—and we’ll check in with some of the world’s leading political experts to assess how this heated contest will change America and the world.

This course will be led by Alison Smith, one of Canada’s leading broadcasters and journalists. As a former senior correspondent and network host for the CBC, she has reported from every Canadian province and territory and from across the globe. She was a CBC Washington correspondent from 2005 to 2009 and covered the historic election of President Barack Obama. With decades of experience and a deep network of sources, she remains one of Canada’s keenest observers of American politics.

Doors will open one hour before the first class. Registrants will receive supplementary materials in advance of their first class.

Fridays: October 7–November 11, 10a.m. to noon

October 7: Trumpism: What Makes The Donald Run?
Alison will examine the successes and failures of Trump the candidate and the anger and disaffection that are fuelling his campaign. Atlantic editor and former President George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum will Skype in to discuss how this surreal candidacy is changing the Republican Party.

October 14: A Portrait of Hillary Clinton
A look at the political brilliance and baggage that Clinton brings to her historic campaign. How has Bernie Sanders’s campaign affected her platform and what does this mean for the Democratic Party? How would the Clinton White House operate? Alison breaks it all down with Jay Newton-Small, Washington Correspondent for Time Magazine and the author of Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works.

October 21: The Political Frontline
The economy. Race. Immigration. Political disillusionment. An exploration of the issues and the battleground states that could determine the outcome of this election, featuring a special interview with Neil McDonald, Senior Correspondent for CBC News.

October 28: Inside the ‘War Room’
Alison screens classic election documentary The Return of the War Room, taking you inside the pressure cooker of a presidential campaign. She’ll assess how media strategy and grassroots campaigning have changed since President Bill Clinton ran for office.

November 4: The Special Relationship
What’s at stake in this election for Canada? What would a Trump presidency mean for America’s place in the world and how might a Clinton presidency change things? Alison joins forces with Tim Harper, former Washington Correspondent for The Toronto Star, to assess how this turbulent election will affect America’s closest ally and neighbour.

November 11: The Post-Election Debrief
The results are in: what happened and what we should be watching for going forward? Alison reflects on her experience covering the Bush-Obama transition to break down the political challenges and policy issues that will face the new administration.

Additional Information

Six-week course: $63 (Members: $54, $42, Free)

Single class: $20 (Members: $17, $14, Free)

See all Curious Minds courses for Fall 2016.