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The Ubyssey Oct 24, 2008

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Array Celebrating 90 years!
APPLE FESTIVAL
UBC BOTANICAL GARDEN
BYSSEY
October 24,2008 \ www.ubyssey.ca
stood up by the Gateway since 1918 \ volume xc, number 16
UBC's official student newspaper is published Tuesdays and Fridays
Erika Mundel shows tobacco plants grown by UACKGP at the UBC Farm, goh iromoto photo/the ubyssey
Cultivating urban aboriginal health
Community projects cross approach addresses health woes
by Caitlin Ohama-Darcus
News Writer
Situated at the south end of
campus, UBC Farm is a thriving
outdoor institute where bok choy
and broccoli meet health and
education. The Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden
Project (UACKGP)-a mouthful
in itself—is one of UBC Farm's
numerous community gardening initiatives run in partnership
with the Vancouver Native Health
Society.
Aimed at improving Aboriginal health, the UACKGP shares
UBC Farm's unique learning opportunities with the native community of Vancouver. Two hundred participants come involved
on a regular basis. The question
now is whether the UACKGP's
current garden space will still be
around in years to come.
Due to expanding housing
needs on campus, UBC Farm is
under threat of having its existing 24 hectares trimmed down to
eight. This puts the future of the
Urban Aboriginal Project, as well
as the Farm's many other educational programs, up in the air.
"There's been no decision
made yet and that for the future
of the project is both a good thing
and a bad thing," explains Mark
Bomford, project coordinator for
the UBC Farm. "What we need to
do is make sure that there's good
public engagement, so that the
kind of decision that gets made allows us to continue to grow these
kinds of programs, the Urban Aboriginal Project specifically, over
the long term."
The UACKGP is an evolution
of the Musqueam Community
Kitchen and Garden, an initiative that began in 2002 under
the guidance of Gail Dal Santo, a
former Musqueam health nurse.
Working at the time to educate
band members about diabetes,
Gail first approached UBC Farm
with a simple request for fresh
produce. She ended up receiving
not only the vegetables she had
hoped for, but also an entire plot
of land on which to cultivate both
Aboriginal nutrition and cultural
awareness.
The focus of the UACKGP has
now expanded to Vancouver's
Eastside, addressing the reality
that more Musqueam band members live in this community than
on the reserve itself. Given that
chronic illnesses such as heart
disease are on the rise among urban Aboriginals, food security has
become an increasingly important issue—one that the UACKGP
seeks to address.
Growing everything from
conventional squash and red
chard, to plants with medicinal
and spiritual uses, such as tobacco, the UACKGP has become
a means for facilitating improved
health throughout Vancouver's
native community. Once a week,
participants from all around the
city come out to the UBC Farm to
collectively plant, water, weed,
harvest, cook and celebrate their
connections with each other,
their culture, and the Earth.
The UACKGP also involves
many students from UBC's faculty of Land and Food Systems.
Erika Mundel, a graduate student
who completed her thesis on the
health impacts of the UACKGP,
has been involved with the project since 2006.
"I came in with a fairly narrow
definition and understanding of
health, thinking more about physical health...getting out, eating
healthy, that kind of thing...but
what people in the garden project
were constantly reminding me of
was that health is so much broader than that," said Mundel.
The UACKGP has not only positively contributed to the physical,
but also to the mental and spiritual well-being of Vancouver's
native community. Moreover,
the project has engaged the UBC
community in an ongoing a process of cross-cultural and cross-
generational learning.
Currently underway, the Vancouver Campus Plan consultation
is your opportunity to voice how
you think UBC's Point Grey campus should evolve. The next "Get
in the Plan" open house will take
place on October 28, from 11:30
to 3pm in the SUB concourse,
and from 4 to 7pm in the Old
Barn Community Centre, 6308
Thunderbird Boulevard. There is
also the opportunity for students,
staff and community members
to give online feedback at www.
campuspla.ubc.ca. \a
The ubyssey presents
The
Democracy
issue
by Michelle Sz
News Writer
This Saturday, October 25, industry leaders from The Tyee, the
Georgia Straight, and NowPublic.
com will converge upon the Vancouver Public Library for Media
Democracy Day. On the day, workshops, panels, and speakers will
address "Big Media Domination,"
mass media, and new media communications, among other media
topics.
"We are looking to inform
and educate citizens on media issues—how concentrated media is,
what's going on with the Internet,"
said Steve Anderson, event organizer for Media Democracy Day
2008.
A key theme in the panels is
the corporate media domination
ofthe accessibility of information.
The event aspires to encourage
media reforms that increase
diversity and ensure community
representation.
"Lots of people don't realize
how few companies are in control
of our media," remarked Anderson. "There's not a lot of diversity;
most people don't know what independent sources of media are
available, like The Tyee and Georgia Straight."
"Media becomes a problem of
democracy rather than a pillar of
democracy," said Robert Hackett,
a professor at SFU who has been
involved with Media Democracy
Day since it began in 2001. "Due
to concentration of ownership and
excessive commercialism, there is
a huge decline of independence in
media and watchdog journalism."
Corporations such as Canwest
and Shaw also hold significant
control over the Internet.
The
failure of
strategic
voting
PAGE 4
"With network traffic gatekeeping, service providers discriminate on political criteria;
new media should have fair
access and net neutrality," said
Hackett.
"We can't assume the Internet will always be as open as it
is, so we must advocate for government to mandate keeping it
open," said Anderson.
Hackett noted that journalists often concentrate on the
image of politicians rather than
address the issues.
"There was too much attention on Stephen Harper's fuzzy
sweater and not enough on platforms," said Hackett, "[media]
should be about informing voters on choices, not treating it as
entertainment."
Campaign for Democratic
Media, a sponsor of Media Democracy Day, interviewed the
five major Canadian political
parties on their policies regarding the freedom and character
of information in the media. The
organization released a report
that urges voters to consider
how the information they receive can be shaped by elected
representatives.
"Media Democracy Day is a
centrepiece of a movement to
insist Canadians have a share on
how media is regulated and the
Internet's architecture. It affects
environment, poverty, social
justice, militarization of our culture, and we need to bring independent media groups together
to raise awareness on global
development," said Hackett.
More information on Media
Democracy Day can be found at
http://www.mediademocracy-
day.org/. *2I
Events
Games
Supplement
Culture
Sports 2    INFO, GAMES AND COMICS
THE UBYSSEY    WWW.UBYSSEY.CA
OCTOBER 24, 2008
Events
If you have an event, e-mail us at events@ubyssey.ca
Thh Ubyssey
Taste of Yaletown • Choose your
favourite three-course menu at set
prices at select Yale town restaurants, partial proceeds go to the
Greater Vancouver Food Bank.*
Tix $25/35/45, Oct 14-26 •
Potter's House of Horrors •
Come and be terrified in a haunted house featuring five themed
rooms and more. • Tix $12/10,
Oct 15-31 6-1 Opm. www.pot-
tershouseofhorrors.com •
Fright Nights At The PNE * Featuring five new haunted houses,
the Nightmare Maze, four shows,
and access to Playland rides.
Warning: definitely not for ages
12 and under, seniors 65+, people
with sensitivity to strobe lighting,
people with high blood pressure, heart conditions, pregnant
Sudoku
women, or scaredy cats. No guest
costumes allowed. • Playland, Oct
16 to Nov. 1, 6pm. More information at www.pne.ca •
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost
Train • Mortal Coil Performance
Society presents a pirate-themed
adventure featuring actors,
dancers, performers, puppeteers,
swordfighters, hat-making, paint-
ing, storytelling, and the Haunted
Children's Farmyard. • Oct 10-Nov
21, Stanley Park Miniature Railway
(Stanley Park). Tix $9/5.50 (plus
service charges and fees) at www.
ticketmaster.com, More info at
www.vancouverparks.ca •
Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours
• Two-hour trolley tour visits
locations like the Mountain View
Cemetery and the Vancouver
Police Museum's autopsy room. •
Oct 17 to Nov 1, 6-9:40pm. More
information at www.vanmuseum.
bc.ca. •
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solution, tips and computer
programs at www.sudoku.com                                                        cm I f\f\ I k|J
HARD #99                                                                                                       © Puzzles by Pappocom
Free Movies! Cinema Politica @
UBC • Cinema Politica at UBC is
a free weekly series showcasing
movies that harness the power of
film to engage issues relating to
the environment, globalization,
gender and sexuality, indigenous
rights, global health, and student
power. • Every Tuesday, 7pm,
Norm Theatre, SUB. More info at
www.cinemapolitica.org/ubc •
Vancouver International Writers
& Readers Festival • The Vancouver International Writers Festival is
one of North America's premiere
iterary events, held annually
over six days in late October, and
attracts the world's best writers
to Vancouver. Internationally
renowned and undiscovered authors mingle with 12,000 readers
of all ages in intimate, interactive
and informal settings on Granville
Island. • Oct 21-26More information at www.writersfest.bc.ca •
October 24
Wall-E • UBC Film society presents
Wall-E. In the future, Earth is uninhabitable due to a heavy coating
of trash. Only Wall-E, a cute robot
janitor, remains to clean up. Then
one day another robot arrives,
sending Wall-E on an adventure
beyond his wildest dreams. • Wed
Oct 22-Sun Oct 26 @ 7pm, Norm
Theatre in the SUB •
Vicky Cristina Barcelona * UBC
Film society presents Vicky Cristina
Barcelona. This, the latest film by
Woody Allen, takes place in Barcelona, not New York. Two women,
each with different takes on love
and relationships, fall for the same
painter, with sexy results. • Wed
Oct 22-Sun Oct 26 @ 9:30pm,
Norm Theatre in the SUB •
Football • The team will play it's
final game after a somewhat disappointing season. Hopefully, they
will finish the year with a positive
note against Saskatchewan • Oct
24, 7pm, Thunderbird Stadium
Men's Hockey • After going
through numerous interruptions, the squad will finally play
on the brand new arena this
SUSC0MIC.COM, BY MICHAEL BROUND
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D
You'll NJEV££ cui
THIS T£E£ Qowhj
£KVFU~-T_
czove
NATURE
weekend against the University of
Manitoba. • Oct 24, 25 7:30pm,
Thunderbird Arena •
CHBE Mexichem at The Cheeze
• Chemical engineering beer
garden at the cheeze. Running a
BBQ from 5pm onwards. Don't
forget your sombrero! • Oct 24,
6pm- 10pm, The Cheeze •
Players Club Halloween in the
DSS at the DSS • What's the
DSS? That's the Dorothy Somerset
Studio Theatre—or the new name
of Hut M18! Come show up and
mingle with the theatre nerds,
music, a costume contest and fun
• Oct 24, 7pm-11 pm, Hut Ml8,
Tickets $3, beverages $2 •
Phi Delt Ladies Night at the
Ladha Centre • Ladies, hope you
have 5 dollars, because this party
is going to be awesome time!
Gents, 10 at the door. Tickets are
in limited supply, so contact Chris
at 604-506-8758. Molson sponsored event. • Oct 24, 9pm-1am,
Ladha Centre, ladies $5, gents
$10*
HOUSING JUSTICE: A panel on
homelessness and systemic
poverty • Join us at the DTES
Women's Centre for a panel with
some exceptional speakers. We
hope to contribute to the movement to eliminate homelessness
with a framework of housing justice that analyzes the roots causes
of poverty and forms of structural
violence. Speakers include Nicolas
Blomley, Ayisha Faruk, Carol
Martin, Jean Swanson. • Dinner
served at 5pm, Panel from 6-
8pm., DTES Women's Centre: 302
Columbia, 1 block west of Main,
corner Cordova. All welcome] •
October 25
Parade of Lost Souls • The Parade of the Lost Souls is a celebration of the cycle of life & death,
of our facing fears in order to live
life to its fullest. It is a time and a
place to share losses at one of the
many shrines and celebrate life
and to enrich our community. •
Gather at Granview Park at Commercial at 6:30pm, procession
starts at 7pm. Free. More info @
www.publicdreams.org •
Media Democracy Day •
Conference consisting of a
media democracy fair, panels,
workshops, and public speakers,
providing space for independent
media, public-service media, and
advocacy groups to exchange information and display their work.
Free admission. Vancouver Public
Library Central Branch (350 W.
Georgia) • Oct 2512-6pm, www.
vpl.ca •
Classifieds
If you want to place a classified, e-mail us at advertising@ubyssey.ca
Courses
1 Help Wanted                          ■
Tutoring
Student Events
NEEDA.B.AIntervenors
Self Discovery: A FREE 8-Week
Drivate tutoring for Math and              '
UBCThaiAiyara(Th.Ai.)clubfea-
Course
To work with Precocious 4yrold
Science 8-12 around the UBC Area       tures a Thai horror movie,"Alone."
October 26,1:30pm-2:30pm
10-12$/hr. 19yrs+. Near Skytrain.
during weekends.                                  Wed. 29 Oct., 6:30-8:30pm, MASS
Library Square Conference Centre
Flex-sched.
Dlease contact James Hoi at 604-         lounge Buchanan D 140. Free for
350 West Georgia Street
Reply bmarzo@shaw.ca Subject
295-5918 for more details.                   members, $2 at door for non-
Register:
line Re:Conrad
members. Snacks/drinks provided.
1-877-GNOSIS-l
vancouver@gnostricmovement.
com
Discover spiritual peace and gain
the most from every moment.
Adult ballet with Helen Evans new
beginner classes, Thursday evening
and Saturday morning. Located
near Broadway and Granville.
604-732-5429
October24'b, 2008
volume xc, n"16
Editorial Board
COORDINATING EDITOR
Kellan Higgins : coordinating@ubyssey.ca
NEWS EDITORS
Stephanie Findlay & Justin McElroy :
news@ubyssey.ca
CULTURE EDITOR
Trevor Melanson : culture@ubyssey.ca
SPORTS EDITOR
Shun Endo sports @ubysseyca
FEATURES & PERSPECTIVES EDITOR
Joe Rayment: features@ubyssey.ca
PHOTO EDITOR
Goh Iromoto :photos@ubyssey.ca
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Paul Bucci:production@ubyssey.ca
COPY EDITOR
Celestian Rince : copy@ubyssey ca
VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Ricardo Bortolon : volunteers@ubyssey.ca
WEBMASTER
Adam Leggett: webmaster@ubyssey ca
MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Dan Haves: 7nulti7nedia@ubyssey.ca
Editorial Office
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T lZl
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.ca
e-mail: feedback @ubyssey.ca
Business Office
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax: 604-822-1658
e-mail: advertising@uhyssey.ca
BUSINESS MANAGER : Fen
AD TRAFFIC : Sabrina Marchand
AD DESIGN : Gerald Deo
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper ofthe University of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday
and Friday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an
autonomous, democratically run student organization,and
all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff.
They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications
Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial
content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The
Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
without the expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey
Publications Society.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words.Please
include your phone number,student number and signature
(not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with
all submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are
dropped off at the editorial office ofThe Ubyssey; otherwise
verification will be done by phone."Perspectives"are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and are run
according to space."Freestyles" are opinion pieces written
by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given to letters
and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time
sensitive.Opinion pieces will not be run until the identity of
the writer has been verified.The Ubyssey reserves the right
to edit submissionsfor length and clarity.All letters must be
received by 12 noon the day before intended publication.
Letters received after this point will be published in the
following issueunlessthereisan urgenttime restriction or
other matter deemed relevant by the Ubyssey staff.
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified
advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to
publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the
liability ofthe UPSwill not begreaterthanthe price paidfor
the ad. The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes
or typographical errors that do not lessen the value or the
impact ofthe ad.
Contributors
Last Monday, MC Justin McElroy announced the finalists
for a beauty pageant and although both Chelsea Pratt and
Manjeet Kaur made to the final three, it was Stephanie
Findlay that won. At the after party,Trevor Record, along
with his band buddies - Sam Jung, Dan Hayes, Celestian
Rince -became a huge hit from their new song,'Sarah-
Nelle Jackson's Got SouKThat is, until evil master Shun Endo
with his assistants Dan Hayes and Trevor Melanson stole
the prize which ended up being a VIP pass to a clown show
featuring tightrope walker Joe Rayment and amazing acrobats Paul Bucci, Kellan Higgins, and Goh Iromoto.The two
sexy police officers,Tara Martellaro and Kathy Yan Li, interrogated their suspects based on past arrests that included
MichelleSz.CynthiaKhoo.CaitlinOhama-DarcusandKyrstin
Bain. Finally.MariaCirstea and Isa bei Ferra res werearrested,
who were completely innocent and thus,appealed to court
on the hit TV showjudge Sarah Chung.
V      Canada Post Sales
Agreement
Number 0040878022
Canadian printed orH'00%
University   recycledipaper
Press tj^/ Editors: Stephanie Findlay & Kyla Bourne | E-mail: news@ubyssey.ca
October 24,2008 | Page 3
TheMediaDemocracyissue
TREVOR WOLF GRAPHIC/THE UBYSSEY
voter Funded Media
by Isabel Ferreras
News Staff-
There is a contest on campus that
awards money to students for blog-
ging on issues that are relevant
to our campus. And, chances are,
you've never heard about it.
Voter Funded Media, or voter-
media.org, is a contest invented by
Mark Latham, a former professor at
the University of California, Berkeley. It's supported by the AMS's
VFM Committee with Matthew
Naylor, Kyle Warwick and Bruce
Krayenhoff as chairs. The contest
awards $200 weekly to media outlets based on the votes they receive
from students. This monetary factor is meant to encourage UBC's
media to provide the best and most
prolific content possible.
"This has been an ongoing experiment for two years," Latham
said, "and it brought about a pretty
popular means of discussing AMS
issues."
UBC Insiders is a blog that has
served the UBC community since
the January 2007 AMS elections.
It was created to compete in the
VFM contest. It has since become a
popular read, with as many as 50
or more comments per story being
posted—until recently.
In the past, students such as
Maayan Kreitzman, Gina Eom and
Tim   Louman-Gardiner   adminis-i
tered UBC Insiders, but the site is \
now in the hands of Blake Frederick and Maria Jogova.
The new coordinators for the
blog haven't emulated their predecessors. If you were to visit UBC
Insiders (ubcinsiders.blogspot.com)
you'd only find three entries for
the month of October. September,
on the other hand, was a content-
heavy month, with 11 entries that
bore relevance to issues UBC students care about, but entries have
dropped off dramatically since.
Blake Frederick argues that
the drop-off has been due to a decreased number of bloggers for the
site. "We're also right now in the
stages of changing the vision of UBC
Insiders. We want to focus on expanding the readership of the blog
to be more inclusive of students
who are not insiders. This will take
advertising. Now that we have the
money in the bank, we're ready to
launch an advertising campaign."
This is the blog that has been
winning the weekly VFM contests
since they restarted on September
25, 2008. It has earned $305 thus
far, and while that may not seem
like a large sum of money, this
contest is expected to keep running
until at least February 2009.
At the rate things are going, you
can expect UBC Insiders to collect
well over $ 1000 for running a blog
that does not consistently provide
students with important information about campus issues.
When asked what he thought
about UBC Insiders recieving the
money, Mark Latham, the administrator and sponsor of the competition, stated, "I don't think I can
give much of an answer to that.
I would have to take a look at the
blog myself."
On the contest website (www.
votermedia.org/ubc), students can
see the four contestants and the
amount of money awarded to each
on a weekly basis. There is a link to
a list of which UBC students voted,
and when they did so. When you
click on the link, you can expect to
find the names of 36 voters in the
contest, and an allocation of one
point to each person for each day
that they vote.
Thirty-six students is 0.0008 per
cent of UBC's total student population. For the last voting period, only
11 out of 36 eligible voters did so.
"This is largely my fault," says
Matthew Naylor, chair of the VFM
Committee for 2008-09. "We need
to be doing more promotion, but I
got more involved in other things. I
didn't anticipate how low the level
of engagement would be. The committee has not laid down anything
concrete to deal with the matter as
ofyet."
And no wonder. According to
Naylor, the VFM committee met
once over the summer, and has given Latham a "direction" following
the VFM motion proposed by AMS
council back in spring 2008. Since
then, it has mainly been Latham's
jurisdiction.
"Under the new circumstances
we have set, the entire administration and money from the contest is
being handled by Mark Latham,"
Naylor said.
"Marketing is not my strength,"
admits Latham. "There are several
bloggers who are competing in the
contest, and I guess I have left it up
to them to promote it. I suppose
people could put up posters, but my
main resource is the prize money
awarded to the bloggers."
Frederick, who is also associate vice-president, external for the
AMS, argues that greater awareness is needed for the contest to be
successful. "I think that in order for
VFM to operate more effectively,
the AMS needs to take some initiative in promoting the contest," he
said.
Voter Funded Media at UBC is
a contest that is run with the intention of letting voters have control
over some information funding for
the media outlets. In order for this
to happen, however, someone must
step up to the challenge of promoting the contest and make it easily
accessible to students who have an
interest in participating in it.
"It's an ongoing, open thing,"
Latham said. "The ball is in my
court. You can promote your heart
out, but if your voters have trouble
on the website and casting their
votes, they're not going to come
back." ^
We need to be doing more prOHlOTlOrL but
I got more involved in other things. I 0.10.111
3JltlClpcltC how low the level of engagement
would be. The committee has not IcUO OOWll
anything COllCrCtC to deal with the matter as
ofyet.
—Matthew Naylor, chair ofthe VFM Committee for 2008-09 4 | MEDIA DEMOCRACY
THE UBYSSEY    WWW.UBYSSEY.CA
OCTOBER 24, 2008
rTTTn7ri id The end of top-down planning.
Dqa IC^T lts time for
rVivJCv I       bottom-up planning.
Now is your big chance to help design the NEW Student Union Building.
Please participate to ensure that student needs are accurately accounted for, that
student money is well spent, and that you leave a lasting impression on your university
Please attend one or more ofthe following Thematic Sessions. The information collected
in these sessions will be used to generate the design of the SUB. These sessions are
organized by the AMS Student Society and are facilitated by students.
To attend a session or several sessions relevant to your experience at UBC or to volunteer
at a session, RSVP to subrenewal@ams.ubc.ca
A SUB to Last 100 yrs.: Predicting the Future
Mon., Oct. 27:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Room 42U
Nightlife & Artlife in the New SUB: Entertainment, Performance, and the Arts
Tues., Oct. 28:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Council Chambers (Room 206)
Sports & Recreation in the New SUB
Wed., Oct. 29:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Council Chambers (Room 206)
Religion & Spirituality in the New SUB
Thurs., Oct. 30:12:30pm-2pm, SUB Room 212a
Commuter Students and the New SUB
Fri., Oct. 31:12:30 -2:00 p.m., SUB Room 212a
Creating a More Inclusive SUB
Mon., Nov. 3:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Room 42T
Zero Footprint SUB: Sustainability & Food Security
Tues., Nov. 4:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Council Chambers (Room 206)
Public Space, Inside and Outside the New SUB
Wed., Nov. 5:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Council Chambers (Room 206)
Reconsidering the "Underground Bus Loop"
Thurs., Nov. 6:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Room 212a
What Is to Be Done with the "Old SUB"?
Fri., Nov. 7:12:30 - 2:00 p.m., SUB Council Chambers (Room 206)
More info, visit the website at www.amsubc.ca
ams
student society
do strategic
voting websites
undermine
democracy?
In the recent election, strategic voting
websites guided Canadian voters
toward candidates who were most
likely to defeat Harper's Conservatives
By Cynthia Khoo
Want to make beautiful, beautiful newspapers? E-mail production@ubyssey.ca!
News Writer
If citizens no longer feel able to
vote for their preferred candidate, does this undermine the
democratic regime?
We raise this question given
the popularity of strategic voting
web sites such as VoteforEnviron-
ment.ca and AnythingbutConser-
vative.ca in the recent Canadian
election.
Strategic voting is a system
that allows voters to organize
themselves to prevent a specific
party from coming to power—in
this case, the Conservatives.
By pooling their votes to favour
the strongest non-Conservative
candidate. In contested ridings,
the Conservative seat is not considered safe and votes are split
between the remaining parties.
Voters who participate end up
voting "strategically" for another
party's candidate, as opposed to
their genuine choice, to avoid a
Harper government.
According to Kevin Grandia,
co-founder of strategic voting
website VoteforEnvironment.ca,
strategic voting "points out a huge
flaw in the system: over 60 per
cent of Canadians did not want
Stephen Harper as leader and he
was elected. It's a symptom of a
major problem in our electoral
system."
UBC political science professor Fred Cutler agreed. "Strategic
voting is a natural response to
our electoral system. Many voters
know their preferred alternative
doesn't have a chance to win the
riding, so the voter is perfectly
rational to vote for the lesser of
the two evils that have a chance
of winning."
"It works, but each voter is
just one vote," said Cutler. "It
can only work in a larger sense
to create a more socially optimal
outcome if voters have perfect
information, which is a forecast
about their local race and the national race. It's hard for voters to
get good information about their
local riding, so it's hard for them
to be very confident about their
strategic behaviour."
So is strategic voting an effective response? The election of a
stronger Conservative minority
government would suggest that it
was not.
"I don't think strategic voting
was effective at all," said Miro
Cernetig, The Vancouver Sun columnist, documentary filmmaker
and UBC School of Journalism
professor. "It's very hard to spell
the message of'vote strategically'
to enough people that it matters.
Dion tried to do strategic voting
in May's riding [by not running a
Liberal candidate], and what happened? Nothing happened.
"I think it's fair democracy,"
Cernetig continued. "It just
doesn't work."
Grandia points to ridings such
as Edmonton-Strathcona—where
NDP candidate Linda Duncan
upset Conservative incumbent
Rahim Jaffer by 442 votes—as
an illustration of success from
strategic voting. "We pushed hard
[in Edmonton] to concentrate
the vote and pull the Liberal vote
away and put it in the hands of
the NDP. Was it a success in that
we beat Stephen Harper? No. Was
it a success in that some ridings
should've gone Conservative, but
didn't? Absolutely."
While some consider strategic
voting to be undemocratic, Grandia retorts, "If I want to vote for
the candidate who has the nicest
eyes, I can do that; it's my vote.
A lot of people vote on issues,
and the mainstay of [VoteforEnvironment.ca] was to see Stephen
Harper defeated....So for me,
that's how I make my decision
on how I will cast my ballot, and
that's just as democratic and
sound a reason [as voting based
on a candidate or party]."
With this emphasis on accessible information, the issue of
media and democracy is more
relevant than ever. Much of the
strategic voting movement in the
past federal election was powered by voter websites such as
Grandia's and others.
When asked about the rise of
online media in politics, he said,
"It makes political leaders less
relevant than ever before. We
no longer have to rely on them
to have the conversation about
what's important, about what
the issues are. We can have that
conversation cheap, easy, in real
time, across Canada and we don't
need the traditional media or the
political leaders of the country
dictating what they're talking
about, and dictating what our
concerns are."
At the same time, Cernetig
more cautiously advises, "Nobody
really knows; there haven't been
enough studies. I don't think
[online media] has any effect on
democracy; I think it has an effect
on the immediacy of information.
There's also the question: who's
reading online media? And does
that influence them to vote or not
vote? We don't know yet." \a OCTOBER 24, 2008
THE UBYSSEY    WWW.UBYSSEY.CA
MEDIA DEMOCRACY | ;
TREVOR WOLF GRAPHIC/THE UBYSSEY
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled controversial article about
Islam in magazine did not violate the province's hate speech law
By Sarah-Nelle Jackson
News Writer
You have to hand it to neocon-
servative columnist Mark Steyn:
he sure can throw a punchline.
On the story of Denmark planting a flag in a Canadian patch
of the Arctic, Steyn quipped,
"There's something Danish in
the state of rotten."
It's when the burly, bearded
Toronto native, 48, switched
from caustic column to bellicose
book that he lands in trouble.
In a October 2006 issue,
Maclean's magazine excerpted
Steyn's bestselling book America
Alone: The End of the World as
we Know it, under the headline,
"The future belongs to Islam."
The article's gist: demographics and a genuine drive
among Muslims for global
domination will lead Islam to
take over the world. While the
West grapples with its old people getting older and its youth
getting fewer, "the median age
in the Gaza Strip is 15.8 years
old," warns Steyn.
A revolution is "not very
likely if you've only got seven
revolutionaries. And they're all
over 80. But, if you've got two
million...and they're all under
30 you're in business."
Claiming this could incite
anti-Islam sentiment, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC)
brought Maclean's and Steyn
before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission. On October 10, 2008, after two years
and great expense, the tribunal
rejected the case.
Ezra Levant, a neoconserva-
tive with a link to a "Free Mark
Steyn" blog on his eponymous
website, told The Ubyssey that
the CIC's response constituted a
form of "soft jihad."
Levant said, "The international campaign of fascism is
fought by many means: through
violent terrorism, but also
through the equally dangerous
methods of politics and oppression of free speech."
Levant favours "fascism"
as the word to describe both
Human Rights Commissions
(HRCs) and Islam. The commission's persecution of Steyn
exemplifies, in Levant's view,
the "typical fascist approach to
dissent."
"And that's appropriate, because the mostascendantfascism
today is Islamic," said William
Black, a UBC law professor. He
finds the connection between
HRCs and fascism less plausible.
"I think [Levant's statement]
is totally wrong," Black said in
a phone interview. He argued
the tribunal's final decision was
less a triumph of Steyn versus
fascism and more a result of
reasoned argument.
"A lot of things are published
that you might say are irresponsible. [The article] caused some
[Muslims] to feel vilified...but
wasn't so extreme as to violate
the human rights code."
Fascist-thwarting or not, the
decision constitutes a win for
free speech—but only nominally,
according to Levant. "There's an
irony there," he said, referring
to the CIC's bid to gain the tribunal's sympathies against the
article. "Many Muslim activists
want people to be afraid of radicalism, and so they want people
to be Islamophobic."
He added that the case was
hardly a triumph for Steyn. "Even
though [he] allegedly won on
paper, he obviously did not win
because he had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars
and an enormous amount of
time defending himself....So it's
just a warning to anyone else
who would dare criticize radical
Islam."
Black, though agreeing with
the tribunal's decision, did
find one aspect of the outcome
questionable.
"I have to throw it out there...
that Maclean's provided no evidence in the case and nevertheless they won. I think that shows
just how cautious this tribunal
was being." \a
The article caused some Muslims
to feel vilified.. .but wasn t SO
extreme as to violate the human
rights code.
— William Black, a UBC law professor
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Hey, Ubyssey readers. We
want to hear your thoughts
on the new additions that
we've made to the paper
this year. There's now
comics, events and games
in these fine pages every
week...but what do you
enjoy the most?
Go to www.ubyssey.ca and
cast your vote. Editorial
If you'd like to submit a letter, please contact feedback@ubyssey.ca
October 24,2008 \ Page 6
Our view
CASA cadabre!
On Wednesday, the AMS Student Council unanimously decided to
change its membership status with the Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations (CASA). We're no longer full members of the federal
lobbying group that UBC helped found in 1995; we're now associate members. It means our membership fees are cut in half, but we
don't have a formal vote. And if that doesn't strike you as news of
incredible importance, then you're clearly not a student politician
or journalist.
CASA (and its larger, allegedly corrupt rivals, the Canadian Federation of Students) gets talked about a great deal because it's one
of the few things that binds student unions together. Working with
these groups take up a fair bit of a VP external's time. When a school
leaves or joins one ofthe two groups, there tends to be huge debates,
referendums, and even the odd lawsuit or two. It's like the Montagues
and the Capulets, except much, much nerdier.
But for the ordinary Joe Six-packs out there (and their cousin, Joe
the Plumber), there are two questions you're probably asking: what
does CASA do? And why should I care that we're leaving?
Well, CASA lobbies the federal government for improvements to
post-secondary education. Now, federal lobbying is important in the
sense that someone needs to lobby for improvements to post-secondary education on a national level. But as education is a provincial
jurisdiction, and different universities and colleges have vastly
different aims in what their specific priorities are, the net effect of
the work that CASA and CFS do will always be negligible. Effective
mobilization for education policies generally happen at the local and
regional levels.
As for why you should care...well, you've got us there. The fact
that most students have no clue what CASA stands for, what it does
or how it has fought for them is probably a good indication that we
aren't getting much value for the nearly $55,000 we send their way
every year. Ideally, UBC should be a full member of CASA—we were a
founding member, it's important to work with other schools to bring
about greater change, and moving to CFS or becoming independent
aren't fantastic options in the long-term.
At the same time, stepping down to associate membership gives
us the leverage to gain a little more power within the Atlantic-dominated association, and might force CASA to become more active in
its campaigning and cross-university collaboration. And short-term,
our student union will save somewhere around $25,000, and that's
money that can go directly back to UBC students. It may not be sexy,
but it's the sort of sensible decision the AMS was wise to make. \a
The Ubyssey is anti-democratic!
Our mandate for this issue was to explore "media democracy." We
interpreted this quite literally and explored media and democracy.
On the heels of our federal election it seemed prudent to explore
what role the media plays in our electoral process, if any role at all.
Many ask, when faced with a political dilemma, which route is
the most democratic. Because democracy is like money: the more
of it you have, the better. But is democratic synonymous with good?
Let's be clear: we here at The Ubyssey are not tyrannical (so far as
we know) and this editorial is not an attack on the political ideology
that most of us hold dearly. Rather, we are questioning how, within a
democratic context, decisions should be weighed.
Consider the following: would slavery or genocide be permissible
if the majority willed it? We think not—though Rousseau might disagree. Witch burnings were pretty democratic. Did that make them
even a little bit right? Of course not.
So, something is not good simply because it is democratic, and a
better argument must be made.
The better argument would likely be that democratic systems produce superior results. Well, try implanting democracy into a country
that hasn't embraced liberalism and see what happens. Try implanting democracy into a country with citizens who don't separate public
and private spheres.
But democratic has become a loaded word—akin to "traditional"
for neoconservatives who don't like giving real reasons as to why
they oppose gay marriage.
Something is not necessarily better for being more democratic,
nor worse for being less. So watch out for its additionally loaded
counterpart, "anti-democratic." Honestly, Google "anti-democratic"
to see just how often the word is abused. It would have been antidemocratic to free Socrates and to free the so-called witches.
Favour real arguments and be wary of loaded words. Loaded
words exploit democracy and mislead the public. But that's politics,
apparently, and we (the media) give them the microphone, wl
We are clever! Sadly, this
doesn't apply to coming
up with amusing staff ads.
volunteers@ubysseyca
m
1      rfacebooU   wohk pmFiUE f&iwmi wmax      tuvee«».   j
tg^Jg/g^VWg^Jgi
by Maria Cirstea
Web comments
ONE'S VIEW ON TRANSIT IS
WRONG; ONE SHOULD PLAN
TO GET ONESELF HOME
Posted on our website in response
to "More transit is needed," October 20, 2008
Drew Snider here from TransLink. David is right to note that
NightBuses continue to run until
just after 3am and that it's necessary to shut down SkyTrain
overnight for maintenance. Even
New York doesn't run the entire
subway system 24/7: it has sufficient redundancy to have some
tracks closed for maintenance
while others remain open.
Back in the Dark Ages (early
this decade), we ran an "OWL"
service, which kept going until 4,
but that was discontinued due to
lack of ridership. In considering
late-night/early-morning transit
service, TransLink's planners
consulted with employers of shift
workers—hospitals, restaurants,
janitorial services, etc.—and the
result was shifting that did not
start or end at times when SkyTrain was shut down.
And back in pre-Stone Age
times when I was growing up,
one did something really radical:
one made one's plans to suit the
available transportation. If the
last bus left downtown at 11:45,
you made sure your activity ended and you were at the bus stop
by 11:44. We didn't kvetch about
the transit system.
One more thing: the article
refers to a lack of "affordable"
transportation. Remember that
the U-Pass issued to UBC students (as well as students at SFU
and Langara) is actually worth
$136—the price of the adult
three-zone monthly FareCard
one would have to buy if one
weren't a student.
—Drew Snider, October 22, 2008
Visit ubyssey.ca to read AMS
AVP External Blake Frederick's
response to Drew Snider.
If you wish to to submit a letter
it must be no longer than 350
words. Your identity will be confirmed by phone or by ID from
the office. People may email us at
feedback@ubyssey. ca.
What do you think of McCain's choice in running mate?
Rachel Hogman
Arts 1
"It was the
worst decision
he made in his
life. If he wanted
to energize the
conservative base
there was a lot of
better choices he
could've made
than just her
because she's got
no experience
whatsoever."
Naomi Eberhard
Music (Grad) 1
"I think that
the way we get
excited about
what she wears
or where's she's
from is just really ridiculous. I
think we need
to focus on the
actual politics of
the situation as
opposed to her
wardrobe."
Seyed Mirvakil
Engineering 3
"This is the way
that they want
to approach the
people to get
the election, so I
think a woman
would be good
for his case."
oel Rogers
Arts 4
"To have Sarah
Palin in the position where she
could potentially become
the ruler ofthe
country if McCain were to be
voted in...it's a
scary thought."
Andy Reid
Arts 2
"I guess he
wanted to shock
some people
or maybe not,
maybe he was
just a moron.
He should have
picked someone with better
policies...I don't
know how to
explain it."
-Coordinated by Tara Martellaro, Katarina Grgic and Kathy Yan Li, with photos by Shun Endo Culture
Editor: Trevor Melanson | E-mail: culture@ubyssey.ca
October 24,2008 \ Page 7
A sweet, crisp, crunchy Apple Festival
by Kathy Yan Li &
Katarina Grgic
Culture Writers
Following a threatening week of
dark clouds and rain showers,
the weekend cleared up beautifully for the 18th Annual Apple
Festival, which took place this
past weekend at the UBC Botanical Gardens. Tents were set up
and families brought their young
ones, adding shrieks of delight
and laughter to the garden's rising bustle.
The Apple Festival started
17years ago in 1991. Itwas the
brainchild of Margaret Chariot
and Anne Gartshore.
"I had been off to England
and seen apples laid out looking lovely, and I thought that
we could do something here,
displaying apples," said Chariot.
"There seemed to be a real interest in getting some of the older
varieties back."
From its humble beginnings—only 2001bs of apples
and some home baked apple
goods—the festival has immensely blossomed. Now, there are
vendors selling apple products
and locally grown organic food,
an oversized tent where you can
taste up to 60 varieties of apples,
a playground area for children,
and over 10,000 visitors. It was
a feast for the eyes and the soul.
There was an indoor display
of the 201 different known varieties of apples. All of them were
donated by the BC Fruit Testers
and came from the Fraser Valley,
Salt Spring Island and Vancouver
Island.
The apple-tasting tent was a
hit with the crowd. In fact, tickets for the event were sold out
at around 2pm on Saturday, almost two hours before the event
closed. In the tent, people had a
taste of the apples that were on
sale outside. The Ambrosia, a
sweet, crisp and crunchy apple,
was the BC fruit on demand both
inside the tent and outside in the
selling area.
On Sunday, as apples sold
out and vendors started packing their things, people left with
warm apple goodies in their
stomachs. We left happier, too,
having spent the weekend appreciating and rediscovering a
wonderful fruit. \a
The 18th Annual Apple Festival,
which took place this weekend
at UBC's Botanical Garden, was a
very family-friendly event.
KATHY YAN LI PHOTOS/THE UBYSSEY
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Editor: Shun Endo | E-mail: sports@ubyssey.ca
October 24,2008 | Page 8
Athletes of the Week
T-Birds lose their home opener
by Ian Turner
by Claudia Richard
Thunderbird Athletic Council
SHANICE MARCELLE, WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL
Rookie Shanice Marcelle had an
outstanding game against the
Alberta Pandas on Friday night
at War Memorial Gym. She had
19 kills on 43 attacks—amazing numbers considering this
was Shanice's first league game
for the Birds. Hailing from
Spectrum Community School in
Victoria, BC, Shanice will be able
to use her experience with the
Canadian Junior National Team
to help the Thunderbirds follow
up from and hopefully repeat,
their National Title win in the
2007-08 season.
KELLAN HIGGINS PHOTOS/THE UBYSSEY
TYLA FLEXMAN, WOMEN'S FIELD HOCKEY
Tyla won this week's Athletes ofthe Week honours. She has also won
the 2008 CanWest Liz Hoffman Player ofthe Year Award and the Gail
Wilson nomination from the CanWest conference for greatest all-
around CIS athlete in terms of both leadership and performance. As
team captain, Tyla led her team to their sixth straight CanWest win this
past weekend with a win and tie over the Alberta Pandas. Her teammates note her contributions to her sport do not stop on the field: Tyla
is a leader on both her team and in the athletic community.
Sports Staff
UBC's female volleyball team
opened their season at home
on Friday evening with a disappointing but close loss to the
Alberta Pandas.
Before the game, the co-
captains of last year raised the
CIS banner they received for
winning the national championship. The last national crown
won was in 19 78 and a few
of the orginal members from
the team were cheering in the
stands.
UBC, at the eight point break
in the first set had an 8-4 lead
and held the upper hand until
17-17, but the Pandas ended
up winning the set 25-23.
Alberta started strong in
the second set, leading 2-5.
However, UBC quickly regained
control of the set after encouragement from the home crowd
and won the set 25-19.
In the third set, the Birds
were ahead by one at the eight
point break, but it was quickly
squandered as the Pandas
pulled ahead 22-25. The squad
in both set one and three committed double-digit errors according to coach Doug Reimer.
They entered the fourth
frame with a set three mentality allowing the Pandas to dominate and quickly pull ahead
3-6. UBC called a timeout later
to tie the game at 16-16, yet
the Pandas were immediately
able to regain the advantage
19-17.
Liz Cordonier, the left-side
power hitter, had been the
main setter throughout the
evening, hammering and sometimes gently tapping numerous
points for the T-Birds. She led
the charge again here helping
UBC rally ahead 24-20, but
with the win nearly pocketed,
the Pandas marched back to
tie the game 27-27. Shanice
Marcelle provided momentum
throughout the key defensive
saves and offensive smashes
that allowed Cordonier to tap
and smash home the final two
points. UBC now tied the series
at 2-2.
Entering the fifth set the
Birds again demonstrated the
coordination they had in set
one and three. Initially, Alberta
led 6-3 and that advantage
grew as the Pandas moved to
13-7. While Marcelle won the
subsequent point, the Pandas
quickly won the set 15-8. At the
same time, they garnered a win
(3-2) too.
Upbeat returning coach
Doug Reimer said that the
loss was "disappointing" and
that his "team is in a stage of
learning." He stated that Claire
Hanna "was tremendous for the
first four sets."
When asked what his team
learned from two blow-out
losses to Zhejiang, he said that
the players "had to learn to deal
with the speed both on the defensive and offensive side and
handle tough serving."
Hopefully, the post-championship slump ends soon or
all hopes of a consecutive CIS
crown will quickly be buried. \a
Einstein was actually a genius who knew
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