Letter: Mandatory voting isn’t the solution

In a Feb. 16 letter, Sima Shakeri wrote that Canada should institute mandatory voting, to cure what ails Canadian democracy. Shakeri praises Australia for its mandatory voting system, and its consistent voter turnouts of more than 90 per cent. This does not say much about the state of Australian democracy. After all, it is mandatory. In fact, researchers at the Australian National University released a study in December 2016 reviewing their most recent federal election, concluding that faith in Australia’s democracy hasn’t been so low since 1975. A 2014 study from the Lowy Institute found less than a third of voting-age Australians had confidence in the federal government. The same problem exists in our country. Eighty per cent of Canadians […]

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Editorial: BoG student representative elections are pointless

The Board of Governors (BoG) held elections this week for an undergraduate student representative, a democratic process for a position that has become no more than a title. The students running for this position aren’t allowed to run on a platform. The candidates were warned they’d be disqualified if they took a stance on any matter dealt with by the board. Silencing these representatives from making promises to students creates a pointless election, as students don’t know what they’re voting for. Electing the student representatives is meant to make the BoG democratic, so it can represent the interests of students, who make up an essential part of the university. But if students can’t vote based on what the candidates plan […]

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Letter: American election coverage dominates Canadian issues

This year’s race to the Oval Office has seen infinite spectacles, slogans, and soundbites which could be collected and made into modern art. From the supposed vantage point of Canada—a view from above the storm as opposed to one from its chaotic inside—it’s easy to tune in to Republican candidate Donald Trump projectile-vomiting insults at other Americans without an underlying feeling of guilt about his political success. After all, Canada is not the United States, and we can’t vote in their elections. With the infamous insult generator running on overtime in recent weeks, however, American news has overshadowed Canadian news. There hasn’t been a lot of talk on medical pot now able to be legally grown at home, nor on […]

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Letter: Get over it—the gender-balanced cabinet is fair

I wasn’t going to write this op-ed. I didn’t see what was controversial or even particularly exciting about Justin Trudeau appointing an even number of men and women to his cabinet. It’s 2015, am I right? A discussion I had in my first-year political science tutorial this week changed that. My TA asked what the class thought of gender parity in the new cabinet and the conversation quickly devolved from “appointments should be based on merit only,” to “women just aren’t as interested in politics” (unsurprisingly not well received by a room half full of female political science students), to finally one person saying he feared being a white heterosexual man would prevent him from finding a job in 10 […]

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Editorial: Board of Governor meetings are inaccessible to students

Carleton’s Board of Governors (BoG) is holding their first meeting of the year at the National Arts Centre (NAC). This is just one more blow to the board’s level of accessibility to students, for whom the board is making decisions. Previously offering only live broadcasts as a means to view the meetings since the tuition rally last winter, students have been muted from the talks that decide what our tuition money is used for on campus. The livestreams were only a token offering: they’re unreliable, sometimes shut off, and only show one angle of the room, so it is often impossible to tell who is talking. The upcoming meeting is advertised as open, but nobody is allowed entrance without making […]

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