Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Off-topic: thoughts in electiontide

During the campaign, New York has touted itself as the slate of "change." That seems like a fair demand, and indeed the promise of change swept the United States in their last presidential election. But Students First has a team with a clear record of delivering change, and a New York federation would hinder some of these advances.

(The following will be irrelevant to most regular readers: I'm in effect producing this article for export - Ed.)

New York wants to invest in the bottomless pit of Lunik, which has expended an inordinate sum without yet coming into existence. They want longer hours on the shuttle, while Students First has already been fighting for this service tooth and nail. They promise to "open up" the student union to greater transparency. The fact is that most of the union's proceedings are open and most students don't bother to show up. They want a student transit pass: members of Student First have already succeeded in negotiating the student MetroPass deal and continue to advocate for us at a municipal level. They promise a greater focus on equity issues, but Students First has a vibrant diversity of perspectives and doesn't need to resort to tokenism. A federation led by New York will not make united campaigns for students' interests a priority. Efforts like the Drop Fees campaign aren't just noise made by coffeehouse intellectuals. They matter to real working students, the student working two jobs and waiting for her OSAP to come in so she can meet the rent while paying the highest tuition in Canada because the province has reduced funding for post-secondary education and wants us to make up the difference. Students First represents only the most affluent students at York, those who don't need to worry about paying off their student debt and who can afford to spend evenings congregated in a sports bar.

Voting for your friends because they're popular flies in high school, but it's unsuited even to us lowly undergraduates. A vote for Students First is the perfect Pascalian wager: a small effort that promises a great reward. Don't get swindled by high-tech graphics. Choose real change.

(This article is written in my personal capacity, and I am not a member or representative of any campaign team).


Nicolas said...

Pascal's Wager promises a reward???

Geoff said...

No, with Pascal's original formulation there is no promise, so all the sweeter the deal in this case.