In a two-person election for any position, the winner often comes by default. That’s not the case at all in the race for VP External – Stefanie Ratjen has emerged as a strong front-runner in this campaign, but voters should still be careful about throwing in their lot with her.
To her enormous credit, she moderated her rhetoric at Thursday’s debate. Translink once more came up for discussion and she held back from calling them a “private corporation.” The sad thing is that I might have been inclined to agree with her more radical stance in light of recent developments.
She also did a masterful job of dissociating herself from new radical elements on campus when someone said she was a member of the Wreath Underground. I believe her when she says she’s not.
Where my praise stops, however, is at her repeated mentions of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). Ms. Ratjen’s platform doesn’t make very clear what she would want them to do. She says that CASA does not lobby provincially, and that, “This is where the CFS comes in.”
When I asked her yesterday if she would be bringing the CFS to UBC as its lobby group, she said no, then repeated that CASA does not lobby provincially and that UBC students need a stronger voice at that level. As of today I’m still unclear what she wants with them. She recognizes fully the problems that SFU has experienced with the lobby group, which among other things has included meddling in student elections. Hmm…
Ms. Ratjen needs to be more clear in what she wants out of the CFS before people cast their votes in her favour. I can’t help but be wary of an agenda she’s not making explicit with regards to that controversial group.