Campaign Begins with a Resounding Pbttbtbpt!

The first (and now I suppose second) days of campaigning are over, and too be honest, had I not been someone who knows when these kind of things are happening as a matter of course, I would not have had the slightest clue that the campaign is going on.

This is not a criticism of the Elections Administrator – I think that these elections are going to be fair and well run and decently promoted. The Elections Admin can only do so much in these circumstances, and they need to be helped along by dedicated and committed candidates who actually are going to go out and campaign. I am therefore pleased to congratulate Tim Chu and David Nogas, who were the first people I saw with posters up, as well as several other people who have managed to do the absolute minimum for a campaign, and start a Facebook group.

These campaigns are tools of engagement. The voters of the AMS don’t really get a lot of chances to interact in such a high profile way with the people who are going to be leading their student society for the next year. We also are electing people with a huge amount of discretionary power – more actually than any other student society that I’ve seen across the country (woohoo President’s Fund!), so people need to be able to make informed decisions. To that end, I’m going to offer some unsolicited advice to the candidates:

  1. Poster: Yeah, I know, this one is obvious, but it needs to be said. What is more important is how you design your posters – lots of policy is great, but isn’t going to get anyone to stop and read it. If people care about your policy in specifics, they’ll visit your website. A good rule of thumb is ‘If you can’t read the name at ten paces, the name isn’t large enough”. The position you are running for in large type is also pretty helpful. Pictures are also good, especially if you’re hot – I’m looking at you, Fire.
  2. Classroom announcements – If you aren’t doing these, you will lose. It’s always better to email profs beforehand, just to check if its OK, and because its a waste of an hour if you schlep all the way out to Woodward and the prof won’t let you speak. Oh, and Gateman doesn’t believe in student engagement like classroom announcements for some completely arbitrary reason, so don’t go barking up that tree. If any folks out there are in Prof. Gateman’s classes, a gentle mention that you would appreciate his acquiescence in this manner would not be unwarranted at all.
  3. Flyerfuck. Flyerfuck everywhere. If you could get flyerSTDs, I could understand why you aren’t doing this, but you can’t, so get out there (ideally with people) and flyerfuck the shit out of UBC.
  4. Balance. Eat breakfast, remember to eat and sleep, and try not to drink too much when your out campaigning in the Gallery on Tuesday. You really don’t want to be sick when campaigning – I made myself sick both times I ran, and that was awful.

For more on this issue, UBC Insiders had an interesting post on this a while back. And, in my opinion, a part of the many good reasons to bring back slates (as if they don’t practically exist already) to AMS politics.

I have to confess that this post would have been up sooner, but today was by and large spent in bed. You see, dear readers, I was at Mardi Gras last night, which is not to say that I remember much of Mardi Gras. Really the only vivid memories I had from the evening were getting smashed and asking Erin Rennie to drop out of the AMS Presidential race and endorse me (because Mardi Gras was so much fun last year) and someone asking if I should really have another drink, to which I responded “I’ll be fine”, followed by the immediate blackout.

Matthew Naylor


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