Political Science Department seeks to inform electorate
by Leslie Vryenhoek
With the provincial election campaign officially underway, the Department of Political Science is making good on its commitment to foster an informed electorate.
In addition to providing their insight in media interviews, faculty in the department are organizing various forums for students and other members of the campus community.
“Many students are new voters. This is the first time they’ve been eligible to vote. We think it’s our responsibility to help inform them,” explained Dr. Alex Marland. “And of course we want to provide forums for the campus community to stimulate discussion and debate.”
This week, students taking Introduction to Canadian Politics or Canadian Political Debates had a chance to question party representatives about the issues. Candidates from the Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties and a spokesperson from the NDP attended classes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As well, the department hosted the first in a series of Wednesday afternoon discussions last week. According to Dr. Marland, who moderated the event, comments focused solely on Premier Williams’ leadership.
“I was trying to open it up to other issues, but that’s what everyone wanted to talk about. No other candidate was mentioned,” he said, adding that participants seemed to know very little about the leaders of other parties. He hopes that will change, and voter knowledge will broaden, as the election campaign progresses.
The discussions are held every Wednesday until the election from 1-1:50 p.m. in the Science Building, room SN-2036. All are welcome to attend.
The provincial election is set for Tuesday, Oct. 9.