Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 92: Political intrigues abound!

That fake spring I mentioned earlier is now a full on fake summer... It's so hot outside! Absolutely fantastic, but it's bound to end by the weekend... At least according to the weather report. Not looking forward to that... but anyways.

As you may or may not be aware, Quebec students have been in quite the tizzy lately. The provincial government wants to raise tuition by 1,600 odd dollars over the next 5 years, which is a pretty substantial increase when Quebec student tuition is only just over 2,000$. As a result, the schools have held strike votes, and nearly everybody has decided that going on strike is the thing to do, though I'm a little lost on how you can strike when you're the one who's paying. While I admittedly didn't participate in the school's democratic process, I was under the impression that it was a reasonably fair vote that was more or less representative of overall student opinion on the matter.

However, the student representation in the vote process may not have been exactly representative.

Apparently, while the meeting had achieved quorum that was largely because the pro-strike students had really mobilized and came out in force to the meeting whereas most ambivalent and anti-strike students actually had no idea a strike vote was happening.

Lesson 91: Quorum is when an assembly has enough members of the group it is meant to be representing in attendance that the decisions made are considered binding, and to be the overall opinion of the group.

I don't really know much about student or university politics in general, so this entire business has been rather enlightening.

I guess it's another occasion where I'm seeing how I shouldn't take things for granted. Whereas normally, I'd be right and a PGSS meeting would probably wind up being roughly representative of overall student opinion, a meeting where an item on the agenda is extremely important to a particular group of people is bound to wind up quite a bit more polarized than usual.

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