Spoiling the Ballot: CUSU Elections Blog 10 – Online Debates

Click here to read the previous Blog entry 1 March 2010

CUSU’s online debates once again proved a success and gave candidates their only opportunity to attack each other’s policies. Last year Matt Horrocks, a member of Elections Committee, had an anonymous blogger admiring his hair during the campaigns last year. This year Gerard Tully’s haircut stole the show in the online debates.

Rahul Mansigani has been criticised in this campaign by many, including me, for his lack of policies. Whilst his speeches have lacked detail, the debate brought out the best in Mansigani. Over the fifty-minute debate, Mansigani was eloquent and showed great in-depth understanding on many issues. When forced to discuss them, Mansigani does have some good ideas.

Mansigani’s approach to CUSU is diametrically opposite to Beccy Talmy’s. A question about what motions the candidates have spoken on at CUSU Council exposed that Mansigani has never spoken on any motion. Mansigani wants to actively encourage students to draft motions, but has never actually been engaged himself. Talmy, on the other hand, has proposed several motions each week.

Talmy will have no doubt put off several voters due to her involvement in the occupation of the Law Faculty, despite claiming she did not support the action. A divide also opened up between the candidates with regard to international issues. Mansigani is clear that his main focus is representing students as students, whereas Talmy would consider taking a political stance on international issues. I believe Mansigani is spot on here and with his campaign finally showing some positive policies, he has won my vote.

The first debate of the day was for the position of Women’s Officer. Both candidates seem very evenly matched and performed well in hustings. The vote is likely to be a close thing.

In the Education Officer debate, Luke Hawksbee took on Maria Helmling. Hawksbee is no doubt the more skilled of the two speakers, but Helmling has found a distinguishing ground that may gain her votes. Hawksbee was quick to dismiss criticism that his focus would be nationally, but Helmling continued this criticism labelling Hawksbee’s manifesto as ‘quite radical’. Helmling also expressed concern that Hawksbee would use the position to campaign for his own agenda, acknowledging the fact that Hawksbee’s far left views may lose him votes.

You can view the videos for yourself and voting is now open online. For all this and more, visit: CUSU Elections

Grayden Webb

The views expressed in this article are not the opinions of CUSU. Comments expressed in this article are the opinions of individuals, and not of The Cambridge Student.

Click here to read the previous Blog entry