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What to learn from the Crompton Lougheed affair

Posted By Maayan Kreitzman On March 30, 2008 @ 10:06 pm In Editorial,Elections | Comments Disabled

The world has gone mad. I don’t check comments for one day while working on a paper, and when I return there’s a frenzy! Anyway. There’s plenty of discussion in the below post about any and all aspects of this controversy. I want to zoom out and offer a few things we can take away from this episode.

  • Elections code needs to be tightened up: get rid of the ambiguity about 1 person 1 vote. Is the onus on the elections committee to ensure this, or is every person only allowed to cast one ballot, or both? Is there a functional difference between a cast ballot, and a counted vote? These are extremely easy to clarify.
  • Student Court should have its own appeals process, and its ruling should not have to be approved by council automatically, unless council specifically wants to call something in in order to overrule it (akin to a notwithstanding clause). AMS council should have a more defined role vis-a-vis the court – is it just an “advisory body” as some say, or is a real “independent judiciary“?
  • The AMS is vulnerable to cronyism, terrible PR, and political/personal motivations. Fact of life that ain’t going away
  • On the other hand, AMS council will, (maybe even when they technically should not) make decisions that best serve students – in this way, councilors are actually fairly enlightened. This decision is an example: a lot of councilors I talked to made their decisions on the basis of what would make the AMS most functional and best for students this year. Though you can make legalistic arguments for either side here, I defy anyone to claim that disqualifying Alex over this and then running a by-election in the middle of exams, or in September would best serve students. Or worse, that running a petition (as Nathan Crompton is currently doing) to get Alex impeached will ultimately serve students best.
  • Code is important. Procedure is important. Communication and honesty is important. When process falls down, the real issue is that much harder to tease apart and evaluate. An example here is that while the case was actually “Crompton vs. Elections Administrator,” Alex Lougheed was the one being essentially judged. All sorts of bad communication and confusing processes occurred as a result.

Now, lets all move on, shall we?

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