lorna frost | 04.05.2014 20:56
Edinburgh voters will get a chance to grill party representatives at a free public hustings for the European Elections in the city centre a week before the poll. Vital issues such as working conditions – including zero-hour contracts – EU membership, immigration, bank regulation, the ‘Robin Hood’ tax, fracking, NATO, same-sex marriage, and abortion, are expected to be raised by the audience, who will be encouraged to put specific questions to the panel.
Lorna Frost, of Edinburgh East Save our Services, said: ‘MEPs pass laws that affect many important aspects of our lives such as working conditions, controlling pollution, and healthcare so it is important we know how they stand on these issues. Hustings are a traditional way of engaging people and an important part of the democratic process.
'We’re giving the mainstream parties a chance to meet electors directly and publicise the way they would tackle the pressing issues that affect everyone in Europe. We want to encourage voters to engage with their future MEPs, since extreme right-wing parties exploit the lack of interest and low turnout in these elections to boost their profile.'
The hustings, on Wednesday 14th May at 6.30pm in Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, will be chaired by Annie McCrae, Educational Institute of Scotland and Vice-Chair of the STUC Women's Committee. The SNP will be represented by Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, one of their European list candidates, and the Greens by Siobhan Mathers. The Scottish Labour Party, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have also been invited to send representatives.
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