U of R professors get our vote for best election analysis

By Costa Maragos Posted: October 13, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Jim Farney on the set with Global Regina Morning News host Shanelle Kaul
Dr. Jim Farney on the set with Global Regina Morning News host Shanelle Kaul (Photo - External Relations).

You see them on TV news programs, hear them on the radio and read their views online, in newspapers and other publications.

U of R professors are getting a lot of airtime these days, as the longest federal election campaign heads into its final days.

Media outlets - locally, regionally and nationally - are turning to the U of R for much needed expert analysis and perspective on the campaign.    

“Clearly there is interest,” says Dr. Jim Farney, associate professor in the department of Politics and International Studies. “This campaign is unusual because it’s so very long, and also strange as it is so close. There are three possible victors.”

Dr. Farney has made regular appearances on Global Regina Morning News and CTV Morning Live as well as other media outlets, including CBC, the Leader-Post  and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He says this form of outreach is something the U of R is good about recognizing.

Ken Rasmussen
Dr. Ken Rasmussen

“I see this as a useful form of public service. I always try to find a local angle. I try hard not to make it a horse race but something substantive. Often journalists want context. Journalists seem to find it helpful,” says Farney.

Another “go-to” person is Dr. Ken Rasmussen, professor of public management at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Reporters have been seeking out his perspective on politics for more than two decades.

“It is important when you can contribute something of value, based on your research, or provide some back ground information when there is a complex constitutional, or procedural issue that needs some clarity,” says Rasmussen.

Other professors who have been sought by media include Dr. Joyce Green (Aboriginal vote), Dr. Lee Ward (polling analysis) and Dr. David Gerhard (real-time voting results).

Dr. Tom McIntosh, head of the Department of Politics and International Studies, is a seasoned guest when it comes to media appearances.

Tom McIntosh
Dr. Tom McIntosh

During the campaign, he’s appeared on CTV’s signature political program, Power Play with Don Martin, on various programs on CBC Radio and other media outlets. He also writes opinion pieces for newspapers, including The National Post, on topics ranging from medicare to senate reform.

“For me, I have always considered it to be a part of what we do, especially for political scientists,” says McIntosh. “We might have some insight to offer, whether it is an election or a big news story.”

McIntosh and Farney along with Murray Mandryk, political columnist from the Leader-Post, are taking part in an election forum at the University of Regina.

It will be held Thursday, October 15, from 2:30 pm to 4 pm at room 215 of the Language Institute. This forum is open to the public.