Volume 94, Issue 44

Thursday, November 16, 2000


Liberal TV ad lied, Alliance charges

Strike looming - Caretakers could walk out

York U behind picket lines again

"Massive" probe begins

Campus Briefs

Quirks and Smirks

New City Council prioritizes

USC remembers federal election run

Corroded Disorder

USC remembers federal election run

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

With the federal election raging along in full fury, it is a time to not only reflect upon the future, but also on the past.

In the 1997 federal election, Western's University Students' Council sponsored second-year political science student, Michael Rubinoff, to run as a candidate for the Education Party in the riding of London North-Centre.

Ryan Parks, former USC president, who also served as president of the Education Party, said the USC put forth a $13,000 dollar sponsorship of Rubinoff's candidacy in 1997.

During the 1997 USC elections, Parks said he promised to run a candidate in federal politics in order to address education issues for students. He said the USC initially looked into running a candidate in all three London ridings, but decided to focus their financial resources in London North-Centre.

"The party was extremelly successful at bringing education to the table for London North-Centre," he said.

Parks said the Education Party received extensive national and local media coverage, including an article in Maclean's magazine.

"The most tanglible achievement of the Education Party is the development of a government policy which is benefitting students across the country," Rubinoff said, citing the Liberal reduction of interest on post-secondary student loans.

He said the party focussed on key post-secondary issues such as research, loans and federal transfers in education.

Rubinoff said the USC did receive some criticism for funding the Education Party from political groups on the Westerm campus, but added the Education Party could not be pegged as a political party.

Rubinoff said the Education Party received 346 votes during the election, but added he believes there would have been greater support if a fall federal election had been called in 1997, instead of a spring election, so the party could have achieved the support of a full campus.

Joe Fontana, the incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament who defeated Rubinoff in the 1997 campaign, said Rubinoff and the Education Party platform helped raise the profile of education concerns within the Liberal Party as well.

"Some of us took up their ideas," he said, citing the Millennium Scholarship Fund in the 1997 Liberal budget and the reduction of interest on student loans, as being issues which were initially pushed by the Education Party.

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