Conservative attack ad raising eyebrows in Vancouver

CTV News Wed Oct 14 2015

UBC political scientist Max Cameron commented on a controversial Conservative attack ad in Vancouver that claims Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will allow brothels in communities and make marijuana easily accessible to children. The ad was placed in the Chinese-language daily paper Ming Pao.

Cameron said the Conservatives would probably not place such an ad in an English-speaking newspaper, since it would provoke a backlash.

In the event of a minority government, don’t panic

National Observer Wed Oct 14 2015 By: Charles Mandel

UBC political science professor Maxwell Cameron’s new paper proposes that a minority government could be stable and productive, and would be better for Canada than a “false majority.” The latter is the result of a party winning the majority of seats in the House of Commons, but garnering less than 50 per cent of the popular vote.

“In majority governments, leaders and parties have strong incentives to act in the interest of their support base, ignoring Canadians who did not vote for them,” Cameron said.

Overlooked campaign issues include assisted suicide, inequality

Yahoo Wed Oct 14 2015 By: Dene Moore

The election is coming up in a few days but subjects such as the environment, poverty and inequality have not received enough attention during the campaign, says UBC political science professor Maxwell Cameron.

“We’re seeing such a high level of inequality and the persistence of poverty and I’m not sure that any of the parties have really articulated a strategy for addressing it,” Cameron said.

Up-for-grabs B.C. has attention of all parties with election closing in

The Province Tue Oct 13 2015 By: Dan Fumano, Sam Cooper

B.C. has turned into a critical battleground in the election campaign with the three major parties enjoying very thin margins. UBC political science professor Richard Johnston says about half the province’s ridings will still be up for grabs right down to the end.

A similar article appeared on MSN.

Immigration fades as election issue weeks after Alan Kurdi tragedy

CBC Wed Oct 14 2015

Immigration is fading as a key election issue weeks after a young Syrian boy drowned trying to reach safety. Experts aren’t surprised.

Historically, immigration policy questions rarely determine the outcome of an election, according to UBC political science professor Richard Price.

“It just doesn’t tend to get nearly the amount of traction ultimately for a voter that typical domestic issues like the economy do,” Price said.

A similar article appeared on Yahoo.

Strategic voting campaigns building momentum

Yahoo Tue Oct 13 2015 By: Sherry Noik

The “anyone but Harper” cry is being heard this time around, some observers say. Unlike those of previous elections, this year’s strategic voting campaign is gaining momentum.

UBC political scientist Richard Johnston says the campaign has a chance of succeeding.

“I think the conditions are, on the one hand, favourable in the sense that there are a number of ridings where a small shift in voting can make a difference in seats,” said Johnston.

Conservative support weak in densely populated ridings

The Globe and Mail Tue Oct 13 2015 By: Frances Bula

Analysis by a Vancouver architecture firm shows that Conservatives didn’t win in the most populous ridings in 2011 — ridings with population densities greater than 50 people a hectare–and this is something that has implications for political representation of people in those areas.

The Tories were rooted in the cities until John Diefenbaker became party leader and made it the party of resource production, one that was anti-metropolitan, says UBC political science professor Richard Johnston.

Babies use their tongues to understand speech

The Atlantic Wed Oct 14 2015 By: Cari Romm

A new study by UBC audiology and psychology researchers found that when babies can’t move their mouths to mimic sounds–something that happens when they’re sucking their thumb or using a teething toy–they find it harder to process them.

The finding suggests a direct link between babies’ oral motor skills and their ability to understand speech.

Election: Calls increase for return of the long-form census

Richmond News Fri Oct 9 2015 By: Graeme Wood

The scrapping of the mandatory long-form census in 2010 was a mistake, according to many organizations and economists. UBC urban geographer David Ley says accurate data is very important, particularly for a city like Richmond, which is experiencing significant demographic changes including aging and immigration. Ley said the voluntary survey drew a response rate of only 68 per cent.

Conservative strategy built to survive, UBC expert says

CKNW Mon Oct 12 2015 By: Simon Little

Early voting has been rising in recent years but overall turnout hasn’t, says UBC politics expert Richard Johnston.

This being the case, the Conservatives could well be positioned for a victory because they have traditionally been good at getting their supporters to vote.

Early student participation could hint at strong turnout

News 1130 Fri Oct 9 2015 By: Martin MacMahon

The impact of increased student voter turnout at advanced polling stations is discussed by News 1130.

“It’s hard to conclude from a few advanced polling days whether or not we’re going to get a better turnout,” said UBC political scientist David Moscrop. “But we can say look — there’s been all this energy poured into this election, which is a close one, and people are trying to get people out in a way that I’ve never seen. That should have some sort of impact.”

Polarized election makes it hard to predict outcome

North Shore News Sun Oct 11 2015 By: Kristin Woodhouse

Record numbers of people are taking advantage of early voting, making it clear they want to see a new government in place, says UBC political scientist Max Cameron.

“The people who are firmer in their opinions who are turning out to the opinion polls early, they have made up their minds,” Cameron said. “What will happen October 19th [will be] more [about] what happens with respect to the undecided vote.”

UBC Museum of Anthropology takes on an Asian focus

The Vancouver Sun Fri Oct 9 2015 By: Chuck Chiang

UBC’s Museum of Anthropology has a new Asian focus, with two Asian-themed exhibits in its lineup and two Asia-focused curators appointed last year. The museum hopes to open an Asian wing in the future.

Election 2015: resource ridings seek economic answers

CBC News Thu Oct 8 2015 By: Betsy Trumpener

UBC political science professor Gerald Baier says some Conservative resource ridings could be vulnerable to the Liberal message, but it depends on the type of resource.

Ridings with mining are likely to have strong unions as well, and this will probably benefit the NDP. In ridings with weaker unions, the Conservatives could see gains.

“Oil and gas [ridings] would be an example of this,” Baier said. “I think there’s more of a willingness to say, ‘Well, we just gotta keep pumping the stuff or dig, dig, dig in order to keep the jobs going. They want to see policies that prioritize resource extraction instead of climate change.”

18 months of parental leave: Would it work?

CBC News Fri Oct 9 2015

Analysts believe only a few will benefit from the Conservatives’ promised 18 months of parental leave. Marina Adshade, a professor in UBC’s School of Economics, says such a program doesn’t cost the government anything but it doesn’t deliver much either. Women, who make less, are unlikely to use the added leave because their benefits are low to begin with. She also doesn’t think the plan will help higher-income parents much since benefits are capped at $350 a week.