York Outer candidates

The candidates for York Outer recently visited the University and began campaigning for crucial student votes. brings you the interviews

Julian Sturdy – Conservatives

What do you think is the most important issue facing York outer at the moment?

Well, there are lots of issues that you find on the doorstep when you go round. There’s the threat to the local greenbelt of York, with local housing possibilities there. A lot of people are worried that their green space is going to be taken away.

There’s also a lot of concern about the lack of local infrastructure such as bus services, and bad traffic and things like that.

The economy also comes up regularly. People are finding a real insecurity over jobs and their future employment prospects. It’s an issue that we need to tackle.

Has David Cameron sealed the deal with the voters yet?

In a 24 hour media world, no one will ever seal the deal again. Blair was the last person I think ever to do that. What Cameron has done is offered something new. I remember when I first saw him speak, I was really impressed by David Cameron.

As the Conservative Party was, we couldn’t go on, we had to make changes. I think they have been made, and we have moved in the right direction. We now have a real opportunity to win. Cameron will bring the strong leadership that this country desperately needs.

Do you support Labour’s push for a referendum on a change to the voting system?

I can’t believe that Brown will put a vote through 90 days before an election and expects us to believe him that it’s genuine. They talked about it in 1997, and Gordon Brown was against it then.

He’s been against it all the way through, and now he’s putting it through. It’s nothing more than an olive branch to the Liberal Democrats.

We desperately need to rebuild trust in the political system, and electoral reform is not the way to go about it.

James Alexander – Labour

What do you think is the most important issue facing York outer at the moment?

The most important issue has to be the economy. It’s the same for the whole country, we need to make sure that we secure the recovery.

Labour has been doing that so far, and the country has now come out of recession, and the stimulus is working.

The most important thing is to secure the recovery. We can’t afford to turn off the tap now.

Do you think Gordon Brown damaged his chances by saying that he’ll serve a full second term?

Gordon Brown has been honest and straight with the public, and I think that’s right.

It would be wrong for him to say that he would serve a full term and then stop.

Do you support Labour’s push for a referendum on a change to the voting system?

I think it’s absolutely right that we have a referendum on this issue, as it’s something that the country needs to have a say on.

If the Alternative Vote system (AV) restores confidence in the political system, then it’s a good thing to do.

I remain to be convinced about AV, personally.

I am one of the few Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) who is not toeing the line on this one.

A group of us wrote a letter to Gordon Brown expressing our concerns over the issue.
I just don’t think it makes sense.

What do you think about the Tory’s proposals to decrease the number of MPs?

I think there are reason why they want to change the number.

It entirely depends on how it would affect the country.

Madelaine Kirk – Liberal Democrats

What do you think is the most important issue facing York outer at the moment?

They are the same issues as the country. We need a fair tax system to help bring people out of poverty. We would do that by raising the tax threshold. We also need a good education system, with fair access for all, which is something that we currently don’t have.

We would introduce the abolition of university tuition fees. We also need total access to the NHS across the country. It is not right that people are living for ten years fewer in some parts of the country than others. And of course, there’s the economy.

Did you not drop the tuition fees policy?

No, we didn’t. It is our policy to remove in the first year the fees for final year students, and to phase in the rest over a period of six years. We have had to make adjustments to it because of the economic climate.

Do you support Labour’s push for a referendum on a change to the voting system?

Wes support the Single Transferable Vote system (STV), and the Jenkins Commission recommends the STV+, which I think we would also support. The present system is still grossly unfair.

At the last General Election, Labour got less votes than the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems got 22% of the vote and only 10% of the seats. What it means is that some voters were basically disenfranchised, which is wrong.

What would you personally do in the event of a hung Parliament?

The Liberal Democrats will not enter into discussions with any party until after the people have cast their votes. The party with the largest number of seats must have the first option to create the government.

Only at that point would we enter into discussions with anyone.

4 comments

  1. 24 Feb ’10 at 1:59 am

    Arithmetic Issues

    “At the last General Election, Labour got less votes than the Conservatives”

    Um…no they didn’t, Madeleine.

    Labour: 9,562,122
    Conservatives: 8,772,598

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  2. Also, “fewer votes” >.>

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  3. Also, Jenkins recommended AV+, not STV+

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  4. Ladies and Gentlemen; Madeleine Kirk! Ill-informed and unelectable.

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