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CFS gives itself a blowjob: The Muse


 

Sheena Goodyear, current editor-in-chief of the Memorial University student newspaper The Muse, has strong words for the Canadian Federation of Students with her editorial “CFS gives itself a blowjob.”

This suggests that the relatively amicable relations between the Canadian University Press and the CFS may be shaken up soon since Goodyear is currently packing for a move to Toronto to start her new job as CUP national bureau chief.

We await an interesting year.


 

CFS gives itself a blowjob: The Muse

  1. I feel the debate about “who gets credit for X/Y/Z policy” is getting slightly old. And maybe in most cases we should be honest and say that we don’t know by which “proportion” each factor matters. We cannot think of politics and economics as a scientific experiment where you can play with each variable independently and see the results.

    Granted, there are some cases, such as the Quebec student strike of 2005, where it’s obvious that student pressure did influence government policy. But these are direct pressures rather than simple lobbying, and it is recognized as an exceptional level of student mobilization. (Translation: I am not be holding my breath to see something like it happen in English Canada.)

    At the same time, I doubt that the social/economical situation in Newfoundland is the only explanation to the low tuition fees, if only because Newfoundland is not the only place in Canada with a youth exodus, and yet not everyone in the same situation would think of reduced university tuition fees as a solution. (Especially not a conservative government.)

    Lobbying efficiency, at least, seems to have a lot to do with promoting one’s policies when the good social/economical situation occurs. Maybe some provincial components of CFS are more “lucky” than others in that sense, still it does take lobbying skills to seize the opportunity.

  2. The Canadian Federation of Students is the kind of organization that Canadians can and should be proud of. Newfoundland’s efforts to reduce student debt are the result of meeting with the CFS.

    Do not take my word from it. I have no idea what is going on in Newfoundland. I just got that from Joey Coleman’s summary of Danny Williams’ speech less than a year ago.

    http://www.macleans.ca/education/universities/article.jsp?content=20070524_195029_12212

    I agree with Philippe’s assessment. But the final argument – “So the next time a CFS mouthpiece stands up and tells you they’re the reason we’ve got it so good, take it with a grain of salt. Be critical: Is your $3.82 per semester membership fee actually helping the student movement, or is it just paying for court cases and ugly day planners? ” – is actually answered by the Premier of the province.

    As for the relationship between the Canadian University Press and the Canadian Federation of Students, I think we should differentiate between a column written at the end of the year in a student publication and someone’s attitude once they arrive at the head of a student organization. This is a column in her local paper. Maybe her last.

    Sheena Goodyear got elected with things that had absolutely nothing to do with CFS. As a representative of CUP, surely her attitude will change, as she will no longer be speaking for herself, but for over 80 newspapers. I can only assume that she will work hard, alongside Rob Fishbook, to gain access to CFS meetings, create a better climate between the two organizations and have a wire that will be able to cover CFS objectively and accurately.

  3. Joey,

    You’re such a shit disturber, keep up the good work.

    jasonchiu

  4. “create a better climate between the two organizations and have a wire that will be able to cover CFS objectively and accurately.”

    Wassim: Stop saying such things. You will scare Joey.

  5. “The Canadian Federation of Students is the kind of organization that Canadians can and should be proud of. Newfoundland’s efforts to reduce student debt are the result of meeting with the CFS.”

    Wassim, I was wondering if you’d like to purchase a share in the snowbank behind my house. Better hurry . . . it’s going fast.

  6. “the relatively amicable relations between the Canadian University Press and the CFS may be shaken up soon since Goodyear is currently packing for a move to Toronto”

    Actually, Katherine-Giroux Bougard and I get along very well, and I look forward to working with her again next year. Also, I think anyone from the CFS I have ever interviewed could tell you that I reported on them quite fairly.

    The editorial was simply meant to show Newfoundland students that despite our affordable education policies, we should still be critical of the Federation. Correlation doesn’t always equal cause and effect.

  7. Danny Williams knows something about CFS-Newfoundland and Labrador, but not much about CFS-National and the other provincial components of the CFS. No one has ever alleged that Jen Anthony (CFS-Nfld Organiser) has tried to interfere in local students’ unions’ autonomy, unlike CFS-National and CFS-BC staff.

  8. Hey Wassim,

    I believe a key point to remember about the tuition situation in NFLD is that the freeze was implemented prior to the CFS takeover of “The Student Movement” in the province.

    Can we say that the CFS did or did not cause a freeze? No, we can’t prove these things at all. They are political decisions. They are based on good politics, rarely on good public policy.

    I’ve never understood why “The Student Movement” spends so much time claiming credit for tuition freezes when they are rarely beneficial in the long run.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when Manitoba lifts it freeze in the provincial budget.

    I could be a really mean guy and point out that the freeze was created when the majority of students in Manitoba were not members of the CFS and it is being lifted when the majority of students in Manitoba are members of the CFS.

    That doesn’t mean anything. Correlation does not imply causation.

    Personally, I believe that the decrease in pirates is the reason that tuition is increasing. (The evidence of a link between global warming and pirates keeps coming in)

  9. Coleman,

    I am not sure how you do it but you take not-getting-it to a whole new level. What you are saying is on par with the morons that say that the 8 hour work day, weekends, maternity leave, public health care, and health and safety regulations had nothing to do with the unions and progressive organizations that struggled for them. That somehow they would just come about by themselves through individuals acting alone and through a caring government benevolently giving them to the people. It is an insult to history and the academic system to suggest such a silly thing.

    It doesn’t work that way, it is an intellectually dishonest argument, and you know it. The worst part is that you consistently show this through your blaming the organized progressive movements for the government’s decision to implement bad policy. It is the Federation’s fault that the government doesn’t listen to you, but it is has nothing to do with the Federation when they do listen to you. Nonsense.

    The progressive movements fight for policy and the regressive organizations fight for the opposite policy, that’s how it works. When those that want cuts to taxes and reduced social services win it is certainly a loss for the Federation and for the students that make up the movement that gives weight to the Federation’s lobbying power. Equally so, it is a win for the student movement and the Federation that acts on behalf of the movement when we can convince the governments to implement progressive policy even with big business screaming in their other ear.

    If you really think that without an organized, democratic, and progressive national (and provincial) voice for students we would be in the same place as we are now you have somehow kept your eye’s and ears closed through your entire education. However, as I said above, I think that you have been listening and you just don’t care because your vanity demands that you make a name for yourself by slinging mud at those that fight for your rights.

    Wake-up, Coleman. It is easy to sit there and take pot-shots (on the Internet no less) at other people for not doing enough, it is quite another thing to get off your ass and work with the rest of the student movement to fight for progressive change. Sure, that means that your individual voice is lost but at least you would be fighting for something progressive instead of against it.

    The same goes for the author of the Muse article. What a joke. The easiest way in the world to make a name for yourself and guarantee a job with CanWest is to write shock-jock polemics against your own progressive movement and stand with Power. It would be quite another thing to try to get there through writing well written news stories and analysis.

    It makes me ill to think of how you will look back on this time in your life and see that you stood against your peers and the people and fought with the conservative media monopolies. Great for you, you took the easy road to the top by stepping on the struggles of others.

    Nonsense, all of it.

  10. OK Joey, you didn’t have to moderate my “Moderate my comment!” comment.

    Martin, I write for the good of my student newspaper, not to get the attention of possible future employers.

  11. Just saying that “correlation does not imply causation” is rigorously exact, but like all tautologies, it doesn’t make you learn anything about the real world.

    What kind of test would allow you to determine if lobbying is efficient?

    Or maybe more importantly, can we trace two correlated factors (what the students lobby for and what the government gives to a bigger cause (political culture, etc.).

    Everyone has a right to complaint whether they have a alternative or not, but having one helps. It helps to start asking the real questions about what more effective student movements should be, right now, at the same time as the mundane CFS/CASA/etc. fights.

  12. Newfoundlander:

    I just took that quote from Coleman’s previous article. You should ask Danny Williams if he wants to buy your snowbank. Wasn’t his nickname Danny Millions?

  13. “It makes me ill to think of how you will look back on this time in your life and see that you stood against your peers and the people and fought with the conservative media monopolies. Great for you, you took the easy road to the top by stepping on the struggles of others.

    Nonsense, all of it.”

    I would have expected that the CAUT could put your time to better use.

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