Economics Society: Greens Storm Bede’s Election Debate
On Monday 27th April, a General Election Leaders debate organised by the Bede's Economics Society was held in the Recital Room.
The event was very successful and entertaining, with almost one hundred people attending.
After almost an hour and a half of, a times, very heated and animated discussion, the audience completed ballot papers asking them to vote on which party leader had won the debate.
In a surprising result, the Green Party won by a clear margin with the results as follows:
1. Green Party (31.3%)
2. Conservatives (23.9%)
3. UKIP (17.9%)
4. SNP (14.9%)
5. Labour (7.5%)
6. Liberal Democrats (4.5%)
With Mr Lewis posing as David Dimbleby for the evening, the debate kicked off with a one minute opening statement outlining the parties' fundamental ideologies and manifestos.
The first question directed at the leader of the Conservative party Chris Bowe was about whether the country needed five more years of austerity, with his reply being only three more years are needed to cut the deficit completely.
The debate immediately erupted into passionate discussion as SNP leader Sam Hannah boldly claimed austerity was not needed, reinforced by a steely-eyed Labour Leader Cameron Christie.
Cameron's stare was short-lived however, as Sam was quick to point out that Labour actually voted for austerity!
With the NHS being such a topical concern, the current coalition were attacked on their perceived dismantling of the UK's healthcare system. With the discussion turning towards funding for the NHS and similar services, Mr Lewis swiftly introduced the second question: Would party leaders keep Trident and should defence spending rise above 2% of national income?
Labour were quick to support the proposal, stating that, in a world growing uncertainty and tension, mutually assured destruction was a necessary presence on the world stage.
As per usual Sam Hannah was quick to respond, stating that the money could be spent on 49,000 tuition fees.
An alliance was forming between the SNP and Greens as Ollie Marks said it could be spent on more conventional weapons rather than a, "Grandiose Firecracker."
The UKIP leader Harry Thorpe was fast to hold Ollie to his party's words as the Greens had previously stated that they were in support for more national parks instead of military spending.
A slightly more comical question was posed as Sean Deans, leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, was asked, "What would each leader do in the event of a hung parliament, and who would you be prepared to work or not work with?"
Sean put his best effort to giving a fully non-committal response, although Harry relieved the pressure by stating he was open to a Conservative-UKIP Coalition.
The focus of the final question centred around UKIP, with the leaders being asked, "What is the biggest issue facing Britain today?"
Despite a concise answer from UKIP over the issue of immigration and the EU, Labour accused them of scaremongering over immigration. Traditionally, Ollie played his card over the threat of global warming, and the rapid depletion of scarce resources.
The audience were then allowed to question the leader's policies, with many questions aimed at UKIP's immigration policies.
Despite the general consensus being that UKIP's policies were perhaps too extreme, Harry addressed the sensitive issue thoroughly, satisfying many of the audience's questions.
The campaigning continues ahead of the election on the 7th May.