Youth debate juvenile as never ending
shouting match ensues
By Laura Katsirdakis
THE DEBATE. Representatives of the youth parties from
left " Patrick
Harris (Progressive Conservative), Arzie Chant and Julia
Knox (Liberal) and Eric Fortin (New Democratic Party) " debate
in the UCC yesterday.
In the University Community Centre yesterday, a crowd was
drawn by the debate/shouting match between representatives
of the youth parties for the provincial Progressive Conservative,
Liberal and New Democratic Parties.
The debate began with a short speech from each representative;
Eric Fortin for the NDP, Julia Knox for the Liberals and Patrick
Harris for the PCs. Dave Ford, VP-education for the University
Students' Council, asked the trio questions about each party's
stance on post-secondary issues.
When Ford raised questions of accessibility, tuition de-regulation
and student loans and grants, each candidate explained their
respective party's position, then engaged each other on more
controversial issues, which soon devolved into deafening shouting
On the issue of medical school enrollment, Ford had to cut
off the shouting.
"We have produced the opposite of brain drain," Harris insisted,
citing economic improvements he believes keep doctors in Ontario. "The
doctors are coming!"
"You're trying to make it legal - private health care," Knox
Harris disagreed and was visibly upset, getting to his feet
for a moment during the dispute. Notable in the audience were
a group of PC supporters, who vigorously clapped after each
of Harris's statements.
"I think [the youth debate] is a really great idea - it is
a good way for students to hear the issues from a youth perspective," said
Merideth Rady, a first-year social science student, adding
it is intimidating to approach politicians running in the election,
but students are more prone to listen to youthful representatives
debating the issues.
There's more shouting to come: SmartVote will be holding provincial
election information sessions this Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Saugeen-Maitland
Hall, and at 8 p.m. at Delaware Hall. Fortin, Knox and Harris
will be in attendance, as well as some political science professors,