UDems/UI Republicans Showdown: UDem's a no-show


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What was supposed to go in this section was the University of Iowa Democrats' take on state appropriations to the UI. Unfortunately for all of us, the Democrats never responded to the prompt, even after several reminders.

The UI College Republicans provided its take on the issue Thursday. The GOP-ers criticized the university for increasing its budget by 13 percent "on the backs and wallets of the hard-working students," among other things.

Unfortunately, because of busy schedules and poor intra-club communication, the Democrats' deadline came and went without a submission.

Wouldn't it be nice to know the their perspective on appropriations? A public and regulated discussion should be viewed as invaluable to both parties and The Daily Iowan's readership.

The reason I started the twice-monthly "Showdown" was to provide a platform for serious debate. Each side is encouraged to back up its argument with hard, empirical evidence in an effort not to echo the baseless rhetoric of those on the national level. Both groups are held accountable by the editors and readers of The Daily Iowan — any falsities are edited for accuracy and any egregious hyperbole would (ideally) be ridiculed by the public.

Progress, intellectual or otherwise, is the goal here. Both sides of the political spectrum, local and national, are guilty of placing party before progress. One may not think a college newspaper can make a real difference, but with the DI's daily circulation of 50,000 critical thinkers, there is real potential for significant ideological development and reform.

Who knows? Our college-educated political groups here on campus might actually agree on something. I mandated that they have the same deadline, so they can't read each others' responses, so they don't trade irrelevant attacks, so they can focus on the prompt and leave their rhetoric at the door.

Though I can't say I agree wholeheartedly with the local Republicans' stance on state appropriations, I do respect the points made, and I commend their willingness to engage in a thoughtful conversation.

Though the Democrats' absence in this week's debate is disappointing, I'm optimistic that it won't happen again.

I think the Iowa City community should encourage both campus parties to prioritize their DIdiscussions. If their goals are to maximize public knowledge of their parties' goals and principles, what better forum do they have than The Daily Iowan Opinions page? Pamphlets and ice cream socials will only get you so far.

And hey — the two groups might actually learn something, from their research or from each other. Or both. Or neither.

Whatever the case, the University Democrat/College Republican Showdown has a lot of potential. The public should applaud and encourage both parties' participation.

In today's issue:

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