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Remember where you were…

…because this is the day that Freeman Poritz‘s campaign died. The VP External candidate got his hopes handed to him…

By Jesse Ferreras , in Blogs UBC Outsider , on January 16, 2008

…because this is the day that Freeman Poritz‘s campaign died.

The VP External candidate got his hopes handed to him in a neatly-wrapped box after a sparsely-attended debate with rival candidate Stefanie Ratjen, who came with her own three-person cheering section. Mr. Poritz may have scuttled his whole campaign in one fell swoop.

The first question was about the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, a federal program that hands out $300 million in scholarships to university students every year. It’s set to expire in 2009 and candidates were asked what they would do about it. Mr. Poritz said, a little too honestly, that he doesn’t know anything about the scholarships. Strike one.

The candidates were then asked how they expect to build a relationship with Kevin Falcon, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation, to ensure that UBC’s transit woes are being addressed by the provincial government. Mr. Poritz replied that he comes from a background as a journalist and could have Minister Falcon on the phone in an hour.

Freeman obviously doesn’t know the pain of chasing a government minister for an interview. I interned with the North Shore News over the summer and couldn’t bend Falcon’s ear for even 15 minutes. Strike two.

Then came the fatal blow. Mr. Poritz was asked about a quote in a 2003 issue of The Point, UBC’s athletic newspaper. When asked what the word “woman” means to him, he responded, “Most women are becoming more obnoxious and less traditional.”

Mr. Poritz said he knew the quote would come back to haunt him. He didn’t anticipate how badly. Strike three.

He has one more chance this Thursday night to make a recovery before voting starts. He may be saved by the fact that most voters don’t watch these debates. If they did, he’d be toast.


  • So let me understand.

    Based on your two articles on the AMS VP External Debate, the contest comes down to choosing between:

    Someone who can honestly admit that he isn’t familiar with an issue or a “scary liberal with a blatant agenda.”

    A person who might be overly optimistic in reaching Kevin Falcon or someone who repeatedly lambasts Translink for being too “private.”

    A person who joked to a newspaper that women “are becoming more traditional and less obnoxious” or someone who didn’t make that joke five years ago.

    As you note, the position of VP External requires bridge-building. The person is the AMS’s representative in charge of communication with civic, provincial, and federal governments, all three of whom are and are likely to be right-of-center governments during the 2008-2009 school year. Given these requirements, I know I’d much rather have someone who appears willing to work constructively with the powers-that-be rather than someone who, based on your article, sounds like she’d rather stand outside their office with a blow-horn.

  • Steve M. has got to be kidding me. Why would I ever cast my vote in support of someone who at the very least does not take women seriously, but above and beyond that, is stupid enough to cut out his own legs from under him by announcing this in public?! That kind of stupidity is dangerous, and seeing as the position does indeed require bridge-building, which in turn requires the coherent stringing-together of thoughts that are both relevent and non-offensive, I think that Freeman should just stick to playing with Tonka trucks or some other gender-biased toy, as that would be more on his level.

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