Thursday, March 22, 2007

Conrad Winn?

Via IP, it seems one of my Professors at Carleton has been given the chance to ruin Canada on a much larger scale than his mediocre, unhinged classroom:
Claiming they don't want the process to be captured by special interests, the Conservatives have decided to employ what could be the very first closed-door public consultation.

They have hired pollster Conrad Winn to conduct a poll, and a think tank to convene a series of focus groups across the country. Citizens will be probed for their thoughts on the role of political parties in policy development, the decorum (read lack of it) in the House of Commons, Senate reform, civic engagement and, oh yes, electoral reform.
Let me back up a little here. I had professors at Carleton who were right-wing nutbars. I have no problem with right-wing professors, and I have little problem with right-wing professors who occasionally bring their own political views to the classroom -- I was a political science student, it's kind of inevitable. I give right-wing profs exactly the same latitude I give the left-wing profs, and truth be told I had twice as many lefty profs who annoyed me as I did right-wing profs.

(In particular, I had a rightist history prof who couldn't help but rant about the corrupt Liberals every day. In a Chinese History class.)

My point is, I hope you'll believe me when I say that I'm not so ideologically intolerant that I would reject a professor simply because they hold or espouse views I disagree with.

Conrad Winn is not just conservative. He's so conservative that other conservative students follow him around from class to class, year to year. Entering one of his classes is like entering a poorly-constituted cult: you've got the new people who have no idea what the fuck is going on, and then you've got the true believers.

I enrolled in his class shortly after New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and I remember quite clearly listening to Winn accuse CNN of "playing the race card" in order to help Democrats politically. This was in 2005, when there was no election. One of America's blackest cities was left to drown by the Federal government, but according to Winn CNN was "playing the race card."

Maybe I was still too angry about Katrina, maybe -- no, definitely -- I was just creeped out by the pod people. In any case, I am somewhat ashamed to say I walked out of the class and didn't look back, something I had never done before and don't plan on doing again.

So let's just say I can't wait to see what kind of crap Winn puts together on electoral reform. I expect a detailed poll telling Canadians that what they really want is for 2/3 of Parliament's seats to be given to Alberta.


Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Oh, for god's sake. This just gets worse and worse.

Mike said...

And worse IP...I had Conrad Winn for poli-sci 100 back in 1986 and 1987 and he was the same. Except back then he was baiting the Francophone students over Meech Lake. He taught the way Robert McClelland blogs, only without actually making good points.

The guy was proud to tell us he was a utilitarian and though JS Mill was too left wing.

His views make Kathy Shaidle look sane.

Gawd help us with him having a hand in government policy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was the same in 1989-1990. The intellectual shoddiness of Winn's PolSci100 was glaring, even back in the days of Last Chance U. I remember him chortling about how Chamorro's "unseating" of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua "proved" that Marxist governments couldn't be elected when people had "free and fair" voting. You don't have to be a Marxist or anything to recognize the poor quality of such observations. But Winn also could recognize and accept that students would challenge him (I did on a regular basis after the above corker), and he valued that - so for that I will give him a little credit.

Anonymous said...

Professor Winn has recently been contacting university professors at a number of schools under the guise of a survey of the professiorate's political vies.