Monday, January 19, 2009

Presidential Platforms: Blake Frederick

While Alex Monegro's website is not yet up and running, the other two presidential candidates have their platforms posted: and . I hope to provide a bit of critique of both, starting with Blake's (I figure alphabetical organization is the least biased of options, and since Alex's site isn't up yet...)

Blake Frederick

While some of Blake's platform points seem fairly perfunctory- he talks about tuition fees, housing, etc.- they are certainly important to students, and he does include some issues that I feel are important to consider, particularly for next year(Olympics, anyone?). He has a comprehensive platform, and, most importantly, some actual steps that he wants to take to achieve the major points set he has laid out. While some of these steps are a bit nebulous (things like "applying pressure"), I found it fairly clear that he knew what he was talking about. I do find his platform quite ambitious- it's unlikely that many of the things he talked about will actually happen- but I feel that it shows that he has a good understanding of both issues important to UBC students, and of recent problems encountered by the AMS (remember CASA?). One thing I particularly like is the issue of governance that he brings up. Perhaps this is something I've missed in the recent years, but he points out (fairly, I think) the lack of student representation on the BoG, and cites the fact that only 14% of the seats on the BoG are held by students. He also talks about working with City Councilors to examine UBC's status as a municipality as a way of addressing the decision-making that often seems to disregard students' interests on campus, which I find to be an interesting approach to the problem.

Other parts of the platform that I find interesting have to do with tuition. According to his website: "...our country is currently in blatant breach of the UN International Covenant on Economic, Political, and Social Rights, which commits us to the gradual introduction of free post-secondary education." This wasn't actually something I knew, and I feel like it's an important point to bring up, although perhaps one that's not really feasible (or perhaps just plain impossible) on the university's part.

Anyhoo, conclusions: comprehensive platform that showcases a knowledge of both the AMS, the issues that it's facing (and a variety of issues at that), and how to actually accomplish some of the platform points. It is quite ambitious, however, and some of the points listed are a little bit hazy, but in general I like what I see. I would still encourage everyone to actually read his platform- it's nicely laid out- as I'm sure I've missed important points, but the purpose here is to present a general impression and a few things that I liked about it specifically.

An overview of Paul's platform will hopefully be up sometime tomorrow, but I don't think I could do it justice at this hour of the night.

Also- presidential debates are happening tomorrow! Rejoice! They're tomorrow at noon in the SUB conversation pit, so I would encourage all of y'all to come out and watch and make up your minds about the candidates.