Letters to the Editor – Oct 28, 2015

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A response to the statue project

Dear fellow Golden Hawks,

As many of you are aware, there is a major controversial topic; 22 Prime Minister bronze statues being donated to the campus to be put on various locations.

A few students and staff have spoken in outrage about this “approved” project.

Prime Ministers are leaders of our country, our values and are elected democratically.

Very rarely are public figures seen in the same light by everyone. Regardless of partisan background, these 22 leaders are the public figures of our country.

The idea has faced backlash, based on the grounds that the project is “politically and culturally insensitive (if not offensive).”

Yet, the backlash received has only been made by a select few.

A statistic was mentioned by a student of Laurier that stated “99 per cent of students” oppose this project.  This statistic has no source.

If the university claims to be democratically run, it should not allow a few to oppose a project.

But rather, the Senate and the university Board of Directors should conduct a true poll by LISPOP (The University Polling Institute), then hold a vote on this matter.

Democracy is about having all voices heard, opposing a project based on a select few would set a slippery-slop precedent.

Democracy is about having the majority make decisions ethically. Students and staff should have equal say in this project.

Yours truly,

–Michael Piasezny, third-year political science major

An Open Letter to my Students

Dear Students,

Thank you for voting and getting engaged in the political process during the 2015 Canadian Federal Election.

In past elections, I would ask how many students voted. In a class of 50, I might get a few raised hands. This year, almost every one of you in SE200A and SE200B (some of you are exchange students, after all, and cannot vote here) raised your hand when I posed the question – and you responded with enthusiasm and pride. And rightly so! You made a difference and changed the direction of your country. Your vote counted; you had an impact. And for this you deserve to be congratulated. Well done!

Many major news media outlets are hailing the impact of the “youth vote” and the difference that made in this election. Yes, there was an assignment connected to your voting decision-making process, but I believe that was only a mechanism which charted your engagement in the election as citizens. Now, the next step is to become actively involved in our communities and change the world for the better. I am counting on you for that also.

Thanks again. Your engagement in the political process is greatly appreciated.

Edmund Pries
Department of Global Studies

Letter to the Editor Re: Statues

STATUUES 101: MIDTERM QUIZ
QUESTIONS:
1) How many statues are on Parliament Hill?
2) How many of the statues on Parliament Hill are of Prime Ministers?
3) What were two of the most recently constructed statues on Parliament Hill of?
4) How many Prime Ministers did Canada have between 1891 and 1896 excluding Macdonald who died in 1891 and Laurier who came to power in 1896?
5) Name those Prime Ministers that served between 1891 and 1896 and their length of office?
6) Name 3 contemporary Prime Ministers that served terms of only a few months?
7) What is one of the inspiring themes of Chapter 2 of the 2012 Parliament of Canada’s Committee Report on celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017?
8) Was the statue project of Dave Caputo and Jim Rodger, who were rejected by Kitchener and Woodside and then came to Laurier as a third and desperate last choice as a repository, conceived of through an inclusive process?
9) Was the artist Ruth Abernathy selected through an inclusive process?
10) What is the common thread running through the multifaceted anti statues campaign?
11) What is the statue of, that sits staring at Brantford’s WLU campus, and was conceived through an inspiring collaborative democratic process in 1886 and therefore is of innate meaning to Brantford and an example of how decisions should be reached about use of public space?

ANSWERS:
1) 17
2) 7
3) Not Prime Ministers: 2014, War of 1812; 2000, The Famous Five women
4) 4
5) Abbott approx. 17 months, Thompson approx. 2 yrs., Bowell approx. 17 months, Tupper 69 DAYS.
6) Clark approx. 9 months, Turner approx. 3 months, Campbell approx. 4 months.
7) There needs to be an inclusive planning process that involves encouraging the participation of diverse groups.
8) No
9) No
10) The lack of process by which an idea was conceived and a decision was reached.
11) Brantford’s founding peoples, the UEL’s, that is Chief Joseph Brant and the Six Nations.

Dr. Nelson Joannette

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