Tri-Partisan debate brings in spirit of midterm elections
With the spirit of the upcoming midterm elections, the Tri-Partisan Debate kicked off Monday night at the UC Theater between the UH Republicans, the UH Democrats and the libertarian group, Young Americans for Liberty.
Moderated by the vice president of the UH Political Council Charlotte Christian, the debate began with a statement of ideology that outlined each group’s position. Speaking for the Democrats, political science freshman Zana Shaw and business sophomore Rebecca Deal presented their party’s platform on a range of issues they stated are best for the Millennial generation. Speaking for the Republicans, history junior Matthew Wiltshire spoke alone about his party, with economic senior Sarah Aimad arriving late. Representing the Young Americans for Liberty were political science senior Cody London and the president of their group, Dalton Laine.
After opening statements, the debate began with the first topic: the environment. The libertarians, speaking first, advocated against so-called activist judges standing in the way of people’s ability to sue companies that pollute on their lands. The Republicans, mostly agreeing, also added their skepticism about climate change. The Democrats, however, disagreed with each group and talked about “mitigation” and “adaptation” in regards to the government’s role in battling climate change.
After a quick cross-examination, the debate proceeded to education. Speaking first, Wiltshire of the Republicans stressed the need for money to get the students, with Aimad later advocating for a renewed focus on vocational schools and other additional options to higher education besides four-year degrees.
The libertarians also stress the need for more focus on vocational schools.
“Not everyone needs a four-year degree,” Laine said. When it was the Democrats’ turn, they reminded everyone that it was Republicans who cut 5.4 billion dollars from the state’s education budget back in 2011.
The debate became a little more heated as it went on, especially when talking about healthcare.
“I grew up on Medicaid,” Laine said. “[Under Medicaid], it’s the state’s job to say you can only go to this hospital, this hospital, or this hospital.”
The Republicans agreed with their Libertarian counterparts, saying the free market was the solution. The Democrats conceded changes needed to be made to the system, but no more.
“I will advocate for Medicaid reform, not its absolution,” Shaw said.
On gay marriage, the Republicans and libertarians agreed that was not the government’s role to regulate marriage, with the Democrats disagreeing and saying it should be legal.
After gay marriage, the debaters answered some questions from the audience and then gave their closing remarks. Some audience members commented on the performers.
“Zana was clear and articulate,” said human resources development junior Ariell Ward.
“The most eloquent speakers were the Democrats,” said psychology and political science junior Ryan Thompson. “The ones who defended their position the best were the Republicans.”