SULC debaters: Dominick Bondar, Sergio Badeliscu-Bouga, Tom Baker and Elizabeth Pearson (Dore Photo ©) The debate in St John’s Brennan Hall pitted Sydney University Liberal Club against Macquarie University Liberal Club. The topic was that “This house would contain Putin by force” adjudicated by Education Minister Christopher Pyne, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson and Assistant Education Minister, Susan Ley. SULC spoke on the affirmative and MQLC defended the Negative. Sydney’s first speaker Elizabeth Pearson brought a sense of history to the debate – insisting that a policy of appeasement could never lead to a satisfactory outcome in the face of an aggressor. She argued that we must stop Putin “in his tracks”. Ms Pearson felt that International bodies such as NATO could offer effective shows of force. Macquarie’s first speaker David provided an entertaining response, suggesting that any attack on Russia (the most heavily armed Nuclear force globally) would be suicidal. Macquarie argued strongly against the use of force, stating that it was not in the interests of Australia and the International community alike. Mr Yao dramatised the consequences of unleashing a “crap-load of nukes”. “Sydney? Annihilated. Paris? Where is that? London? Burnt to the ground”. Sergio Badeliscu-Bouga and Tom Baker, Sydney’s second and third speakers, were adamant in their support for the use of force – suggesting it was the only way to get results considering the self-interested and opportunistic character of Putin. Mr Baker provided a brief insight into the psychology of Vladimir Putin. He noted that at the time Putin was cutting his teeth, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were busy smashing down the Berlin Wall and the Eastern Bloc. Mr Baker implored the house “if need be, the West should have the resolve to do it again!” The speakers are to be commended in the way they approached the debate. The rabble of cacophonous lefties outside were thankfully muffled by the engaging orations. MQLC Speaker: David Yao (Dore Photo) Minister Pyne gave the final verdict and awarded the round to Sydney University – opting to curtail an apparent Soviet revival. Macquarie endured a very close loss but were praised for their cohesive arguments. All in all, this debate exemplifies why the Howard Cup is always a success; there was competition, laughter and most importantly, a sense of freedom in defiance of a loud and ineffectual Left.