Political action in week form

By Kyle Francis

With the election finally over and Klein back in power, so ends Political Action Week at the University of Calgary.

All last week, the U of C Students’ Union put on event after event and promotion after promotion to raise student political awareness. No one will deny that several high profile political forums and sumo matches held in the MacEwan Student Center are bound to turn heads, but the real question remains whether or not political action week had any real effect.

“I think it was [successful]. I think it really, really was,” beamed SU Vice-President Events Alex Vyskocil, who was one of the masterminds behind PAW. “I don’t have any actual statistics, but I think that more students went to vote because of it, and I think that we have a stronger friend in Varsity now than ever before because of that.”

Vyskocil speaks of Liberal candidate Harry Chase’s election in the Calgary Varsity riding, a candidate that made special efforts to secure student votes by making it very clear that education was one of his top priorities. By electing Chase in Varsity, those who voted for him made it clear that education is important and should be paid more attention.

“Education always takes a distant second to healthcare,” grudgingly stated Vyskocil. “But I think that since someone who cares about education won in an educated area because he had to work for the vote and not just because he was a Tory is a really big deal.”

Whether or not one pro-education candidate was elected in one riding, it can’t be ignored that Klein still took the province. Although this may seem bleak to education advocates, Vyskocil pointed out that political action week still served to raise political awareness in general, citing the high turn outs for the political film festival and the candidate forums held on campus as examples.

Editorial Note: Harry Chase was incorrectly identified as Terry Chase in the original publication of this story. It has been corrected as of November 29, 2004.