The results of the Fair Ten Challenge 2015 were revealed for the first time on Monday (2 March 2015).
Local campaign groups and charities from Leeds for Change all had the chance to propose questions to parliamentary candidates. The public then had two weeks to vote on the questions they would most like to ask their prospective MP. A total of 134 people participated in the online vote which was hotly debated on social media.
The top question asks “If you are elected as an MP would you, like David Owen, support Allyson Pollock and Peter Broderick’s draft NHS Reinstatement Bill and help to get it included in the first Queen’s Speech after the election?”
More surprisingly, the second most popular question was on the The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Few people knew about TTIP a year ago, but now the anti-TTIP campaign is really taking off and over 1.5 million people have signed a petition against the deal.
The question we’ll be asking this election is: “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its sister treaties the Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) are a direct threat to democratic accountability, workers rights, public services and our much needed food safety and environmental standards. Will you vote against these treaties, regardless of whether ISDS protections are removed and public services explicitly exempt from the deals?”
One of the more controversial questions that made the top ten asks candidates to support a two-way embargo on Israeli weapons: “During the 2014 onslaught against Gaza, 2,192 Palestinians were killed including 519 children. Many of these deaths were made possible by arms and components produced in the UK. In the 6 months preceding the offensive the UK issued £7 million of arms export licenses to Israel. In addition, arms imports from Israel support the continual development of the Israeli arms industry. Will you take action to implement a two-way arms embargo against Israel until it ends human rights violations and complies with international law?”
Leeds Tidal’s Coordinator, Laura McFarlane-Shopes said:
“We had some very interesting results from the Fair Ten Challenge at the last general election, and found it really useful in actually finding out where candidates stand on the big issues. Some candidates really got into the campaign, and Fabian Hamilton still displays his answers on his website: www.leedsne.co.uk/fair_ten
“I am looking forward to seeing how candidates in my constituency respond, but just as importantly I’m excited to speak to lots of people in my community about issues like Palestine and Climate Change. We have a chance to reclaim some of the election narrative away from political in-fighting to talking about the kind of future we want for Leeds and the world.”
This post was written by Laura McFarlane-Shopes using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.