Political debate seeks to explain platforms

As a prelude to the upcoming New York City mayoral election, the College Democrats and College Republicans hosted a debate discussing the differences between the two parties.

“The purpose of this forum is to bring out the party platforms of each political party because what is happening today is that politics is getting in the way [of what people stand for],” said Jessica Wright, vice chair of the College Republicans.

The forum, held on Wednesday, Nov. 1, was designed in order to help students, many of whom are unsure of which party they belong to, learn more about each party’s platform. Overall party platforms were discussed as were the specific topics of limited government, social equity and international affairs.

Nicole Garrett, president of the College Democrats, spoke about a popular misconception about the Democratic Party. According to Garret, it is a common belief that Democrats are immoral because of their perceived lack of religion as a party.

“[Democrats] try to separate religion from politics even though we are accused of not having moral values,” Garrett said. “We strongly believe in keeping our religion separate from our political views.”

Garrett also spoke about the democratic belief that every person should have the same opportunities and all people should be “on equal footing.”

Wright, who spoke for the College Republicans, focused on the laissez-faire aspect of the Republican platform.

“Republican values really represent hands-off government,” she said.

The debaters then focused on the topics of government limitation, social equity and international relations.

Although the two parties have widely differing views on many topics, the purpose of the forum was to show that while you can have different ideas the important part of politics is learning to compromise.

“It’s about understanding truth and getting down to something that actually works for the country,” moderator Christopher Coes said.

Moderator Kevin Medina agreed.

“As college students we must remember to stay above partisanship,” Medina said. “Remain firm in your principles but always be open to change. When all is said and done I urge you to reach common ground.”