Political Clubs Look Ahead

A preview into future events for the Young Republicans and Democrats Club.

With the 2012 presi­dential elections long in the past and mid-term gu­bernatorial and legislative elections finished, the world of politics has quieted down. But this doesn’t mean that Hocka­day’s Young Democrats and Young Republicans Clubs have nothing to talk about—in fact, they’re just getting started.

“There are always political issues, even if it’s not an elec­tion year—even in non elec­tion years, there are things that concern us and that we want to be involved in, and it’s good to keep the club together rather than just have it for election years,” History Department Chair Steve Kramer said.

Since mid-year elections recently finished, Young Re­publicans president junior Ju­liette Turner plans to focus on the newly elected politicians.

“We can talk about how the new politicians are doing. We can also talk about how the issues are coming to the fore­front now that there are new faces in congress, both state and national,” she said.

According to Turner, since the Republicans have the ma­jority in both the House of Representatives and the Sen­ate, there are many topics of discussion that can arise from this. Since the balance of power was shifted, new issues are being brought forth that weren’t before.

“This is whether [President Barack Obama] is going to sign [bills] or not, or what Obama is going to do regarding executive orders,” Turner said.

Young Democrats presi­dent senior Bridget Colliton will be taking a similar ap­proach and wants to let people discuss the topics they’re in­terested in. “I want people to be able to learn about those [top­ics] and present things about them,” Colliton said.

Such topics include “stop and frisk and unlawful search­es and seizures.” Colliton plans to introduce these topics be­cause she doesn’t think a lot of people really know about it, but “a lot of them would care if they did know.”

However, not everything will have a political bias. “I def­initely think it’s good to know what the other side is think­ing, because I don’t think that anyone 100 percent agrees with their party on every single is­sue,” Colliton said.

Besides current events-based topics, Colliton plans to talk about the upcoming presidential election and its candidates.

“We’ll probably do some­thing on 2016 and Hillary Clin­ton, and some of the other potential Democrats, like who her VP will be, and we’ll proba­bly also talk about Republican candidates too, since there’s not really a clear frontrunner for the Republicans in 2016,” Colliton said.

The Young Democrats club aims to meet once a month, and the Young Republicans club plans to meet once a quar­ter. At least one joint meeting is tentatively scheduled for next semester.

For the 2016 elections, most of the events will occur from May 2015 and onwards because, according to Turner, “we’ll probably start seeing candidates step forward at the end of this year, come May, but before that I’d be shocked.”

After that, campaigning will begin throughout the end of 2015, and primaries and cau­cuses will start in spring of 2016. Democratic and Republi­can National Conventions will occur in August and Septem­ber of that year, and the presi­dential season will finally cul­minate on Nov. 8, 2016.

While both club presi­dents plan on noting the up­coming presidential events, Colliton and Turner do not plan to focus extensively on the 2016 presidential elections.

“[The presidential elec­tion will] definitely be a next year’s Young Democrats topic, but I definitely want to get started because I think it’s something that’s been build­ing up,” Colliton said.

Turner agrees. “Since the first primary is Jan. 26 of 2016, we might start, but it will all be pretty hypothetical,” Turner said.

Regardless, the Young Democrats and Young Repub­licans will have plenty to talk about in the upcoming months.

“[There’s] always some­thing to talk about in the world of politics,” Turner said. “lt’s never dull.”

– Sunila Steephen