Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frederick Ruling Overturned

If you haven't already been informed - it looks like Blake Frederick's disqualification has been overturned.

More details to come.

Update 1: Hopefully the president elect will see to it that members of the Appointments Committee be chosen carefully, and the hiring of the EA happens, like, yesterday.


Monday, February 23, 2009

News of the Slate Hearing

Some blogs are updating with live coverage- check out the Radical Beer Tribune or the UBC Spectator. So far, Blake, Ale, and Tristan have all laid out their cases. The latter two candidates were punished for slate-like behaviour by being fined $200 each. Most of the confusion/disgruntlement seems to stem around a couple of issues:

-what constitutes slate-like behaviour: candidates were told that they were allowed to make announcements together, yet at the same time not in a way that could be construed as slate-like (personal note: I saw several of these announcements, at no time did I feel like these candidates were a part of a slate. Nothing they said or did suggested that they were running together, and each candidate presented their own platforms only). Candidates said that they made announcements together between 5 and 10 times (out of between 25 and 50 announcements that each candidate made individually).

-being notified of disqualification: the EA did not notify Blake in person, and the other two candidates found out only about 1 week later that they had been disqualified. There seem to be some issues with email communication in general.

-Cookiegate and how many votes can be garnered in this way (i.e. by going door to door- the EAC tried it and got something like 4 votes in more than 2 hours, while the allegations were of 50-800 votes being made). Also, Cookiegate and how evidence was handled, whether or not people spoke with one another, and whether or not witnesses were friends of other candidates and were thus biased.

-the impartiality of the EAC and general bias

Decisions that were made:

-the Chief Justice will be looking at code, and a by-election for the SLFS could occur. I'm not totally sure why, but it looks like things may have been muddled with the nomination process- please correct me if I'm wrong, as I wasn't there.

-the Chief Justice also said that Sonia's appeal took too much time. From what I gathered, there was no evidence to substantiate her claims.

All in all, there are 4 appeals taking place- one about the SLFS (launched by Ed Durgan), one about the VP Academic/Uni Affaris race (launched by Sonia Purewal), one about the presidential race (launched by Blake Frederick), and one about the VP Finance race (launched by Ale). The latter two are based on the slate rulings (one is about the disqualification, the other about the fine). The Chief Justice presiding was Donald McIntyre.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Philosophical ideas on slates, freedom of assembly, democracy etc can and have already been extensively debated on numerous other posts. As of right now, we should depart on a bit of a tangent in examining the system within the post-slate era that UBC students currently find themselves in. It seems to me like there are several issues to the recent disqualification of Blake Frederick.

There is an obvious inconsistency from year to year in the subjective interpretation of code. The question is whether there should be.

The interesting cases always arise when the political meets the judicial, and within this context let us consider the judicial party to be the four 20-something year old bushy-tailed individuals who have been appointed by councillors (last minute as always, is my guess), relying on partial evidence, but not obliged to follow any explicitly outlined procedure except for their own moral guidelines.

Of course, from year to year the Student Court anticipates being busy during this time of year, when candidates appeal the decision of the EA’s office, hoping their luck at a more “legal” or “official” body, traditionally consisting of students with at least some legal training.

Then there is the issue of whether or not AMS council, the highly political body, will decide to accept the appeals decision of the Student Court. It is in poor form not to do so, but as the archives are my witness, Council has overturned or rejected its rulings numerous times as it sees fit, at the moment’s political flavour at hand.

So, when we come back to the specific issue on slates and the recent disqualification of Mr Frederick, how robust should this interpretation of a code be from year to year? Should a candidate be “testing out” the mood of the EA, seeing what he or she can get away with?

Is campaigning alongside other candidates in the same room vehemently slate-like to one reasonable person, but a-ok with another?

Is the EA contradicting her own words when she disqualifies candidates who campaigned together in a cafeteria, but earlier allowed classroom announcements to be made together?

The subjective interpretation of reasonable standard becomes the gray zone in which the EA’s office enters the power play to make or break the political career of the candidates.

From year to year, this interpretation has differed. To quote Spencer Keys, father and founder of the post-slate era, the punitive measures on slate-oid activity has included:
“…in 2005 one candidate was found to have had his website registered and paid on the credit card of a candidate in another race. He got a 24hr campaign suspension.

In a more relevant example, despite lots of candidates doing speeches at the same time, it was ruled (if I recall correctly) that a line was crossed when one candidate told a classroom to "Vote progressive" when numerous candidates had explicitly identified themselves as "progressive." That person also received a campaign suspension (I think) but it hardly mattered anyway when they won by 500 votes. The first guy lost his position so it also didn't matter.”

Should there be a list of precedent rulings to be followed as general guidelines for the candidate’s sake, such that they know what is and is not considered slate-like behaviour? Keep in mind that these rulings themselves may have had their share of controversies, involving the Student Court and lateron Council.

Or perhaps in this post-slate era, there are very few people left who remember how blatantly obvious a slate was like, and the purpose behind banning them has reduced itself into a witch-hunt for even the most invisible alignments, friendships included?

It seems to me the EA’s were given no transition as to the intentions behind this particular section of code, and are now keen for the election to become so puritan to the point where a candidate should run in the other direction if someone else is postering on a prime location, or campaigning in the same cafeteria.

What a precedent.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vote in GSS elections!

Ah, what's that in the air? It smells like the seemingly never ending elections cycle. While the AMS elections are sort-of-but-not-really-over, GSS elections are still going strong. This is a reminder that if you are a grad student, please vote! The GSS could do great things, but you need to make sure it has a strong, motivated executive. Voting details below.

Voting for the GSS Elections close on Monday, February 16th at 5pm. You can vote using the "Webvote" option when you log onto the SSC website. Information about the candidates can be found here. Election results will be made public 5pm on Thursday February 19th at Koerner's pub.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

results photos!

AMS Elections Results, February 4

I've got them up here; there might be a commentary post up later but it seems sort of silly given what's going on.


My Reaction

I promise I'll write more, but in the meantime, here's my reaction to it all. Be warned, it's not very sophisticated, but comes in several steps.

1.) Sigh.
2.) Plz growz up. Plz lern electrl code. Thx.
3.) Why am I getting so much email?!
4.) Please don't submit complaints out of spite. Please see number 2 above.
5.) Please make campaigning rules more explicit.
6.) (This is an important one). Please make code more explicit when it comes to slates.
7.) Please don't tell me that candidates who may be friends aren't allowed to poster together. I find that sad-making. We should encourage friendship, not destroy it through campaign rules. A second sigh.
8.) Next year's candidates: please be cautious in your campaigns and don't associate with one another if rules aren't changed. Not only so that you don't get disqualified, but also so that people aren't personally insulted over the interwebs.
9.) To some unknown being/master of the universe/spaghetti monster: please stop things going to student court during every election. Here I think it's legit, but seriously?
10.) Ok, I think that's it. Actually, no. Please stop flaming each other through comments. It's been fine here, but I've been reading some of the other threads, and I'm surprised that university students resort to personal attacks and insults to try to make their point. When I debate according to Cusid rules, this isn't allowed, and that makes me happy. I'd like to know that non-debaters are also capable of debate that doesn't involve yelling at others when they disagree. Ok, now that's it.

Sorry, I'm a touch disgruntled, in case you couldn't tell. I feel like most of the filed complaints are sort of frivolous. It's great to launch complaints, but not in this manner. A lot of it seems like backlash against the EC. I don't agree with their decision, but at this point there's little to be done except for wait for this to go to student court. In the meantime, though, I think people need to take these complaints more seriously and not complain about things that don't warrant complaining about (for instance, slates between VFMs, because those don't count).

Seriously, though, I will hopefully be writing something about slates. I do think they're a bad idea, but only in certain situations, and not just because they give students running for office an unfair advantage. I just think that rules need to be made crystal clear about what exactly constitutes a slate (i.e. not postering/making announcements together, particularly when it's stated that that is allowed. Also, I think there needs to be some recognition that students might just poster together for company. Going around campus by yourself and putting up posters=boring. Getting your friends=more fun). Hopefully, those will be made sometime soon.


Monday, February 9, 2009

More complaints

Numerous emails have been sent out with complaints. Gerald will be posting those filed by Ed Durgan, as well as the response of the election committee to those, but here is another email I received regarding more complaints.

The Elections Committee received six complaints from Ed Durgan on Saturday, February 7. The Committee has decided to dismiss all complaints. The rulings and the original complaint are included. This ruling is issued at 12:45PM, Monday February 8. An appeal can be made to the Clerk of Student Court by 12:45PM, Wednesday February 10.

The Elections Committee is attempting to respond to all complaints as quickly and as publicly as possible.

The Elections Committee received a complaint from Blake Frederick on Saturday, February 7. The Committee has decided to dismiss the complaint. This ruling is issued at 3:00 PM, Monday February 9. An appeal can be made to the Clerk of Student Court by 3:00 PM, Wednesday February 11.

It was alleged that a Facebook message was sent to members of a group online "KNO TO THE KNOLL" by the group's administrator endorsing certain candidates, including Alex Monegro and Johannes Rebane. The complaint alleges that the two candidates worked as an apparent slate for mutual advantage because the group's administrator, used the group to mutually advantage multiple candidates. The complainant mentions that the Elections Administrator stated that VFM candidates and AMS clubs were allowed to endorse candidates, but that a Facebook group does not constitute either of these entities.

Individuals and independent groups are allowed to endorse candidates without that constituting a slate. The elections committee feels that a group should be not be disallowed from endorsing candidates simply because they did not pay the VFM entry fee or because they are not an AMS club.

The Ubyssey paper is not an AMS Club, nor a VFM contestant and they have endorsed candidates. Furthermore, there are instances of other Facebook groups endorsing candidates; such as, the "Bring Back Arts County Fair" group.

Considering this information and the section of code pertaining to the allegation, the Elections Committee dismisses this complaint.

Note from Gerald: I didn't want to retype and re-lay-out the aforementioned PDFs, so I just put them up for download. Here are the original complaints, and the Elections Committee response.


Update on disqualification

The following message has been sent out to all VFMs. There's also a list of complains and the EA's response to them that came in another email- I'm trying to figure out a way of uploading them all. Hopefully they will be up soon.

This statement is being released to all VFM contestants on Monday, February 9, 2009 in response to the Elections Committee ruling on Friday, February 6.

The disqualification was ruled in response to two complaints of elections irregularities involving Presidential Blake running as part of a slate. The coordinated and mutual campaigning is the primary point of the committee's ruling. The video evidence indicates that they were coordinating campaigning times and locations together; members of the Elections Committee were provided with photo evidence suggesting that the alleged slate planned poster placement together.

In response to questions regarding why Mr. Frederick was not questioned: The Elections Committee is not a court, and does not hold hearings. Instead, it has the power to issue rulings on complaints. The appeals committee exists for this reason.

Many students have questioned why the EC did not rule to re-do the race. According to the AMS Code of Procedures Section IX A, Article 3 (7), "If serious offences have been committed by more than one candidate in an election, the Elections Committee may declare the results of that election invalid". As stated in the initial statement, the committee felt these allegations were in reference to the actions of only one candidate in that particular race, and thus does not have grounds to entertain a by-election.

The Elections Committee does not consider these offenses minor, and has proceeded with full knowledge of the gravity of the situation. While we feel that this situation is regrettable, it would be inappropriate for the body responsible for enforcing the rules to ignore violations for expediency's sake. The appeals process exists for controversial decisions such as this, and we respect that there will likely be a higher body involved in the final decision on this matter.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Breaking: Blake disqualified from Presidential Race

I have just received the following news:

On Tuesday February 3 around midnight the Elections Committee was given a formal appeal supported by video evidence implicating Blake Frederick and two other candidates as exhibiting "slate" behaviour.

As per Section 9, Article 2(11) in the Code of Procedures, it states that:

"Candidates shall not run in slates, real or apparent, or share expenses for campaign materials, excluding minor supplies as defined in 10(e) of this article. A slate shall mean a group of candidates who run for elected office (including but not limited to Executive positions and positions in the Senate and on the Board of Governors) on a similar platform for mutual advantage."

At the time when the Elections Committee received this allegation, we were already investigating and following up with concerns over false statements Blake provided the committee in regards to allegations towards another candidate.

Furthermore, this morning the Elections Committee received another allegation of slate behaviour.

Recognizing that he campaigned, postered and participated in classroom announcements together with a group of individuals who run a very similar platform, the Elections Committee has ruled that he ran the campaign as part of a slate.

Recalling that slates have been banned by the AMS of UBC due to the advantageous nature of running in a slate, the Elections Committee believes that he was provided an unfair advantage in the elections.

Recognizing that code stipulates "Candidates shall not run in slates, real or apparent.."

The Elections Committee has ruled that we must disqualify Blake Frederick from the Presidential race. We cannot entertain the prospect of re-doing the Elections, as the rules were infringed upon only by one candidate, and thus requiring all candidates to re-run the race would be unfair.

First of all, the email was sent off of Sarina's personal gmail account rather than the AMS Elections account; the email about cookie-gate was sent from this account as well, however. Secondly, Blake talked to her today, and she mentioned nothing about the matter to him. I find this a little strange, and would think that as the elections administrator, she would let him know of this prior to letting the media know. I spoke briefly with Blake, and he told me that the email was the first that he'd heard of the story.

To be honest, I'm kind of shocked. While there were murmurings of a slate of a different sort, I certainly didn't hear about anything of an actual slate. I'm also wondering if it actually means anything if people were running a slate that was "secret", that wasn't advertised, that no one knew about, etc. Yes, I did see candidates come to certain classes together to advertise the elections and talk about their bids- but these speeches were totally separate from one another, and even if they touched on similar issues (things like the Farm), they were issues that were important to the platforms of several candidates.

What I can tell you now, though, from what I personally saw during the elections:
Tristan Markle and Ale Coates came into my physiology 301 class (503 students) and talked about elections there. I know that they also visited a lot of others classes.

Blake Frederick and Tristan Markle came into my psycholgoy 308 class (about 150 students) and both did a spiel on their platforms. The only overlapping points I heard were on the issue of the UBC Farm. I know this is an issue that's important to both candidates, so I'm not sure it constitutes a slate.

I'm a little bit skeptical of this news. From my understanding, if slates are effective, they would only be effective if people actually knew about them and if candidates were telling students that they were either a.) running as a slate or b.) telling students who to vote for. From my knowledge, this did not happen during the election. If this decision stands, I feel a student court appeal coming on. And we all know how much fun those are...

I also find it hard to believe that all the VFMs, all the AMS hacks, and all the people interested in student politics managed to not see this 'slate' while one student did. I'd be very interested to know what the evidence for the slate is- I'd love to see the tape, for instance. Hopefully details will be released soon.

Additional information (from commentary on the Spectator blog):

Blake Frederick, Tristan Markle, and Ale Coates were passing out flyers at the same time at the bus loop, as were Tim, Crystal, and Johannes.

Sarina gave people permission to do classroom announcements together at the all candidates meeting.

Three of the candidates campaigned to the Greek community on the same night.

The question, I think, is where you draw the line of "slate". Even if there were 3 candidates who did things together all the time, it could just mean that they're friends, and not that they're running some sort of slate. I think it's more than possible to have people who may have worked together all year, or in close proximity, who may bounce ideas off of each other, or who may decide to go and make announcements together. I don't think this necessitates a slate. Similarly, if the comments on this videotape were along the lines of "wouldn't it be awesome if the ___ of us were elected", it doesn't say anything about those candidates being in a slate- just that these candidates were friends and may have supported each other in private. A slate, from what I understand, must be a public matter, and must be publicized in order to be effective. Candidates must endorse one another and talk about voting people in as a team or whatnot. Otherwise, I feel like unless there's more concrete evidence that is released, this entire thing doesn't really hold water. As I've said before, even if comments were made in private about there being a slate, if it didn't affect election results, and if no one detected it, it doesn't really make a difference.


Unofficial Results

Courtesy of the Ubyssey, we have preliminary numbers for the races. These aren't official and haven't been ratified, but here they are for your perusal, regardless.

Blake v Paul Paul v Alex Blake v Alex
Blake Paul Paul Alex Blake Alex
2701 1645 1238 2653 2442 2400
Alex > Paul - 1415
Blake > Paul - 1056
Blake > Alex - 42

Blake > Alex > Paul

Board of Governors ( First Past the Post)
  1. Michael Duncan - 2927
  2. Bijan Ahmadian - 2721
  3. Blake Frederick - 1586
  4. Tristan Markle - 1271
  5. Andrew Carne - 1021

VP Finance
  1. Tom - 2540
  2. Ale - 1903

VP Academic and University Affairs
Jeremy v David Jeremy v Sonia Jeremy v Johannes David v Sonia David v Johannes Sonia v Johannes
Jeremy David Jeremy Sonia Jeremy Johannes David Sonia David Johannes Sonia Johannes
1600 1480 1624 1971 1365 2637 1434 1782 808 2660 1575 2510
VP Academic/University Affairs
Johannes > David - 1852
Johannes > Jeremy - 1272
Johannes > Sonia - 935
Sonia > David - 348
Sonia > Jeremy - 347
Jeremy > David - 120
Johannes > Sonia > Jeremy > David

VP Administration
Tristan v Crystal Tristan v Keg Tristan v Water Crystal v Keg Crystal v Water Keg v Water
Tristan Crystal Tristan Keg Tristan Water Crystal Keg Crystal Water Keg Water
1876 2374 2197 1884 2151 1764 2132 1642 2854 915 2023 1022

VP Administration
Crystal > Water - 1939
Keg > Water - 1001
Crystal > Tristan - 498
Crystal > Keg - 490
Tristan > Water - 387
Tristan > Keg - 223
Crystal > Tristan > Keg > Water

VP External
Fire v Tim Fire v Iggy Fire v Kings Tim v Iggy Tim v Kings Iggy v Kings
Fire Tim Fire Iggy Fire Kings Tim Iggy Tim Kings Iggy Kings
1442 2739 1339 2047 1839 734 2737 1543 3180 955 2062 1278

VP External
Tim > Kingshead - 2225
Tim > Fire - 1279
Tim > Iggy - 1194
Fire > Kingshead - 1105
Iggy > Kingshead - 784
Iggy > Fire - 708

Tim > Iggy > Fire > Kingshead

note from Gerald: I don't know what's with the weird table spacing; I'm working to figure it out but in the meantime, sit tight.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If we shadows have offended...

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

I just wanted to thank all our readers and supporters- it wouldn't have been possible without you, and I'm truly grateful for it. Thanks also to Gerald and Steve and Darren for writing for the blog. With that, I'm off to bed to get over the plague!


VFM Results:

  1. $1800 UBC Spectator
  2. $1500 Radical Beer Tribune
  3. $1200 UBC Student Media
  4. $1100 UBC Insiders
  5. $1000 The Knoll
  6. $700 FairVote UBC
  7. $400 The Devils Advocate
  8. $300 AMS Gossip Guy

a) thank you.
b) this is all Maria. She's a machine; sick at home in bed and she still manages to scoop me on results... and I was there!


Election Results

The results are in! Over 6500 people voted in this election, which is apparently the highest turnouts in the past several decades. Yay democracy!

The results:

Blake Frederick
-apparently he only won by 46 votes- quite a far cry from last year...

VP Academic
Johannes Rebane

VP Finance
Tom Dvorak

VP External
Tim Chu

VP Administration
Crystal Hon

Board of Governors

Michael Duncan
Bijan Ahmadian

I can't say there are any real surprises (at least, for me), other than Crystal Hon- I've heard good things about her, so congratulations for unseating an incumbent! I feel like this will be a good team for next year- a combination of some fresh blood, experience, and what I feel is a fairly diverse group of students. I'm saddened by Andrew Carne not getting a seat on the BoG, as I feel that he would have made an excellent candidate. But there you have it! Congratulations to next year's executive, and congratulations also to all those who ran in the election- you've contributed something valuable to democracy and to this election. So congrats to all!

Thanks also to the Twitter function on the UBC Spectator page- I wasn't able to be there for the announcement due to my being quite sick right now, so it was greatly appreciated.

[gerald notes: this is terrifying; I just came in to write this post and here it was.]


Update on voting irregularities

The Elections committee has issued the following statement:

On Sunday evening, a campaigning irregularity complaint was submitted to the Elections Committee. The complaint stated that VP Academic candidate Johannes Rebane and friends were in Vanier commons block and going door to door asking students to vote on their laptop, and giving cookies to students. The committee was made aware of this from another candidate, who provided contact information for two apparent witnesses that reported this action to the candidate.

The committee followed up by discussing the allegations with the candidate in question, who denied partaking in such activities, and provided credible accounts of where he was at the times the infraction was alleged to occur. To follow up, the committee contacted the eyewitnesses. The eyewitnesses provided their accounts of what occurred at Vanier commons block.
It is the committee's decision that at this time there is very little evidence supporting the claim that Johannes engaged in such behaviour. As well, there are highly conflicting narratives of what actually occurred, questionable biases, and extremely vague descriptions of the time frames. Specifically, the allegations that they went door to door are unfounded due to the lack of wireless internet access in the residence buildings. In addition, upon contacting a number of different authorities at Vanier, there are no accounts of anyone working witnessing such activities. The residence associations at the residence buildings across campus have been very active in ensuring campaigning follows strict rules within their jurisdiction, and thus the committee trusts that they would have been aware if such actions had taken place.

Elections Committee

Looks like the entire thing was a slander campaign. Clap clap. Glad to know that people need to resort to these sorts of tactics to try to win or influence an election. And you ask why students don't like student politics...


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A thank you

I've been a little bit fed up with the most recent scandal, now dubbed "Cookie-gate", so this is a brief note to thank all the candidates for running- we recognize the work you put into it, and appreciate that you're willing to face up to the scrutiny that accompanies running for office.

Most of the average students I've talked to are impressed by your willingness to put yourself out there. In previous campaigns, and in this one, we have seen people make fun of others, to slander them, to spread false rumours and reports. I'm continually impressed by candidates who are willing to put themselves under the scrutiny of bloggers and others who are willing to critique, sometimes unkindly, the candidates. I'm impressed that people are willing to have others launch personal attacks against them, and who still put themselves out there because they want to make a difference. I personally don't believe that campaigns should become personal- I feel like it's enough that candidates have to be educated about issues, put together platforms, defend them, etc.. Attacking people who have decided to try their hand at student politics and potentially improve something on campus only sends the message to other UBC students to not get involved, thus perpetuating the problem of the lack of student involvement in the AMS. We ask ourselves why students don't care, why they don't take interest and don't vote- and perhaps it is because most want to avoid the drama of student politics. So I think it's really important to recognize the candidates who do come out of nowhere, the candidates who aren't political hacks and don't know what they might be facing during an election campaign.

I've talked to a lot of students during this election. Many ask me why the campaigns are so mean-spirited, or tell me they don't want to get involved precisely for this reason. I've also talked to some of the candidates, all of whom have been really nice (and yes, this could be just because they're running, but I've heard the same from people who have known them for longer than I have). I think a lot of people don't realize that things said during this election campaign aren't just lost forever once the campaign is over. As someone right pointed out, things said in cyberspace tend to stay there, so a falsehood could potentially hurt someone in their career rather than just in an election. So I think that treating all candidates with a bit of respect would serve everyone well- not just the candidates themselves, but students at large, and the AMS. People tend to stay away from things that are unpleasant- I don't think this is a big revelation. So perhaps making student politics more pleasant would go a long way in encouraging students to get involved with the AMS.

So candidates- thank you. I realize it's not easy, I appreciate that people are willing to make the effort, and I admire your ability to stand up for yourselves.


Voting irregularities?

The UBC Student Media blog is reporting that there were people going around Place Vanier last night distributing cookies, carrying a laptop, and asking people to vote for a particular candidate for VP Academic. This is the first I've heard of the matter, and while plausible, I would like to hear more confirmations of the occurrence. It would seem to be a rather silly thing to do, seeing as it's in direct violation of campaign rules, meaning that the candidate would have much more to lose than to gain, particularly when that candidate's chances are pretty good as it is. So what are the possibilities?

1.) This actually happened, and it was intentional. In this case, we could probably expect the EA to not accept the results of the election for this particular race, and to hold another election for the position.

2.) This happened, and someone not involved with the campaign was going around doing this. In the past (and not even in the AMS), candidates have been punished for rules that have been broken by others. I know this is a possibility in SUS, so I would presume that the same can go for the AMS.

3.) This incident didn't actually occur, or it may be possible that people were simply trying to get others to vote, or whatnot- I'm sure there are lots of reasonable explanations.

4.) The incident didn't occur and people are attempting to frame a candidate in a bad light. This would be pretty bad form, and would only serve to make students dislike the AMS and further be discouraged from voting.

I'd definitely like to hear from others on the matter. So far the EA hasn't commented on the incident, although I would presume that it would be under investigation. I would ask some serious questions in general about this campaign rule, however. Candidates aren't supposed to pressure others into voting for them, but I'd ask what constitutes pressure. Yes, people can always say no, but lots of types of campaigning can constitute "pressure". It's not uncommon to see candidates approach people with laptops, for instance, and give them flyers with voting information, and to ask for their support. Candidates will often just go up to people and ask for their vote. They may get their friends to do the same. I'm not sure how convinced I am by the notion that in this situation, people would feel more pressured to vote for a candidate than in some of the other allowed scenarios. I'm not in support of candidates going up to people with laptops and asking for their vote right then and there simply because I see it as bad form and a sort of desperate tactic- I personally wouldn't feel pressure. But then I'm not most people, so I can see how the argument would apply.

The other question, though, is what happens if the candidate wasn't involved in planning this and didn't know about it? It's perfectly plausible that someone wanted to help them out, and didn't know the election rules. Candidates can't be held fully responsible for the actions of their friends/supporters, and even if they say something, you can't necessarily stop people from doing what they choose. If this was the case, then would it be fair to punish the candidate or to hold another election?

We'll see how this develops. Please comment if you witnessed the event taking place.


Monday, February 2, 2009

A voting reminder

A reminder that online voting on the AMS website closes today at midnight. If you have not yet voted, there will be paper ballot voting on February 4th (Wednesday)- just walk by the SUB! According to the RBT, only just over 8% of the UBC students eligible to vote have done so, so get your friends out there to cast their ballot!

Thank you for reading, we hope to get your support! There hasn't been much going on that's worthy of reporting otherwise. I see posters up everywhere. Some of them are creatively stapled to avoid posters of other candidates. Some of them are colourful and stylized, others have interesting crop jobs. Some fail to let voters understand that voting is no longer a tick mark, but is rather a system of choosing your candidate preference. But I can't really offer more analysis than that at the moment.

Type the rest of your post here.


UBC Engineering prank gets a failing grade

details are sketchy, but there are multiple reports that five Engineering students were arrested early this morning after their attempt to hang the shell of a VW Beetle off the Second Narrows bridge. More news is available from CTV and The Ubyssey.