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2019 Ontario Liberal Leadership Race / Rebuild

Northern Light

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This is a good example of a sound idea, poor implementation and politcally poor return.

It was a good idea to provide some pathway to a post-secondary education for lower-income families. They did it in the most brain-dead way possible. By giving the equivalent of a free arts degree to these kids. A good example of the political backlash. My normally left-leaning spouse, "Great. Now my BA is going to be worth even less while the market gets flooded with more and I'm still struggling to find decent paying work."

What I think they should have done: Free community college for all. Bolster the system and make sure there are sound transfer pathways from college to universities. Done a 3 year technologist program at college? You get two years off an engineering program. Finished a 3 year business diploma? You get two years off a university BComm/BBA program. Etc. That would be a program that was truly universal and have actually produced more skilled graduates. The middle class would genuinely have appreciated the ability to send their kids to something that gives them employable skill with a pathway to pursue a university education later. And since college was cheaper, they may well have been able to pay for the whole thing with a small diversion of funding from universities and only a bit more new money.
I think this is a sound proposal, though I would be inclined to cut the tuition for graduate degrees, which is utterly prohibitive.

Because its a comparatively small portion of the student body, its actually quite affordable.

We could debate what number is reasonable for said tuition; But I think, no more than 50% premium to a typical undergrad degree.

So if the former is $6,000, then $9,000 for Engineering/Med. School etc. would be fairer and more reasonable. That change should be universal. Student aid can be used to supplement for the neediest students.
 

kEiThZ

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I think this is a sound proposal,
California has one of the best education systems in the world. It feeds their tech sector quite well. And they have a ton of publicly funded universities that are top ranked in the world. What they don't do is act like anyone and everyone should get a top tier education. Their publicly funded system has three tiers:

Universtiy of Califonia system (UCLA, Berkley, Irvine, Davis, etc.): top 20% of the high school class. Tuition only slightly more than University of Toronto.

California State University system (Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, etc.): middle 30-40% of high school class. Tuition more comparable to mid-range Canadian schools.

California Community College System (East LA, Santa Monica, Santa Ana, CCSF, etc.): bottom 50% of the graduating class. Virtually guaranteed admission. A campus in virtually every town of more than 20 000. Credits are transferable to most CSUs and some UCs. Tuition is under $6k a year (low by American standards). Was actually free at some point. And quality of teaching is very high. There was a nobel laureate teaching at a CSU in a town I lived in. Faculty can transfer across the CSU and UC and College system. He retired from a UC and decided to take a part-time retirement gig. 20 year olds learning from a nobel laureate.

This is the kind of system we should be designing. Instead of simply aimlessly pumping out more BAs from a lot of our third rate non-metropolitan universities. We may not be able to build a three tier system. But we could build a two tier system. Free college in one tier. Reasonably priced university in the second tier. And if you want to save money, do college first. With transfer credits, your'e effectively getting two free years of university. This is very common in California.


hough I would be inclined to cut the tuition for graduate degrees, which is utterly prohibitive.

Because its a comparatively small portion of the student body, its actually quite affordable.

We could debate what number is reasonable for said tuition; But I think, no more than 50% premium to a typical undergrad degree.
I vehemently disagree with limiting graduate tuition on two grounds. The quality of a graduate education matters even more than the quality of an undergraduate education, in this day and age. Limit tuition and you'll eventually limit funding and simply produce more indebted MAs instead of BAs, who are equally unemployable to boot. All while feeding the qualification inflation problem that millennials face.

We need to fundamentally change how we educate in this province. Significant numbers need to be going to college. And we need to both improve the quality and increase the number of graduate spots (while refocusing the areas they are in). Do this right and it won't take much more subsidy because they'll be employable enough to pay off their loans. See MBAs for how this works as an example. Heck, I'd even suggest a 4 year direct Masters track for those who finish a 3 year diploma in undergrad with high grades.

I was lucky enough to get a decent graduate education in California. I have seen what we are up against. In the information age, quality matters. Simply making it cheap to attend university while not training in the relevant skills or at a high level will severely impact our economy in the long run. Some of the conversations we have to have are difficult. But if we keep lumbering along under the delusions that make it cheap to go to Nipissing and Trent for an Arts degree, is just as good for our economy as a doing a diploma at Seneca or Algonquin or an engineering degree at Waterloo or U of T, we are going to have serious problems. We are going to lose the quality game to places like California and lose the numbers game to places like India and China.
 
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Northern Light

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California has one of the best education systems in the world. It feeds their tech sector quite well. And they have a ton of publicly funded universities that are top ranked in the world. What they don't do is act like anyone and everyone should get a top tier education. Their publicly funded system has three tiers:

Universtiy of Califonia system (UCLA, Berkley, Irvine, Davis, etc.): top 20% of the high school class. Tuition only slightly more than University of Toronto.

California State University system (Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, etc.): middle 30-40% of high school class. Tuition more comparable to mid-range Canadian schools.

California Community College System (East LA, Santa Monica, Santa Ana, CCSF, etc.): bottom 50% of the graduating class. Virtually guaranteed admission. A campus in virtually every town of more than 20 000. Credits are transferable to most CSUs and some UCs. Tuition is under $6k a year (low by American standards). Was actually free at some point. And quality of teaching is very high. There was a nobel laureate teaching at a CSU in a town I lived in. Faculty can transfer across the CSU and UC and College system. He retired from a UC and decided to take a part-time retirement gig. 20 year olds learning from a nobel laureate.
I can get behind this.

I vehemently disagree with limiting graduate tuition on two grounds. The quality of a graduate education matters even more than the quality of an undergraduate education, in this day and age. Limit tuition and you'll eventually limit funding and simply produce more indebted MAs instead of BAs, who are equally unemployable to boot. All while feeding the qualification inflation problem that millennials face.
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You and I would differ here.

I aspire to the same quality you do. I didn't suggest vast numbers of additional spots in those graduate programs, though some additional spots in certain areas would make sense.

But I don't think tuition of $25,000 per year is reasonable, or necessary to achieve the quality to which we both aspire.

The de-regulated programs which can set their own tuition, receive little or no operating grant per student.

Adding said grant money, even at the level that funds undergrads, and using that to reduce tuition would be helpful.

This is not about watering down program quality or admission standards.

I would further add, that I have a real problem with the way programs are costed.

Students pay a very high proportion of faculty salaries, even though faculty typically spend less than 1/2 their time in class rooms.

I think research should be funded by base university funding, research grants and endowments, not student tuition.

There are programs costed at 25k to students that cost less 1/2 that to operate, if you only charge students for services rendered (inclusive of a facilities).

At any rate, I'm big on the idea that merit should determine access, not financial means. But in saying as much, I think as per our above discussion, that needs to be done in a manner that doesn't alienate the middle class.
 

kEiThZ

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First off, I think you focus too much on graduate school. That focus is all but pointless if you don't have an economy that can absorb those graduates. All you're doing is creating credential inflation. And I'm already starting to see plenty of that in Ontario.

The problem that nobody wants to talk about is how upside down our system is. Easily half of all university students should be going to college. All those kids that are just there to "get a degree" should not be in university. But nobody wants to tell their middle class parents that. So Governments have kept expanding university enrollment without reforming anything.

Heck, 15 years ago I met a Liberal Minister of Education at an event. I told him the above. And after some pressing his response was, "You're right. The economy can't absorb these grads. All while we have a shortage of college grads. But do you think I'd get reelected if I sent kids to college instead of university?". I was shocked that he was so candid about the political challenges of it.

A bachelor's degree in terms of skill and even knowledge imparted is even less useful than it was 2-3 decades ago. Which means that we really should be aiming for a ratio of undergrad : grad of something approaching 1.5:1 or even lower. If you can get through undergrad, you should be on to some further professional school or grad school.

When you get that ratio, grad school can be made cheap because more funding will be redistributed from undergrad to grad and savings found from more students sent to college.

I don't think tuition of $25,000 per year is reasonable, or necessary to achieve the quality to which we both aspire.
Necessary? No. But if funding isn't there and quality is sacrificed to keep costs low all you're doing is wasting two years of time and producing a graduate who is just as unemployable as before.

Quality matters. Above all else. And if we're not willing to restrict numbers and aren't willing to add substantial funding, well tuition is the way out.

This is not about watering down program quality or admission standards.
It's Ontario. We produce thousands of lower quality postgrads annually. Let's stop pretending that quality matters to anyone in this province.

Change isn't coming unless we can talk about these issues honestly. I see way too many people use the line, "Education is not about job training.". Ummmm yeah. It wasn't. 40 years ago. When only 20-30% of high school grads went to university and it cost peanuts for government to subsidize. Today, universities are somewhere between vocational and finishing schools. And cost billions for governments to support. And that's not going to change until at half the students are diverted elsewhere.

I am sympathetic to the Ford policy of tying graduate earnings to program funding. It's a recognition of how society actually views universities these days. And the expectations that parents and students spending tens of thousands of dollars have. It will force universities to get their hands dirty and focus on employment. More co-op programs. More joint programs with colleges. Cuts to degree mill programs (Hello York Psychology and U of T Poli sci!). Those cuts will force entry standards up and divert plenty to college.
 
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Admiral Beez

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Trudeau is making the same mistakes Wynne made nationally. It's like he learned nothing from Wynne's loss.
We have to remember that Trudeau is a newbie at this. He won his seat in 2007 through his name, and then won a surprise victory in 2015. There are similarities to Rae’s NDP government, an unexpected win, followed by a cabinet of inexperienced ministers.
 

Jonny5

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Tory isn't even trying to hide that he's running for the OLP Leadership now.

Mayor John Tory is planning to go door-to-door in a midtown riding today. The riding of Eglinton-Lawrence is currently represented by Progressive Conservative MPP Robin Martin. During the canvass Tory will be informing residents about the estimated $177 million in provincial cuts in 2019 and repeating his calls for those cuts to be set aside, at least for the time being.
 

steveintoronto

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Tory isn't even trying to hide that he's running for the OLP Leadership now.
There are requirements to be met, unless you state what you have facetiously:
Rules and procedures
Under the procedure outlined by the party's constitution, the leader is likely to be chosen in a traditional delegated leadership convention in which up to 2,000+ delegates would be eligible to vote, made up of 1,984 elected delegates (16 elected by proportional representation in each of the 124 provincial riding associations) in addition to ex officio delegates (current and former Liberal MPPs, defeated candidates from the last election, riding association presidents, party executive officers and other party officials, and federal Liberal MPs for Ontario), youth delegates from campus clubs and delegates representing the Women's Commission. Riding delegates would be able to run on the slate of a leadership candidate or as independents; in the case of the former they would be required to vote for that candidate on the first ballot but would be free to change their support subsequently.[7][8] Balloting at convention would continue until one candidate receives a majority of ballots cast.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Ontario_Liberal_Party_leadership_election#Rules_and_procedures
 

steveintoronto

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For all anyone knows, he's running for the *PC* leadership, once DoFo gets booted.
A much more likely scenario. Much, much more. He already has run in the past, everything is in place. And he'd do very well, if the polls for his being a Lib Leader are any indication.

The largest danger for Tory would be the puppet masters behind Ford. They're not nice people, and I think there's still a lot yet to come out about the Elliot vote 'fix' with more votes than Ford.

Wormtongue is alive and well at OntPC headquarters.

John Tory, as much as I've lambasted him as Mayor, would be a very able and steady choice in a comparative sense to recent history.
 

steveintoronto

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Meh, Tory has always struck as a fake Tory anyways. In a roundabout way, he's the reason we wound up with Kathleen Wynne in the first place.
Which only goes to show how low Ford's mojo is if majority Ontarians would vote for Tory even running as a Lib.

You couldn't have set that one up any better...
 

adma

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Meh, Tory has always struck as a fake Tory anyways. In a roundabout way, he's the reason we wound up with Kathleen Wynne in the first place.
Funny, I always looked at it the other way around--that Wynne earned her '14 majority through being a ghost-of-Leslie-Frost "Red Tory" kind of Liberal. (Which is why a lot of her steals and close calls happened to be in Central Ontario Tory heartland)
 

BurlOak

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I heard the Liberal delegates voted for 1-member, 1-vote, but it needed 2/3 support to be implemented and only got just over 50%. I didn't catch the exact details of the proposal - but my understanding is it's just the total number of votes that counts.

  1. The Liberals use the delegate method - where each riding sends delegates - basically a handful from each riding, plus existing and recent past MPP's and some board members. They vote in secret at the convention, so it is never known how they were influenced by backroom deals. It also costs a lot of money for those members to travel to the convention city, which means many rural delegates won't even show up - which doesn't really affect a party like that Liberals that are very urban.
  2. I view 1-member, 1-vote as all members vote on the leader and 50% wins. They could have run-off races, or ranked ballot, but its essentially the same idea. The problem here could be that 1 candidate could sign a lot of members from 1 specific demographic or geographic area - and control the entire party.
  3. The CPC and PC's solve the above with a riding vote. each riding is worth 100 points and all party members from that riding count towards the total. Based on each candidate percentage of vote in the riding - they get that many points. (I suppose a First Past the Post would also be possible in this method). The downside of this is that a couple of ridings in a non PC area could have only 1 party member. The leader that gets this 1 votes gets 100 points - even though they have no chance of electing an MPP in that riding. Meanwhile, a riding that is solidly blue would have hundreds of party members and hundreds of party volunteers for the next election, and yet that riding is treated the same as the riding that has no chance of going blue.
  4. I suggest a modification of the CPC method. instead of each riding being worth 100, it should be worth whatever percentage the party received in the last election (or average of past few elections). This would solve the downsides of method 2 and 3, and avoid the political backroom deals of method 1.
I understand that these Liberals also considered giving out free party memberships, but that also didn't receive the needed 2/3 support. I think parties need to decide what the purpose of the leadership convention is. If it's to raise money - then definitely charge for membership and keep membership drives open as long as possible. If your goal is to best represent long held party policy, then no new members would be allowed and only pre-existing party members would vote. Parties would make their membership drives to find people who support the party policy in general, and not just the individual (and this might make the party focus more on policy than on the individual leader). There's also the need to create some buzz for the party, which selling memberships may do to some degree, but is likely achieved by the advanced media coverage and the convention itself).
 
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