EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Candidates ignore issues
Yesterday's mayoral debate on campus was a welcome opportunity
for the Western community to engage the municipal electoral
process and ask the candidates where they stood on concerns
common to students across the city.
The opportunity, however, was squandered as the so-called
debate dissolved into a mere information session with but a
handful of students' questions arriving at the very end of
the event. The format of the forum was flawed and did little
to spur debate or enthusiasm among the candidates, save for
one notable, police-dog advocating exception.
Even veteran politician and current London Mayor Anne Marie
DeCicco was unimpressive, though her attempt to connect with
the leadership of the University Students' Council here at
Western was noteworthy. Yet this barely graces the surface
of student issues in the city.
As a consequence, students were hard-pressed to take genuine
interest in any of the candidates or the election in general.
This is democratically inexcusable and students should not
be held directly responsible for what has traditionally been
a low voter turnout. Candidates who said it is the responsibility
of students to vote should be made aware it is their responsibility
to address the concerns of students first.
With students receiving an apparently low political priority
in this election, many mayor-hopefuls - who also seem to be
concerned this election has become a two-person race - now
have a chance to distinguish themselves to students looking
for a candidate that will listen, represent and act on their
We therefore challenge the candidates for mayor of the City
of London to articulate their solutions to the problems facing
many Western students.
As housing prices are spiralling upwards with seemingly no
end in sight, the incoming council under the mayor's leadership
needs to quickly and effectively demonstrate control over property
rents, as lackadaisical landlords continue to ignore the pressing
financial situations of students.
Packed morning bus routes, inadequate city coverage and early
closing times at night, force students to shell out cash for
taxis or cars, adding to the already chaotic traffic problems
London faces every day. Valued by both students and other residents
alike, a new transportation policy has to be established.
These issues are but a sample of students' concerns. It is
incumbent upon those who want to represent the City of London
- which includes students - to seek feedback from students
not just now, but also after voting day. We're watching.