On the heels of the 2017 Nova Scotia provincial election, there have been many discussions surrounding compulsory voting legislation and fixed election dates. Why? It is estimated that voter turnout for the past election reached a historic all-time low with fewer than 54% of eligible Nova Scotians showing up to the polls. Nova Scotia tends to have a low voter turnout at provincial elections with the average turnout being around 60% in the more recent years. Despite efforts to increase voter turnout such as extending the time period for advanced polls and ensuring all polling stations were accessible by wheelchair, the 2017 election continued on the trend of declining voter turnout in Nova Scotia.
In every level of politics transparency is a word that tends to be thrown around a lot. It’s a word that we often listen for and want to hear from our candidates for good reason. Transparency doesn’t mean anything political until we attach its definition to politics. Simply, it means to be transparent which is to be clear and to have the ability to see through something of substance. When we align this definition to politics, what we then mean by being “transparent” is that we are being clear and open about our actions and what we are doing; that we are hiding nothing and being open about everything. In relation to politics on all levels, transparency is difficult to ensure.
The purpose of an articulation agreement between a community college and a university is to provide graduates with further opportunities for study even after they have finished a diploma program. It would be no surprise then, that Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) has been tirelessly working with universities in Nova Scotia to work more of their diploma programs into the beginnings of a degree. The benefit to NSCC is that they can increase the appeal of their programs by attracting students who might have been considering going to university first, and instead allowing them to get many of the first two years of courses at a fraction of the price. The universities benefit from increased enrollment in their undergraduate programs. However, I would argue that largest benefactor of these agreements is certainly the students themselves.
Our members talk about what student issues they are bringing to government
“A Strategic Plan allows for planning, execution, and reflection to occur for
StudentsNS. With such a high turnover of Board members, StudentsNS believes
that a long-term strategic plan is essential to ensure that the goals of StudentsNS
are not lost. Each year, the new Board will be able to use this Strategic Plan as
a measurement tool, a guiding document, and a reminder of work yet to be
accomplished. Our hope is that the affordability, accessibility, quality of post-secondary education continue to improve, while maintaining a strong role for the student voice. The five strategic directions StudentsNS will take with this Strategic Plan are:
1. Improving access and affordability to post-secondary education in Nova Scotia.
2. Ensuring more post-secondary graduates can stay in Nova Scotia to work.
3. Increasing student participation in civic engagement.
4. Building strategic and multi-sectorial partnerships.
5. Continuing to strengthen StudentsNS membership.
The 2016-2017 StudentsNS Board is excited to tackle these challenges as a part of a long history of strong student advocacy within our organization.”