Debate over Code Section IX A, Article 2

The Alma Mater Society of UBC, February 25, 2004
Minutes of Student Council [SCD 522-004]

“Be it resolved that Council accept the report “Code Changes February 2004: Slates” and amend the Code as recommended.”
Note: Requires 2/3rds.

  • Spencer Keys said that removing slates made elections more accessible to independents. Slates stifle competition and cause otherwise qualified independents to choose not to run which actually reduces choice. Slates create an artificial divide amongst the Executive. Independents are better able to deal with that divide. The concept of year to year branding enables you to shape the election and you are biasing the electorate as a whole. Removing slates does not reduce choice but should make the Society more accessible to students and bring the elections back to the electorate.
  • Richard Davis expressed concern with Subsection 11 and said the word ‘apparent’ would be really difficult to define.
  • Mike Bruce asked what the voter turnout was this year and if statistics were available to show if voter turnout would go up or down if slates were abolished.
  • Spencer Keys said the voter turnout this year was 4700. With the removal of slates, there will be more candidates and more voters engaged in the electoral process.
  • Mike Bruce said elections show that voter turnout plummets without slates because voters do not know their candidates. You will be asking too much of students to investigate candidates. There will be even less democratic legitimacy and more of a popularity contest.
  • Lana Rupp said it was important to make a distinction between federal, provincial and student elections. Once AMS elections are over, the Executive do not represent a particular group, therefore voter turnout should not plummet.
  • Sam Saini said that running on common policies and principles does not make it easier but is something to be taken into account. The electorate can vote for a candidate and not the whole slate. Slates should stay.
  • Amina Rai said she would vote in favour of this motion. Independents are overshadowed by slates and the slate system is open to abuse. Hopefully in the future there will be more diversity in candidates.
  • Oana Chirila said small measures have not worked for the AMS. The AMS has seen many great people in the last few years who have all run on slates. Your choice is not limited, you can vote for anyone.
  • Trevor Olson said he was in favour of this motion and felt that by banning slates, voter turnout might increase because the onus would be on students to go out and get informed.
  • Quinn Omori said apathy is not due to the electoral system but instead because people are disconnected from the AMS.
  • Dave Tompkins said the AMS has on many occasions banned slates and then brought them back. 90% of the day to day decisions at the AMS have nothing to do with political affiliation.
  • Richard Davis said independents bring fresh ideas to the forefront.
  • Laura Best said the slate system can work but it is important to look at the current political environment at UBC. While slates can work, so far they haven’t. Would like to see a report which documents the AMS experience on the pros and cons of slates. Slates do create artificial divide and artificial loyalties.
  • Brenda Ogembo felt that there needs to be more awareness around AMS elections year round.
  • Mike Bruce said that if this motion passes, Council needs to do something constructive about voter turnout on this campus.
  • Spencer Keys said he was impressed, everyone had constructive things to say. To be an effective candidate you have to do something different from the rest of the pack.
  • Brian Duong thanked Spencer for all his work on bringing this issue to the table.

“That the question be called.”
Note:    Requires 2/3rds                                             … Carried

“That Council take a roll call vote.”                             … Carried

“Be it resolved that Council accept the report “Code Changes February 2004: Slates” and amend the Code as recommended.”
Note: Requires 2/3rds.

For: Alison Atkinson, Amina Rai, Brian Duong, Chris Payne, Daniel Yokom, Dave Sidhu, Dave Tompkins, Diana Keng, Jesse Eckert, Josh Bowman, Lana Rupp, Laura Best, Gerald Deo, Scott Price, Quinn Omori, Patricia Lau, Richard Davis, Sarah Saddler, Spencer Keys, Tim Leung, Trevor Olson.
Against: Mike Bruce, David Asgeirsson, Helen Ma, Joshua Caulkins, Julia Ridley, Leigh Anne Martin, Oana Chirila, Sam Saini, Surina Sproul

6 Responses to “Debate over Code Section IX A, Article 2”

  1. 1 Anon
    February 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Naylor – you didn’t have to throw the AMS into turmoil just to bring back slates.

  2. February 10, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I bet he orchestrated this entire fiasco from the start. Blake, Sarina and Alex are his puppets. 😉

  3. 3 Mark
    February 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I wouldn’t put it past him.

  4. 4 Mike Thicke
    February 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Very interesting, thanks.

  5. 5 Neal Yonson
    February 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I am re-watching College Days, College Nights right now. Very interesting. This segment has Spencer Keys [FOR] running for VPX as an independent and Surina Sproul [AGAINST] running for BOG as part of a slate in the same episode. It’s a very nice juxtaposition, though they both lose in the end.

    On the one hand, Spencer is building his persona as an independent, meanwhile Surina is talking about how much she loves branding, and labelling water bottles with her name and slate. The movie even has some footage of Spencer motivating the motion above in council.

    Y’all should watch the it. (it’s available in the UBC library) If I was at all capable, I’d upload clips. But I’m not.

  6. 6 Spencer
    February 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Shhhhhhh, Neil. That movie never happened 😉

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