Three Arts staff awarded 2015 President’s Awards

UBC Focus on People Fri Oct 16 2015

Congratulations to Kristin Sopotiuk (Assistant to the Head, Department of Sociology), Christine Offer (Artistic Presenting Manager, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) and Julie Wagemakers (Deputy Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues), winners of the 2015 President's Awards.

Kristin Sopotiuk received the President's Service Award for Excellence for her role in making the Sociology department a harmonious and productive place, while promoting the well-being of students, staff, and faculty. Christine Offer was awarded the President's Staff Award for Creativity & Innovation for bringing Chan Centre Connects events to the UBC community. Julie Wagemakers received the President's Staff Award for Leadership for her dedication to establishing the Liu Institute as a place of research excellence, and managing her staff to achieve their highest potential.

Learn more about the winners.

International Election Observers to Monitor Monday’s Vote

Tyee Thu Oct 15 2015 By: David P. Ball

A six-person mission from the Organization for Security and Economic Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been sent to Ottawa to monitor the federal election on Monday.

UBC political scientist Max Cameron called OSCE a pioneer in election monitoring.

Federal election: How to decide your vote in 20 minutes or less

Metro News Wed Oct 14 2015 By: Kate Webb

Metro News discusses how to make up your mind in the upcoming federal election.

“If the voting act is to try and produce a federal government that is closest to your preferences, then voting strategically is something that you definitely should do,” said UBC political scientist Fred Cutler.

Inside Elections Canada: 5 things you need to know

CBC BC Thu Oct 15 2015

UBC political scientist Gerald Baier talks about five things you need to know about Elections Canada with CBC News, including who runs it.

“It falls under no government ministry. It is an independent office of parliament,” Baier said.

Freed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy lands in Vancouver

Global BC Thu Oct 15 2015 By: Paula Baker

Freed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy has arrived in Vancouver.

Fahmy was arrested and jailed nearly two years ago on terrorism charges in Egypt, but was pardoned by the Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi last month.

Fahmy is joining the UBC Graduate School of Journalism as a Journalist in Residence.

Strategic voters challenge democracy

CBC The Current Thu Oct 15 2015

Strategic voting is discussed on CBC’s The Current.

UBC political scientist Michael Byers said strategic voting makes casting a ballot a negative experience instead of a positive one.

Tories could hang on if reduced to minority: analysis

CTV News Thu Oct 15 2015 By: Joan Bryden

The possibility of a continued Conservative minority government is discussed in a new article on CTV News.

“We’re in the realm of convention here, not formal, written rules and the only rule that really applies is that Parliament must be convened once a year — so, in principle, (Harper) could extemporize,” said UBC political scientist Max Cameron.

A similar story appeared in The Huffington Post and iPolitics.

Strategic voting has long-term costs for progressives

National Post Fri Oct 16 2015 By: Daniel Westlake

Strategic voting has long-term consequences, argues Daniel Westlake, a PhD candidate in political science at UBC, in a new National Post op-ed.

“New Democrats voting Liberal to keep the Conservatives out of power (or Liberals voting NDP to do the same), hurt their party’s ability to compete for government in the long term,” wrote Westlake.

Babies move tongues to learn new tongues

Scientific American Thu Oct 15 2015 By: Christopher Intagliata

Babies use their tongues to distinguish speech sounds, according to a new UBC study.

Researchers tested whether babies could distinguish alternating D sounds in Hindi. The babies could tell the sounds apart when they could move their tongues, which a teether prevents.

“At this point I don’t think that these data suggest parents should be taking away teethers or soothers. The majority of infants are chewing on something semi-regularly most of the day. And most of these infants do go on to develop speech normally,” said lead author Alison Bruderer, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences at UBC.

A similar story appeared CBC BC.

Will Trudeau’s attempt to woo soft Conservatives work?

News 1130 Tue Oct 13 2015 By: Martin MacMahon

Justin Trudeau’s campaign to win over the soft Conservatives in the last few days of the election campaign could work, according to UBC political scientist David Moscrop.

“It seems like the logical end of a long-term shift in momentum in [the Liberals’] favour,” Moscrop said. “The question is do they have enough time to really capitalize on it.”

Latest polls show swing in support toward the Liberals

News 1130 Mon Oct 12 2015 By: Mike Lloyd

Support is swinging to the Liberals, including in metro Vancouver, in the final days of the campaign.

“We’ve seen the fortunes of the NDP slide a little bit, maybe having something to do with what’s going on around the country with the niqab debate, but also I think the NDP simply peaked early,” UBC political science professor Max Cameron said.

Conservatives absent from B.C. ‘all-candidates’ debates

The Vancouver Sun Wed Oct 14 2015 By: Matthew Robinson, Peter O'Neil

Political opponents are accusing Tory B.C. candidates of avoiding all-candidates’ meetings and local media.

UBC political scientist Gerald Baier said the Conservatives have a point in trying to save time by passing up certain events, but they owe it to their constituents to participate in the discussion.

Controversial Chinatown proposal rejigged

The Vancouver Sun Wed Oct 14 2015 By: John Mackie

A proposed 12-storey, 137-unit condo at Columbia and Keefer in Chinatown is meeting criticism. Says UBC history professor Henry Yu: “I have nothing against the Beedie Group wanting to build a building that is condos, it’s just not here. This is an anchor site, it’s crucial for Chinatown as a heritage conservation area.”

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.