oh, external office, you were doing so well

And then you send out a piece of garbage like this press release.

I am normally a big defender of the External Office, and am happy that the funding for lobby days has been restored. I’m not happy how small the budget is for it, and I am all but certain that the actual number of people this will be able to support will be around twenty, rather than twenty-five, but that’s neither here nor there. I have to assume that the people who wrote this piece of sputum don’t have an accurate conception of what lobbying is, how it helps, or how much it costs.I’ll try and justify things to people later, but this is another colour of NayloRant.

Lobbying is one of the most important things that we can do as a society (much as others may disagree), because it is the only thing that we alone would do. UPass – totally would have been imposed by the University and Provincial Government eventually, it being part of the government’s platform, one which we should usher along, implementation wise, especially since the pass is theoretically revenue neutral. Health and Dental Plan – same type of thing. These are things that are done by bulk buying, and thats great, but there is more to a student society than critical mass for discounts.

We are the only one’s who will speak with a student voice, and operatively, it’s Council that decides what to say, and tells the exec to say it. The train comes off the rails a little bit when executives start saying things that we haven’t told them to say. Like in this press release.

I’m sorry, but lay off the Oil and Gas industry. We need more development of our petroleum resources in this province, not the least of which is the very exciting and much more environmentally sound methane-hydrate production that could turn us into an energy superpower akin to Alberta. However, this research and development requires massive investment, and so tax cuts for operative expenses make sense. Besides, where does the External Office think our business students, our engineers, (our lobbyists?) will get jobs in the province after graduation? We need these industries.

Allocations aren’t made at the expense of other things, at least not directly. Nobody has $10 million and thinks “hmmm, education grants or oil company tax cuts”. However, the thing that really pisses me off about this press release is the phrase:

The Alma Mater Society wants the B.C. government to restore adequate funding to post-secondary education.

Because we didn’t have it before. This doesn’t even imply that levels were appropriate, it goes right out and says it. And it makes me want to throttle someone.

Next Council might be an interesting meeting. I have some motions coming forward, some for the debate, others because I’ve been left in the dark, and apparently another because Communications can’t seem to get it’s act together. It might be a time to freeze all press communications by the AMS unless approved by a electronic vote of the Communications Planning Group.


3 Responses to “oh, external office, you were doing so well”

  1. 1 Neal Yonson
    September 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Clarification: I agree that external lobbying is “one of the most important things” the AMS does as a society.

    Personally I do not, however, feel it is “the most important thing” the AMS does, which is what I was hearing at the meeting.

    What I strongly disagreed with was councilors asserting that lobbying is the most important thing the AMS does in the eyes of the rank-and-file “regular” students. I don’t think regular students give two shits about lobbying in comparison to the U-Pass, AMS clubs, or AMS businesses.

  2. 2 Rory Green
    September 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    The U-Pass was a result of successful lobbying.

  3. 3 Anon
    September 15, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Nobody ever thinks lobbying sucks when the lobbying is done well. It’s only when the lobbying sucks that people start to question lobbying as a priority.

    When you have confidence that $10k will get results, that’s a worthwhile and justifiable outlay. But when your lobbyist is the type of person who doesn’t understand that “oil or education” is a logically fallacious false dichotomy, then people (students at large or council) understandably lose confidence in the lobbyist and, in turn, in the lobbying.

    So yes, the U-Pass is was a result of successful lobbying. By pragmatic students who earned the confidence of their constituents and of elected officials, not ideological types who took potshots at the government in press releases. Guess which method got results…

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