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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Campus Conservative conspire to be conservative

I served on the Campus wing of the PCPO’s executive for three years. I found it to be a rewarding and often amusing experience. Amusing because every once in a while some loon would attack us with crazy accusations and innuendo. The past week has really made me miss the time I spent with the Ontario Progressive Conservative Campus Association (OPCCA). The Ryerson Free Press, known for its journalistic standards, released what can only be described as an attack article.

Here are some samples of the author’s stupidity (the author is listed as ‘admin.’ Obviously whoever wrote it is too embarrassed to put their name on it):

At a session held in early February by the Ontario Progressive Campus Conservative Association...discussed strategies to gain funding from student unions for the Conservative Party and ways to run for—and win—positions within student unions.

Gain funding for the Conservative Party? From student governments? Conservative campus clubs get the same funding from student governments as every other club, including the Liberals and the NDP. Besides the Conservatives are by far the richest party, why the hell would they launder money from a student government? That is just idiotic.

Also, young political activists talking about how to win positions on student government? That is outrages. How dare these youngsters wish to be involved in campus politics! Don’t they know that they must either be communist or apathetic?

The leaked materials were posted on WikiLeaks.org over the weekend and add to the growing body of evidence that the Conservative Party has a strategy for interfering in campus student unions.

It should be noted at this point that OPCCA and the Conservative Party have no relation to each other. Throughout this article every time that they say ‘Conservative Party’ they really mean OPCCA. And yes there is evidence that OPCCA has a strategy for interfering in campus student governments. Mainly the evidence involves them saying so repeatedly in public for the last twenty years. But I am interested in what evidence this ‘newspaper’ has to offer.

In early 2002, the campus press first learned of a secret Millennium Leadership Fund that the party’s campus wing used to fund candidates in student union elections.

Yes the secret Millennium Leadership Fund that was written into the constitution that is publically available. I say was written because it was removed a couple of years ago. It was removed (by my initiative) because the MLF hasn’t actually existed in nearly a decade. So it was a publicly published secret that didn’t actually exist that was revealed seven years ago. Great evidence there Sherlock, I’m sure you could have found something better than that. Like maybe look at the OPCCA mission statement.

Also the Conservative Party didn’t exist in 2002, so how can this be evidence that they had a strategy for anything? The writer’s inability to separate OPCCA from the CPC demonstrates the single minded stupidity of...well of the sort of person that would write an article like this.

My Favourite part of the article is this:

Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario was surprised when told of the leaked strategy. “Campus students’ unions are there to represent students and should be free from the partisan interference of federal and provincial parties,”

Really? Should we take a second and investigate the relationship between CFS and the NDP. Truly the ability of these people to say things like this marvel me to no end.

Through all the innuendo and paranoia, this article has one piece of news in it. Young conservative activists plan on being actively conservative in youth politics. Well done Ryerson Free Press.

(original article and OPCCA response)

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on March 19, 2009 in Campus watch | Permalink


"The Ryerson Free Press, known for its journalistic standards, released what can only be described as an attack article."

Of course it is an attack article. Is that a problem?

Posted by: Will Davies | 2009-03-19 4:28:42 PM

I'm not sure about when you posted this, but as of now the article carries a prominent by-line

"By Rebecca Granovsky-Larsen, Editor-in-Chief and Nora Loreto, News Editor"

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-03-19 6:54:41 PM

According to Google, Ms. Loreto is an extremely active figure within the left-wing Canadian Federation of Students.

Posted by: Cheryl | 2009-03-19 9:05:20 PM

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Posted by: Alanna | 2009-03-21 5:14:46 AM

Yeah, but the difference being that the NDP and the Liberals are not hosting workshops on campus on how to create FAKE student groups with the EXPLICIT INTENT of siphoning money away from the student body and into partisan coffers.

While the Ryerson article clearly carries a bias, the actions of these MPs is an absolute outrage and an insult to democracy and transparent government. That you can support their actions is pitiable.


Posted by: adam | 2009-03-23 11:04:12 AM

What action of MPs are you talking about? There is only one MP mentioned and all he did was make a speech about how young people should be involved in politics. That seems pretty standard to me. Why are you outraged?

Creating secondary issue orientated clubs can be useful in several ways. It allows the club to take actions and positions that might be embarrasing if they were directly connected to a political party. It also brings in people who might be wary of party politcs but support that issue. Trust me a couple hundred dollars will not make the difference and is not the reason for creating these clubs.

Again I find your outrage to be missinformed. I see nothing wrong with what these people are doing.

Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-03-23 2:03:59 PM

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