- Pre-Election Letter to CUFA BC Members - May 10, 2013
- Professors Support NDP Proposal on Needs-Based Student Grants, but Say More Still Can Be Done - April 23, 2013
- CUFA BC Releases E-Book on Academic Governance - April 10, 2013
- UBC-O, UNBC and SFU Professors to be Honoured for Using Their Research in Service of the Community - April 3, 2013
#12 - In the Home Stretch - May 11, 2009
- Published on Monday, 11 May 2009 09:41
- Written by Robert Clift
Varying Degrees 2009 - Issue #12
by Robert Clift
May 11, 2009
In the Home Stretch
Tomorrow is Election Day in British Columbia. Barring some a significant upset by the Green Party and independent candidate Vicki Huntington in Delta South, we will elect a Liberal or NDP majority government. Predicting the outcome of an election is a mug’s game, but that hasn’t stopped me in the past. This time around it’s really too difficult to say what the outcome will be.
With people abandoning their traditional phones for cell phones and VOIP phones, with polling companies increasingly using panel-based surveys instead of random surveys, and with social networking tools coming into their own as election tools not only for the major parties, but also for the smaller parties and individuals it is too hard to say what the totals will be tomorrow night.
Post-secondary education was not a defining issue in this campaign, but it could have been. Although the Greens took on the issue of transforming the economy, neither the Liberals nor NDP really took the issue that seriously. I suppose it’s not really that surprising since in an economic downturn voters want to hear about economic stability, not volatility.
But I have no doubt there are more years of economic volatility ahead and that post-secondary education will be vital to BC adapting to that volatility. Alas, I’m not so sure the Liberals and the NDP really get it. The Liberals seem to have a slightly better handle on it, but the NDP’s focus on individuals, rather than industries suggests an interesting post-industrial approach to economic development.
Regardless of who forms government after tomorrow’s election, there are a great many challenges facing the post-secondary education system in BC. Adequate and predictable funding is, without doubt, the most important issue, but there remains a vacuum in strategic planning for the system as a whole. What should be the system-wide goals and how do we go about achieving them through a differentiated system? Hopefully the next government will make some progress in answering these questions.
The polls are open 8am to 8pm tomorrow, please get out and vote.
BC Needs Universities
Want to read archived copies of this blog or want more information on university issues in the 2009 provincial election? Visit the BC Needs Universities website at http://www.bcneedsuniversities.ca
Unless indicated otherwise, the opinions expressed in this blog are Robert Clift's personal opinions and not necessarily those of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia, its member faculty associations or any other person or organization.