January 20 Liveblogging Extravaganza

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1:19 – And, we’re done. Come back tomorrow for more liveblogging.

1:17 – Budget process – there needs to be increased communication during the budgeting process so that there doesn’t need to be post-passage amendments. He also says that windfalls would go towards reducing the deficit.

1:15 – Tom Dvorak asks a question about making Council understand things – he again talks about communication.

1:14 – It’s good that he doesn’t want to cut funding to SASC, if for no other reason that he can’t.

1:11 – Safewalk. A $70.00 per person per walk cost is too high, and it should be changed. Maybe a car would be in order! I actually like the idea – one of the things that was brought up a couple years ago was buying pedi-cabs for Safewalk, and I think that’d be really cool.

1:09 – VP Finance Debate, or the Half Hour Elin Smile Time Variety Show! (The Invisible Man may or may not be here.)

1:05 – What will you do to marginalize groups? The candidates give … ok answers, nothing particularly inspiring, but that’s OK, because this isn’t really their portfolio, and I think if they threw their weight behind it, it would lead to a too many cooks situation.

1:02 – Where should the University fill in it’s budget shortfall if it’s not from our tuition fees? Stas says that the quality decrease is a direct result of the freeze – he’s absolutely right. Tim says that we should fight the system – or push back the tide.

12:59 – How will you correct the failures of the past year? Stas agrees that Lobby Days should be brought back, and wants to work with the University on mutual lobbying. Jeremy talks about creating a united student voice, and the development of a conference of independent students. Tim says that Lobby Days is about bringing all of Council to Victoria, which to me means that he didn’t read any of his transition reports – that’s not what Lobby Days is – does he know what he’s supposed to have been doing at all this past year?

One word – waterboarding.

12:57 – Next step or end goal lobbying? And, whatever your policies, how will you get buy in from council? Tim basically says that he wants end goal lobbying, and said that Council disagreed with him over tuition – this is a blatant lie – there was never a vote prior to the Debacle on Tuition policy, except the one during my term two and a half years ago. Jeremy says that the next step need to be 100% of the focus with the end goal in mind.

12:53 – There is a question of priorities. Tim thinks that he will be able to convince the government to do something they don’t want to do. How well has that been going this year?

12:49 – OHMIGOD! Amazing in joke! Rory Green – “Who am I and what do I do?” Actually, what was the biggest success and failure of the External Office? Jeremy talks about Translink as a victory, and as the massive lack of transparency as a failure. Tim talks about the Rez Contract change (which was an Academic and University Affairs portfolio). Others mention CASA, UN Debacle, etc.

12:42 – How will you address affordability? Tim wants to reduce tuition fees . This is profoundly moronic – it’s a regressive policy in progressive clothing, but I wouldn’t expect anything different from Tim. Palm wants some people to be uneducated so that some people can make his suits. Stas says that tuition isn’t going anywhere – he wants to improve the student loan system. Jeremy talks about the funding structure of universities, and shoots down Tim’s foolish, foolish point. He wants to improve the student loan system, and, at the end of the time, mentions Rentsline – this is smart, as HOUSING, NOT TUITION, is the number one cost for students.

12:36 – What about CASA? Jeremy talks about the limitations of CASA as a federal organization, and hopes to build a provincial lobbying organization, especially with the two other large universities in the province. Tim says something about wanting a Federal Ministry of Education. Aaron Palm says we should be be spending lobbying money on rifles, and using hard power. Stas gives a reasonable answer on value for money.

12:31 – VPX debate starts. Just clipping along here. The first question is on Translink. Stas starts off with a good answer on the renegotiations for the UPass, and getting value for money. Jeremy agrees that the renegotiations are the most important, but also delves into some of the other issues with regards to representation on the Translink Board and the Broadway corridor. Tim gives an answer that totally misconstrues our contract structure – he should not be left in charge of these negotiations, or we’ll lose the pass entirely. Aaron Palm says that we should build freeways.

12:26 – How are you different from the other candidates on stage? Natalie has been a past President, VPX and Student Governor. She is capable of representing a diversity of student voices. Bijan, by contrast, has been here for 11 years, and has a wealth of experience at UBc. Sean isn’t here to talk about his experience, and basically gives a statement on what he wants to do, which I appreciate, as this debate was WAAAAAY too short, and didn’t have opening or closing statements.

I think I can bring Change. Yes we can. Oh, yeah.
Pak Ho

12:24 – On how candidates will coordinate the executive team, Natalie (and Bijan) want to do goal setting, and

There is no place for personal opinion. This is serious business.
-Pak Ho

12:22 – There is a question about sexual assault. The candidates all express their support, but the most clear stance is as follows.

I, Pak Ho Leung, am against sexual assault.

12:16 – The next question asks about the changing role of the Student Court v. Council, and the powers invested in each of the bodies. Pak Ho’s answer was a bit of a word salad, but included the phrase “Swift Justice”. Bijan defers to the students, and Sean gives a comment that basically shows that he doesn’t really know what Student Court does. Natalie agrees that the changes are overdue, but would respect the decision of students.

12:16 – Natalie rebuts by asking Bijan where he draws the line in working with the University, and if he can get too close. Bijan gives an answer that basically reiterates the quote earlier.

12:10 – Do you think the AMS’s ability to blooby lobby is compromised, and what can be done about it? Natalie expounds the values of both having a frank discussion with the university, and putting a greater emphasis on consultation. Pak Ho forgets the question… After repeating, he gives an answer that … meant nothing. Bijan basically gives Natalie’s answer again, but slicker sounding, and talks about his experience, particularly emphasizing the hospice. Sean agrees with Natalie, and also mentions working with other stakeholders.

It shouldn’t be ‘us against them’ but rather all of us together against the problem.

12:07 – Debate is beginning, with our fan-dabu-tastic moderator Mike Kushnir, former Councilor and veteran of the War on Fun. He starts off the questioning by asking what the candidates think the role of the President is? All the candidates give reasonable answers, although they all seem nervous. Well, not Bijan. Bijan never seems nervous.


1 Response to “January 20 Liveblogging Extravaganza”

  1. January 21, 2010 at 4:23 am

    The AMS’s ability to blooby was utterly destroyed this year.

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