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.


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  1. Alright; this is totally absurd. Of all the candidates in the entire ams elections Blake probably ran the cleanest campaign.

    I thought it was rather peculiar that at least one of the election administrators was a member of RBF and a contributor to one of the vfm candidates. Then when they rushed through the investigation of irregularities at Vanier (cookie-gate) it was far too quick and not at all thorough, missing or not following up on crucial evidence; like for instance there were at least two witnesses that reported this, while they spent their time disparaging one of them. What kind of ‘questionable biases’ did the other eyewitness have? Also the eyewitness reported that it happened on Thursday or Friday, not Sunday – the day the EA investigated with RAs.

    Also; what is the rush? The deadline for filing complaints has not even happened yet. I for one intended to file at least three tomorrow.

    It seems clear to me that the election administration is severely biased, if not directly conspiring with certain other candidates. There is no other explanation for this kind of decision, unless they have some evidence to prove their conclusion.

    The question arises: what do you do in the case of a corrupt election admin? This is starting to look like a student court case.

    Blake won this election fair and square, which is more than anyone can say about some of the other “winners.”

    Posted by Durgan | February 6, 2009, 10:27 pm
  2. Classroom announcements: Tristan asked Sarina during the all candidates meeting if people could make classroom announcements together. She said yes, in front of all the candidates.

    Posted by Green Machine | February 6, 2009, 10:49 pm
  3. Maria, shouldn’t you be in bed sleeping off fever?

    This is nothing more than false information planted by pro-keg terrorists.

    Posted by Commodore Cuddles | February 7, 2009, 1:13 am
  4. If the complaint was filed on the Tuesday before voting, why did it just come out now (after the results had been announced)? Surely if there was doubt it would have been further investigated then?

    Also it’s a bit funny how, if Blake is forced to step down and Alex assumes the president role, it would be all the candidates that commerce endorsed..

    “I don’t know but I’ve been told…. (repeat)
    Sauder sucks.”

    Posted by marc | February 7, 2009, 1:49 am
  5. This whole slate idea seems like a very imprecise notion with a huge grey area, which has always troubled me about the idea of banning them.

    I guess ‘case law’ will start to clarify some of the grey areas.

    The only other way I can think of to avoid the problems associated with slates is to move to a more parliamentary system, with Council choosing the VPs. However, I don’t think this idea would fly.

    Posted by Willem | February 7, 2009, 1:14 pm
  6. Ok, so the rule is you can campaign with other candidates as long as you don’t like them?

    Posted by Mike Thicke | February 7, 2009, 2:29 pm
  7. The rule is that a reasonable person should not believe that you are part of a group of candidates endorsing each other (“mutual advantage”), and that the candidate has a positive obligation to prevent such impressions from developing (hence the expansive “real or apparent”).

    Beyond that, the scale of the punishment is determined by the Election Committee’s belief as to whether or not the infraction caused a material effect on the outcome.

    As an example, 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.

    Posted by Spencer | February 7, 2009, 3:12 pm
  8. OK, so the fundamental problem is that the Code wording refers to “apparent” slates, which are not defined. This is dumb, and leaves the interpretation of Code open to abuse. A couple of Arts Councillors, including myself, tried to clarify the wording in Code last year and were completely shut down.

    Could this just be a case of bad karma?

    Posted by Stephanie Ryan | February 7, 2009, 11:12 pm
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