Hosted by the Student Advocacy Group, the College Democrats and College Republicans met in the Student Union Ballroom on Oct. 25 to debate a variety of issues crucial to the approaching midterm election.
The debate followed a traditional structure with both sides taking two minutes per answer and a two-minute rebuttal. The event was Facebook live-streamed for those unable to attend.
Topics debated included the following: keeping the flat tax versus moving to a graduated system, the obligation of workers to pay union dues, means of making college affordable or free, raising or lowering the minimum wage and ways to reduce violent crime in heavily populated areas.
Riding on the back of a divisive election, this debate was a welcome change to the informal arguments overtaking our Facebook feeds. While both sides did engage in some ad hominem, the debate overall maintained a respectful and productive tone. The debate closed with both sides listing members of the opposing party that they respected.
For those looking to research the opinions of any candidates, BallotReady.org offers comprehensive analyses of each candidate’s political leanings. This website covers not only the main parties, but also the third-party candidates and other elected positions that are currently up for reappointment. Questions can also be pitched to the leaders of both groups. The College Democrats are led by Molly Looby and the College Republicans are led by Kaelan Smith.
The 2018 Gubernatorial Election will take place on Nov. 6, with J.B Pritzker representing the Democratic party, Bruce Rauner representing the Republican party, Kash Jackson representing the Libertarian party and Sam McCann representing the Conservative party.
UIS students and the general public can participate in early voting in the Student Union every weekday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m.