Sept. 2, 2008

Experts to dissect Obama-McCain domestic policies

How would Barack Obama's proposal for universal health care affect the working poor? Would John McCain's proposal to secure the nation's borders really work?

Top policy experts will debate these and other domestic policies proposed by the presidential candidates, Friday, Sept. 26, in Bailey Hall.

The event, "Educate the Vote: McCain v. Obama in 3D -- Data and Debate on Domestic Policy," will begin at 6:30 p.m. Six experts in health care, immigration and Social Security will analyze the candidates' proposals and take questions from the audience.

The idea is to encourage students and the local community to consider research on proposed policy solutions when they make their voting decisions, said Rosemary Avery, event organizer and chair of the College of Human Ecology's Department of Policy Analysis and Management.

"Our students -- many of whom are probably voting for the first time -- need to be informed by research evidence on the effectiveness of policy solutions if they want to cast their vote in a responsible and effective way," she said. "There couldn't be a more ideal 'teachable moment' for Cornell students to learn these principles than during this exciting and unprecedented 2008 election cycle.

"As our young students evaluate candidates for their vote in November, it's our hope that they will filter the policy solutions being offered by the candidates through the lens of empirical evidence provided by a group of expert panelists taking part in this event," Avery said.

The panel will be moderated by David Harris, interim provost and vice provost for social sciences. The panelists are:

The event grew out of a grant obtained through Campus Life to involve the Class of 2012 in election-related events and activities. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, the Cornell in Washington Program, Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center, the Cornell Population Program and the College of Human Ecology.

Following the domestic policy debate, a live satellite feed will broadcast the first presidential candidate debate from the University of Mississippi.

Tickets are free but required for admission. Seats can be reserved and tickets printed at http://www.baileytickets.com. Tickets can be picked up in person at the Willard Straight Ticket Office or Ticket Center at Clinton House on 116 N. Cayuga Street in downtown Ithaca.

Sheri Hall is assistant communications director for the College of Human Ecology.