Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Media weighs in on Guelph OPIRG fiasco, and scandal gets even bigger

The Guelph Mercury has weighed in on the scandal surrounding the OPIRG-Guelph's recent, and tainted, Board elections in an Editorial today... and they don't mince words. Something stinks with the way various members of the UofG's CSA got involved, and I like how the Mercury Editorial staff put it... "A concerted campaign to thwart the election bid [of the conservative students] was carried out."

Indeed... a "concerted effort" has been made by the leftists at the U of G, by 1) extending the nomination deadline for ALL open OPIRG Board positions, when only two of the positions required more candidates, and 2) with members the UofG's supposedly arms-length CSA using their influence to manipulate the election, and 3) by all involved parties closing ranks and refusing to heed any requests for information regarding the decision making process undertaken to extend the nomination deadline.

Like I've said all along... something stinks. With $250,000 of students money involved, I'm serious when I say it's time to call in the auditors... why are these folks refusing to co-operate? What do they have to hide? Is there more to this story than a simple election of a new Board?

The entire campaign of these conservative-leaning students was about transparency, and a desire to ensure that these monies are being used for their intended purposes... to help those who can't speak out for themselves. So why did these leftist students fly into a panic when four individuals put forward their names for election? From what I can tell, there were only six or seven candidates in total before the nomination extension, which was more than enough to fill the student positions on the Board. But as they were short one or two candidates for the Community Member positions, they instead extended the deadlines for ALL open positions, rather than just the ones for which they still required candidates. Again, something stinks here.

And the Editorial staff of the Mercury agrees. You see, as they point at at the start of the editorial, this isn't the first time some of these leftist players have been involved in controversy.

You may recall that last year, the U of G's CSA voted unanimously not to re-accredit the pro-life group "Life Choice" as a CSA authorized club, over some alleged issues with an event held the previous semester. The key word there is "unanimous"... because both Cailey Campbell and Arden Hagedorn were members of the CSA at the time the vote was conducted. And of course, we all know how that turned out in terms of media coverage... they recanted on their position just a few weeks later after garnering negative national media attention, as noted by today's Editorial.

And then of course there was the whole fiasco with General Rick Hillier, when the CSA had to be dragged kicking and screaming into taking action against a ludicris article attacking the General by labeling him a "warmonger". Yep, you guessed it... some of the same jokers were affiliated with that one too. Which brings us to today's new angle to this story... you see, in researching a few things for today's post, I came across two interesting points. Anyone recognize the names of the two "winners" for the Community Member positions of the OPIRG? Their names are Ravi Joshi and Andrew Garvie. Sound familair?

You'll recall that Scott Gilbert was the author of the anti-Hillier article. But the other member of the Canon's editorial Board who approved the article? None other than Andrew Garvie... who, it should be further noted, ran for the Communist party provincially in 2007 and federally in 2008. And that second name, Ravi Joshi? Amm, well, let's just say that he's also a known individual on Guelph's political left. You may also recall that these two individuals were named in the "Request for Information" that was filed with the appeal of the OPIRG election the other week... looking to see if there are any "Help, the Tories are trying to take over!" e-mails that may have been sent by the CSA or OPIRG members. Because if there were, well, then this scandal just took on a much bigger significance... direct interference of a "non-partisan" student organization from the organized political left.

Interesting... wasn't it the argument of OPIRG supporters that they were seeking to ensure that there WASN'T any partisan political influence on their Board?

Some highlights from the article:
A clutch of campus conservatives sought election to the board of the social justice group. Their political stripes weren't secreted and they asserted they wanted to influence how the group operated and utilized its operating revenue -- most of which flows from student levies.

A concerted campaign to thwart the election bid was carried out. The conservatives are now appealing the results of the campaign and the matter is to be sorted out within two weeks by a tribunal process.

It will be ironic if the election results change as a result of the appeal. But it won't be a surprise given the similar events of the year. If the election results are upheld, let's hope the letter of the law is followed procedurally or it could be that this flap sees additional chapters.

It might seem troubling for some OPIRG stakeholders to embrace the proposition of equity in this context. But even avowed right-wingers must be allowed a fair crack at running for election to this organization.
Folks, this story is far from over... I think it just got a whole lot bigger.



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