…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.