Party of one
By Joshua Budd
Last night Ryan Parks, University Students' Council president-elect and president of The Education Party of Canada, announced Michael Rubinoff will be the only candidate running from the party in the upcoming federal election.
Originally Parks planned to run three candidates in the election including Rubinoff, Jerry Topolski and Roxanne Porter.
"It was a decision the three of us made together," Porter said. "[Rubinoff] has the most connections and we thought he would appeal to a broader section of the population."
"It was a matter of resources," said Rubinoff. "Putting money and people power behind one candidate would enhance our chances."
Parks cited legal considerations and a limited budget as the main reasons behind the decision to run only one candidate as opposed to three as he promised in his campaign for USC president.
"Each candidate is required to have an official agent responsible for maintaining records of financing, etc. If they mess up they risk the potential for unintentional election fraud," Parks explained. "The problem was finding three individuals who have time and a vested interest ensuring everything would run smoothly."
Parks said with the current fund-raising goal of $30,000-$35,000 it would be more prudent to back one candidate.
He said money will be raised by university councils, residence associations, affiliated colleges and from private individuals and corporations.
At the next USC meeting Parks said he will make a motion for the USC to donate $13,000 to the party. Last week the Social Science Students' Council voted unanimously to donate $3,000 to the party.
Now that they have decided on a candidate, Rubinoff said the main challenge facing him is earning the trust of the general population in his riding. He said most people will perceive him as an independent candidate or a one issue candidate and they will not take him seriously.
"I am committed to meeting as many people as I can to earn their respect and their vote," Rubinoff said. "My goal is to knock on every door in this riding. One voter at a time.
"We will target the high school population and those older people in the community that believe in future generations. I believe we can strike a balance."
Although Rubinoff is currently the only candidate, he said The Education Party of Canada has considered expanding into provincial and municipal ridings if the upcoming election is successful and they get a good showing.
"We definitely have our work cut out for us," Rubinoff added. "But this is a perfect opportunity for voters to look for a credible alternative."