Elections Insider Endorsements

Before our endorsements, a quick word. We offer these endorsements not to end our coverage of the elections, but to launch it. We have biases, and, to a reader of this blog, these should come as no surprise. So this is just a starting point. We’ll still post issues of the day, and this will still be a forum for discussion and debate, as it’s become. And we’ll still bring you the best information faster than any other site, so stay tuned!

These endorsements weren’t easy. They really weren’t. We spent hours meeting candidates (sometimes twice if we wanted to chat more) and getting a “feel” for them. We read their platforms over numerous times. And, as you’ll see below, our minds aren’t completely made up. But in fairness to the candidates, and in the interest of openness, now that our minds are made up, we proudly present our endorsements.

President: Jeff Friedrich
To us, we felt Jeff was a well-rounded candidate with tremendous experience. More importantly, he knows how to lobby, how to build relationships, and has a sharp mind for the politics of the job. He’s achieved a lot as VP Academic, and know he’ll continue that as President.

VP Academic: Brendon Goodmurphy
We didn’t know Brendon very well before this race, but a few qualities stood out. First, he’s a very good learner, and doesn’t pretend he knows more than he thinks. He has a good critical mind, and channels his frustration with the University in a very constructive manner. He’s thoughtful, insightful, passionate and intelligent, and will represent students well. Out of all the candidates in this election, we believe he is the most caring and passionate. We’re excited about what his energy will bring.

VP Administration: Sarah Naiman
First, we hold her opponent, Suvina To, in the highest regard. It was difficult to not support her, but we feel that the position needs fresh and energetic vision, and some vigour. Suvina brings tremendously insightful experience and skills, and we hope she stays involved with the AMS next year. When the VP Admin has been successful in the past it’s been because s/he had energy and a clear vision, both of which Sarah brings. The student life portfolio needs a shot in the arm, and Sarah in the VP Admin portfolio is the person to do it.

VP External: Joel Kozwarski/Matthew Naylor
Here, we’re split. Gina is endorsing Joel Kozwarski, Tim’s endorsing Matt Naylor.

Gina’s thoughts: I used three standards – knowledge, competence, and political stances. From the knowledge point of view only Joel and Matt qualified. Matt clearly knows the issues better. Both have credible track records/experience. My interactions with Naylor on council have been fairly limited – he was by no means outstanding or impressive at council meetings. There is a list of off-record statements (from him and people who have worked with him closely) which have made me doubt his ability to work with others (openness to other ideas), take criticism and make judgement calls in politically sensitive matters. Joel may not know the issues as in-depth as Naylor, but he will learn. Ian (outgoing) learned and did a good job, and it doesn’t hurt that he is also endorsing Joel. Joel is calm, rational, very thoughtful and a solid candidate. I have trust and faith in Joel K and thus am voting for him.

Tim’s had the advantage of reading Gina’s reasons above. The Liberal thing doesn’t matter – Gina had no problem campaigning with Holly Foxcroft when the latter was President of the Young Liberals, and there’s no evidence that it hurt her ability to lobby. So, why Naylor? He cares, knows a great deal, and is uniquely passionate. And you can learn policy – you can’t learn passion. People with Matt’s almost rabid enthusiasm are so rare and, when one offers their help, you’re foolish not to take it. He has a lot to learn, makes mistakes, and is young. But a good leader will learn how to make the most of Matt’s considerable talents and work with him. Look at his campaign organization? Wouldn’t you want that on your side?

VP Finance: Brittany Tyson
We agree that this is a portfolio in which experience counts, and building a rapport with the incumbent is a good thing. Brittany’s combination of experience and well-considered approach to reform should serve student well.

BoG: Darren Peets, Jeff Friedrich
Both these candidates have more experience on campus development and student representation issues than the others combined. And working together they’ll be a uniquely powerful force on the Board. For Jeff, it will make him a much stronger President (though the converse doesn’t necessarily apply.) And Darren has, through U-Town, learned to work well with administrators while still putting administrators on the spot like nobody’s business.

Senate*: Tariq Ahmed, Jaspreet Khangura
Yes, we’re endorsing the incumbents right now. Both have been excellent advocates for students this past year. Jaspreet in particular has brought her pass/fail initiative towards fruition, and deserves another year. We’re leaving our ballots open, though. We don’t know enough about the remaining Senate candidates, so will pass a final decision in the future. But we know and have seen enough of Tariq and Jaspreet to know that they will continue to do a good job on senate, especially given the slow bureaucracy that this particular body is known for.


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