October 31, 2012

Keene students offer third-party forum

When it comes to voting, many think only of the Democratic and Republican parties, but be prepared to see a few more on the voting ballot.

The third parties are being presented to students at Keene Central School like never before. An event was pulled together from the spark of an idea from a student’s parent and brought to life by a government teacher.

The forum is to take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the High School auditorium and cover both Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the Green Party, Party of Socialism and Liberation, Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party.

They will refrain from discussing the Independence Party, Working Families Party and Conservative Party because they mostly repeat the two presidential candidates.


Brad Hurlburt, the High School government teacher, said the primary focus of this event is to spread awareness of the third parties and to create a forum where a broad spectrum of research and ideas are presented.

It was Fred Balzak, father of student Sam Balzak, who had the idea to organize the event regarding the third parties. Hurlburt was pleased with his idea and went through with it.

“He’s (Mr. Balzak) been the driving force on putting this together,” Hurlburt said. Seeing student’s parents so involved in their education is affirming, he said, and it’s an even bigger advantage when they jump ahead to make things happen, as Mr. Balzak did.

“Many issues and also many potential solutions are not being discussed by them (Obama and Romney) or their parties,” Mr. Balzak said. He sees the forum as a way to broaden the discussion on the candidates, the different parties and the election as a whole.

In addition to the students being assigned a party to research in order to present them, it has also been arranged for a representative from certain political parties to attend.

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