October 1, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 19  

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Re: "What you see is what you get," Sep. 26, 2003

To the Editor:

Defeatism runs rampant on this campus and contributes to a sense of powerlessness. I read Mark Polishuk's column declaring he plans to vote Liberal despite preferring the New Democratic Party because he felt the latter had "No Damn hoPe" of winning. A little digging proves otherwise.

So Mark and other misguided strategic voters, here's the scoop. This riding, London North Centre, has been won twice in the last four provincial elections by the NDP. In the two elections the Progressive Conservatives have won, the NDP came in a close second. For example, the last election numbers broke down like this: PC 18,400, NDP 16,600 (and get ready for this Mark) Liberal 9,500. So, the numbers point to the fact that if you're tired of the PC post-secondary agenda then your best chance to unseat Dianne Cunningham (PC Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities) - the person who is directly responsible for your tuition fees going through the roof - you would best be advised to vote NDP on Oct. 2.

As for strategic voting in general, I feel you should always vote for the party that best represents your politics, not for the 'best of the worst.' The Greens, for example, would be much stronger off next time around if their numbers continued to go up, even if they didn't win a seat. This would also provide a stronger argument for proportional representation.

Jesse Greener
Ph.D. Candidate VI
Dept. Physics and Astronomy


Show me the money

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the University Students' Council for organizing the All Candidates Debate meeting Wednesday afternoon. I asked Dianne Cunningham, Minister for Training, Universities and Colleges, why tuition deregulation has occurred for professional programs, specifically business and law. She responded the increase was a required investment into the competitiveness of those faculties.

This past year, the faculty of law tuition increased by 14.7 per cent accordingly, the faculty's budget decreased by approximately 2 per cent.

Notwithstanding student aid, if the money is not being re-invested to the faculty, what is the policy objective of deregulation? If the answer is to make up for funding cuts of post-secondary education, then shame on her.

Peter Kucherepa

Boy soldiers

Re: "J-Lo and Tiffany: criminals of fashion," Sep 24, 2003

To the Editor:

Hi Julie, I am sorry to hear that you feel Tiffany girls are such an eyesore to your life. Yes, there is a lot of Tiffany's jewelry and a lot of blondes, but there are a lot of girls who are from Toronto private schools.

What you failed to say is there are also dozens of equally disturbing "fashion criminals" as you call them: the flannel pants-Birkenstock nightmare-pucca shell-wearing students with blonde highlights. Some would argue that is more of a crime.

But can we even call it that? What we wear is a representation of who we are and how we feel, so why are you so quick to judge? You are right, the Tiffany's bracelets are as ubiquitous as the dog tags of Vietnam. But did you know that little piece of identity ranges from $200 to $2,000 depending on the metal and engraving? Perhaps it was a present from their affluent families; maybe they picked it up on a Visa spending spree, maybe not.

Maybe they, like the soldiers, are similarly fighting a war too. This battle occurs every weekend at The Drink, GT's and Jim Bob Ray's. Their makeup is their war paint, their cleavage is ammo.

Unless you are a grassroots girl who shops at Goodwill, you too fall into the category you love to criticize.

Yvonne Kai

Speaker not an academic scholar

To the Editor:

After hearing Dr. Norman Finkelstein speak on the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I came to a new understanding of the definition "historical revisionism."

In what he called a "simple problem," Finkelstein categorically blamed Israelis for the situation in the Middle East. He had the audacity to call the wars of 1948 and 1967 two wars in which Israel was forced to defend its existence from an onslaught of several belligerent Arab states "colonialist wars" aimed at expanding Israel.

Not once did he make any significant reference to Palestinian terrorism, an incontrovertible hindrance to peace and the trigger of so many hard-line Israeli policies. He instead made the depraved claim Israeli leaders welcome terrorist attacks, which they use as justification for military incursions.

Finkelstein is no scholar. His idea of garnering support from the audience consisted of using ad hominems against individuals in the crowd and pro-Israel academics.

When I asked him a question, a Rabbi was whispering in my ear as Finkelstein responded. Finkelstein paused to tell me that "maybe you should think for yourself before asking questions." After this low blow, he subsequently diverted his answer away from the topic.

While I strongly support academic debate, I have no respect for people like Finkelstein, a propagandist who earns a living under the false pretense of being an academic.

Paul Rakowski
Co-Chair, Israel Action Committee




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