Netflix collaborated with Vox to release a new miniseries last month titled Whose Vote Counts, Explained. The show focuses on the concept of voting, how it works and why it matters.
Many individuals think that political science is exchanging opinions for an hour and a half during a lecture or having students debate across the room at each other. That perception is mistaking a political science class for a debate class—two completely different things.
In political science, the discussion isn’t over who is right and who is wrong. The study of political science is breaking down political systems and having in-depth conversations on how the system works and why it works that way.
The show was easy to understand and uses amazing visual graphics to explain everything in detail. The miniseries also has a variety of interviewees as it pulled clips of historians, professors, candidates, congressmen and citizens talking about each matter. It also did a good job of diversifying the speakers as many of them ranged in backgrounds, ideologies and positions.
It was interesting to see the minseries portray political science in a captivating and visual manner. The series takes the study of political science and makes it come to life through interesting visuals and in-depth explanations.
The first episode titled “The Right to Vote” narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio details the history of voter suppression and the ability of people to gain the right to vote over the years. This episode was very informative as it showed the power and ability for small governments, being local and state level, to have more power over the individual’s ability to vote than that of the national government.
Without understanding the system of government in the United States, individuals can become accustomed to thinking that the president or the congressmen holds all the power. However, the first episode of the miniseries did a great job at showing that the national government, although powerful, is not as impactful as the state and local governments are in our daily lives.
The second episode of the miniseries titled “Can You Buy an Election?” narrated by Selena Gomez goes into detail about the money system behind elections. The political campaigns’ and parties’ use of money is something of a mystery as the episode dictates, it is also something difficult for many to understand. However, I found this episode did a good job of laying out how financing political campaigns worked why there are currently no limits on how much a political campaign spends.
The third and final episode titled “Whose Vote Counts” narrated by John Legend answers the question many of us have asked at some point in our lives: “Does My Vote Matter?” The episode explains the system of voting, how it works, how it has changed over time and how we as Americans can make it better. I particularly liked this episode as it brought up the system of ranked voting. Ranked voting is a system that is primarily used in other countries but allows for a much more civil way of voting. Instead of voting for one candidate or the other, individuals rank candidates by preference. This system is much more favorable than our current one because it would diminish political tension between parties and allow voters to pick second and third candidates rather than just saying yes to one candidate and no to the other.
I would suggest giving this show a shot. The only thing that made me question the validity of any information presented was editing. I counted about three times in which clips were edited together to seem like a natural conversation between two people. In reality, these conversations could have been staged because the two individuals were in separate locations. The three-episode miniseries was educational, diverse, and entertaining. It is definitely a must-watch for anyone who is not a political science junkie but still wants to learn in a fun way the system of government in which they live.