Editorial – A Bad Chicken Joke

Why’d the MLA cross the floor?
To get to the other side.

The latest news in Alberta politics, (aside from the Alberta Tuition Review, which, if you haven’t filled out already, you really should?even if You’re not from Alberta) is that a member of the Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta, Sandra Jansen, has swapped sides to the NDP.

At first glance, this would seem like nothing more than standard political manoeuvring for a better position. But looking more carefully suggests something different.

The first thing to realize is that the PC Alberta party, the one she left, is first in polling intentions and the NDP, the party she joined, is in third. Yes, the NDP is currently in government, but given the state of the Alberta economy, That’s not something that plays in their favour for the next election at the moment.

The second thing to realize is that Alberta has a track record when it comes to those who cross the floor, and It’s not a good one for the floor-crossers. Shortly before the NDP was elected, nine sitting members of the Wild Rose party crossed over to the PC party. Not one of those people retained their seat.

With these two things in mind, Ms. Jansen’s shift does not seem to be the actions of one who is simply seeking additional power. So why did she do it?

It wasn’t very long ago that Ms. Jansen was running for the leadership of the PC party. She, and one other female candidate in the running, withdrew from that race citing that they’d suffered significant harassment during a leadership convention for “protecting women’s rights” and “supporting children’s rights to a safe school environment.” Since then, the party has not indicated that there has been any sort of action against those who did this, and it seems Ms. Jansen decided that meant the party was no longer a good fit for her.

But why the NDP? Given their current popularity, and the history of what happens to floor-crossers in Alberta, it seems like a potentially career ending move. Much safer would have been to simply resign from the PC Party and sit as an independent until the next election.

While I can’t claim to know her reasoning, it strikes me that the most reasonable explanation is that she decided that if leaving the PC party would endanger her political career, rather than have her last political years be ineffective, joining the currently governing NDP could give a significant voice for her constituents by sitting her at the table crafting the policies that the majority NDP will be passing. So maybe sometimes when MLA’s cross the floor, it really is just to get to the other side.

Meanwhile, this week in The Voice Magazine, our feature article is a conversation with a student who first started her post-secondary career in 2005, but has been unable to finish because of the demands of life and being a single mother. Read how She’s used AU to finally reach the end of her journey to a degree, and how she balances it all out.

Also this week, we have a report on the last council meeting where AUSU Council decided that they’d bitten off more than they could reasonably chew, even though the menu was prepared with the help of fellow students through the services survey. You can read Bonita Arbeau’s report on the meeting, including the seven goals that were removed, and see who the councillor was who voted against the rest of the group on the removal.

we’re also bringing back the e-text debate this week as writer Barbara Lehtiniemi dives into her first e-text course. She’s been avoiding them until now, taking courses that haven’t been converted, but there’s only so long a person can do that before they run out of courses. Read her experience with her first course and find out if She’s a convert yet.

And we have an article on the importance of finding a community of like-minded people while you study at AU. But this doesn’t have to be a community of students, it could also be those people who have the same goals or dreams as you. Deanna Roney gives some tips on how to find these communities, and how they can help you with your motivation for your degree, even if they’re not AU related.

If That’s not enough, we have the Creative Spark, giving you information on how tips for making movies can be used to make your essays stand out from the crowd, and The Study Dude takes on a topic that we all need to handle sooner or later, the art of making a complaint. After all, the best complaints are those that make something happen to fix the situation, but too many of them are just noise. Find out how to make your concerns stand out from the noise.

Plus, of course, we have news, reviews, advice, the latest page of the Doppelgänger Cure, our scholarship of the week, and what AU related events are coming up that you might want to get in on.

Enjoy the read!

P.S. If you didn’t already know, The Voice Magazine has a Facebook page and a twitter feed if You’re into that kind of thing!