British party leaders debate the issues:High quality debate shows three women party leaders more progressive than the men

The BBC world news broadcast the first of the British election debates involving seven party leaders: David Cameron for the Conservatives;Ed Miliband for Labour;Nick Clegg for the Liberal democrats; Nigel Farage for UKIP; Nicola Sturgeon for the SNP the Scottish Nationalists; Natalie Bennett, leader of the Greens; Leanne Wood  the leader of Plaid Cymru leader of the Welsh nationalists. The debate was divided into four policy themes. These were the economy and the budget  with the usual obsession over deficits and balancing the books; the NHS the health service and privatization; Immigration and a referendum on staying in Europe or leaving it; the future of employment the role of education, tuition fees and opportunities for young people including housing policy. Farage as expected was both outrageous and blunt and provocative managing to get the Welsh leader to agree with him that staying in the EU meant that there was nothing that could be done about migration to Britain from within the European union. Miliband in trying to appeal to some anti immigration voters who were otherwise Labour supporters signed on to tightening immigration controls .He also directly attacked Cameron on his austerity policies. But on the whole the three women who lead the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens particularly on immigration, health care, debt management and employment policy were far more progressive than the other leaders including the Labour leader Ed Miliband. Indeed on debt management and austerity the Green leader showed herself to be extremely well briefed on Keynesian economic policy and the folly of austerity. It is hard to see if the debate will change many people’s minds or who won the debate but the smaller parties all led by women were the heroes of the evening.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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