Volume 90, Issue 102

Wednesday, April 09, 1997



Reforming the way students see federal politics

By Karena Walter
Gazette Staff

Another Western student has entered the federal election race giving the Education Party of Canada a run for its money.

Reform candidate and 24-year-old honours anthropology student Tara Bingham will go head-to-head with the University Students' Council candidate in London North Centre.

Bingham chose to become a member of the party in 1992 when she was 18-years old. "I didn't have to change any of my beliefs or the thinking I already had about the country," she said. Bingham said she was impressed by the way things were expressed to her and how the organization allowed her to give input into policy even outside of election time.

The riding selected Bingham as their candidate on April 2. Although she had been planning on running for politics later she said she is ready for her next level of involvement now. "I think I'm at a pretty good time of my life," Bingham said. Not only does she have the support of other people now, she will be graduating in June and will have no other commitments at that time.

There are lots of issues on the table for this election. Bingham said the Reform Party is talking to people about how major issues like unemployment, taxes and government control are directly related. Criminal justice reforms, health and education are other concerns.

Bingham said Western's Education Party of Canada initiative started the same way the Reform Party did with people talking to other people. However, she said we need to remain realistic about the new party – they have the opportunity to set the agenda at some levels and that is going to have to be their focus.

"I think they are potentially splitting up the vote," she said. Also committed to education, Bingham said if they want to see a Western student run they have that student in her.

As far as having a Reform Member of Parliament in the City of London, Bingham said the party is doing very well in the three ridings and is going out and talking to people about what they want – not dictating the issues.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997