Editorial—Running and the Numbers

Ten candidates are currently in the running for the two seats available in the AUSU by-election.  Voting opens on Thursday, so before you vote, be sure to check in on The Voice Magazine’s website, as we’ll be running our usual quick Q&A with all the candidates so that you can get a better idea of who these people are and what they want to do for you while on AUSU Council.

Even though this is just a by-election and those elected will only have a year before facing re-election, the reality is that incumbents often have an advantage, even in student union elections, so who you choose now will likely have an effect on what happens in the next general election.

And speaking of elections, the run-up to the Alberta general election has started, with me having to turn away a volunteer for the UCP candidate at my door the other day.  If it seems early, it’s because, technically, it is, and the campaigns haven’t officially started yet, even though we’re starting to get policy announcements from all of the parties, with the Alberta party, for one, promising to enact a recommendation from the Council of Alberta University Students to provide a one-time cost of living payment of $54 million for currently enrolled post-secondary students in the province.

Of course, there are spending limits when it comes to the campaign period, which is probably why we’re starting to see some action now, before those limits kick in.  After all, if the volunteer can deliver campaign materials to people before the campaign period officially starts, well, that doesn’t count as campaigning, does it? That’s just the normal action of the UCP minister trying to “inform” his constituents of what the government is doing, which is why I turned the guy away.  Come to me during the campaign period and we can have a talk (though if you’re representing the UCP candidate, you may not like the questions I ask, such as why was the candidate trying to get around campaign spending limits by sending people out early?)

In the meantime, this week, The Voice Magazine has a number of looks at, well, numbers.  Chris O’Brien returns with an article explaining the numbers behind why the weatherman seems to have so much trouble predicting the weather, such as the multi-week cold “snap” we seem to be having in Calgary, with a few days crossing the -20 degrees Celsius threshold.  This is in March, remember.  We’re supposed to be approaching spring.

We also have a look at the practice of how phone numbers are becoming increasingly important in society and how companies practice of recycling them could be creating significant risks to people being able to control their own digital lives, and an article on how to engage in a hedonistic lifestyle when the numbers in the bank account say otherwise.

And our feature article?  Why we interview a student who’s pursuing her AU degree with the eventual aim of becoming a CPA, working with the numbers.

But if all that is too much, we still have reviews, advice, scholarships, events, a look at why you might need a meat slicer, or why the examinations of the recent Fergus report may have been lacking, and more!

Enjoy the read!