When it comes to the battle for the throne there are no real winners or losers, just outcomes that influence the budget for next year.
This is the story of how the SU elections got turned upside down.
We’ll tell you why some of the independent candidates sit mopey with a frown.
This should only take a minute, so just sit right there, and we’ll tell you a little story of how the elections are just unfair.
Once upon a time, in a land not far from here, sat the democratically-ruled kingdom of UBCO, where there lived a great and lofty King. The King ruled the land with a boisterous voice and hearty pints of ye olde Big Surf in hand. Generally loved by all, the King was popular amongst his subjects. In the King’s land, fall turned to winter, and winter turned to spring. With the arrival of spring in the year of 2015, came the call for a Students’ Union election—the chance to change the dynasty that once ruled UBCO and end the reign of the King. The banners were hung, ravens were sent out, and the games for the throne began.
Over the course of a fortnight, candidates were tasked with the challenge of competing for the hearts of the masses. Hordes of citizens flocked to the challenge, but many paled in comparison to the Eldest Son of the King. The name of the Eldest Son was seen as good and true by those who knew him, but there was no denying it, daddy was paying for those velvet pants. The Eldest Son began by meeting the subjects of UBCO through the Book of Faces, Postagram, and Hoot in order gain popularity amongst the masses. The Eldest Son was a relatively unknown character to the people of the land and subjects began to question, who was this eldest child and why did he call upon them in his quest for the throne?
The Eldest Son knew he could not win the throne alone, so he read the sacred scriptures of the bylaws set in place by his father. These bylaws allowed him to call upon the previously-banned Knights of the Boardroom Table to stand with him, United for a Better Kingdom. The King learned of his eldest son’s intentions and decided to support him and the Knights of the Boardroom Table in their quest for the throne.
As the kingdom of UBCO operated as a democratic institution, the call for a king was open to all the subjects of the land with an equal chance for the throne. Yet when interested subjects met with the current King, they were dissuaded out of kingship due to the fact that the King believed that his son was best suited for the role. As a result, no one dared to oppose the Eldest Son. In order to protect the integrity of his prodigy, the King’s dealings were kept secret from his son.
Here is the first problem in our cute little fairy tale. As President of the Students’ Union, shouldn’t one be actively pushing students to get involved and engaged in the democratic process? To be creating discussion instead of encouraging people to be submissive to his opinion? Rocky runs the United for a Better Campus campaign, but as members of the Students’ Union, shouldn’t we be asking our President to stay neutral?
In order to organize the event, the King called upon the Magical Bearded Wizard to run the Students’ Union election. It was the Magical Bearded Wizard’s job to ensure that the elections were run fairly and that no candidate broke the rules of the sacred scriptures. Little did the people of UBCO know, the Wizard and the King had been friends for some years now.
Friends? You mean the King of UBCO, who is running the Eldest Child’s campaign, hired his good friend the Magical Bearded Wizard to ensure that the elections are fair? Doesn’t this inherently call into question the Magical Bearded Wizard’s impartiality? If you’re hiring someone for the job of maintaining ethical standards, this shouldn’t even be a question.
The crowds shouted, “How dare they! This process is unfair!” And the King cried “We’re doing nothing wrong. Why should I care?”
Independent candidates from across the land attempted to appeal to the Magical Bearded Wizard but he was not interested in their complaints.
“If you have a problem you must pay a fee! Not just anyone can come and talk to me!”
“But you have the final say!” cried the villagers. “There’s no appeals committee to hear our dismay!”
You heard them right—because there is no appeals committee the CRO has final say. If you have a complaint you must pay a $50 fee in order to be taken seriously. And speaking of finances…
The King’s wealth proved problematic for the masses, as there was a limit set by the Magical Bearded Wizard on how many resources each candidate could devote to their campaign. The problem lay in the fact that the King liked to spend and spend on propagating his interests in the land of UBCO, and his interest was now the Eldest Son’s campaign. Luckily for the King and his son, the Magical Bearded Wizard had ruled that campaign finances were not to be evaluated until after voting had occurred.
I can’t even… This one should be self-explanatory. I’m sure penalizing them AFTER they’ve been elected will make the most sense.
As this tale draws to an end within the next few days, the state of the union becomes murkier and murkier. These inconsistencies have the ability to overthrow the remnants of the democratic process instilled in the land of UBCO.
Heed this cautionary tale of what has occurred and what could become,
As the elections are soon to be done.
With pencil and ballot you have a choice, to weep in sadness or exult and rejoice.
Although it is presented as a fairy tale, the students of UBCO are actually faced with these problems in our Students’ Union election. The President of the UBCSUO is the campaign manager for the super slate, United for a Better Campus; the UBCSUO President hired his good friend to be the CRO; the CRO failed to make an appeals committee; in order for anyone to submit an appeal to the CRO they must pay the $50 dollar fee; campaign financials will not be reviewed until after voting has occurred (so any breaking of the rules will not be subject to penalties); and the slate name will appear beside the name of the candidate on the ballot.
This is a complete manipulation of the democratic system, and those in positions of power are using the bylaws to their advantage. For our purposes, this story reads well as a fairy tale because there are little to no rules—when the odds are stacked in your favour, anything goes. But unlike fairy tales, I don’t have a happy ending for this story. Unfortunately for this story, there’s no dragon because there’s not one sole person responsible for the nature of this election, there’s no princess because few women have thrown their hats in the race, and there’s no knight in shining armor to take a stand against these injustices.
When we were kids it was never up to us to choose the ending of the fairy tale, but for once we have the chance to change the outlook of the kingdom. Listen to candidate speeches, go to candidate debate, and most importantly: vote on March 12th and 13th.
Update: some wording changed for clarity.