23
Feb
09

Liveblogging the Election Appeals Committee

1:28 – And, we’re wrapped. Will return around 6 for the Durgan and Purewall appeals.

1:21 – The Justice has stated that he wanted a mediative procedure, prior to the inevitable appeals to Student Court. There is some dispute as to what exactly is going to be going on, but I don’t really see a problem with the methods that the Justice outlined. Specifically, this would stem from this part of code:

Section IX A, Art. 8 (13)
Once constituted, an Election Appeals Committee shall create procedures as it sees fit to deal with the issue before it.

1:19 – I have to say that I can see the reasons why the Elections Committee made it’s decision – having one person speak at a table, then leaving and having the other two people follow one at a time in the same manner – that could reasonably construed as a slate.

1:17 – I have to say that, despite some minor inconsistencies, the statements of all the three disqualified candidates are in line.

1:15 – Tristan says that Tom was acting really weird when the confrontation in the cafeteria happened.

1:11 – Tristan admits that there was flyering going on while all the three candidates were in Totem. The circumstances leading up to the campaigning together involved meeting Ale by chance on the bus, and at the office, they ran into Blake. They all decided that they would go to the residences.

1:06 – Tristan denies postering with other people, or that there was a degree of coordination. Tristan talks about what a ‘good slate’ is. Tristan alleges that the photo could have been fabricated by an opponent.

1:04 – Tristan says that he didn’t ‘go with’ the other candidates. They were just there.

12:59 – Back to questions. Tristan went to between 20 and 30 announcements, and to between 5 and 10 with Blake and Ale. He went to a max of 5 with Blake, and about 10 with Ale. Tristan made an effort to do classroom announcements together with others because it was intimidating, and he thought it was allowed.

12:53 – It really just feels that this whole thing is just going in circles. Sarina keeps reiterating the fact that she cautioned against what could be construed as an apparent slate.

12:52 – The whole case (for everyone, really) seems to focus on whether or not Sarina allowed or disallowed announcements together.

12:49 – Finally, some substantial questions. Tristan apparently went to about 20 or 30 classes. Of these, the three went to “not that many” classes together. Tristan states that this is a secondary point, and that they were allowed to do classroom announcements together.

12:45 – Tristan apparently didn’t know that he’d been penalized $200 for slating.

12:42 – I have to say that this process seems to be a bit of an extraneous step in the whole appeal – I would bet that most of these go to Student Court.

12:39 – Tristan feels that the delay was unacceptable. He finds it ‘personally frustrating’. I have to agree that the long delay was certainly not ideal, and one of the biggest mistakes that the Elections Committee has made, but I can’t really find a violation of the rules here. Unfortunately, it’s not illegal for the Elections Committee to be a dick.

12:37 – Tristan feels that the process was unfair…

“This is unfair. This is UNFAIR! Do you think it is easy to make priorities.” -Stephane Dion

12:30 – Tristan is going over his case, and doesn’t seem to be making  the same salient case that Ale and Blake made. Tristan felt that the disqualification was a hoax or a joke. Tristan’s case seems to be a chronological review of the case. I don’t know exactly what he’s trying to do.

12:30 – Tristan disagrees with the $200 penalty, ‘and anything else’. The Justice is laying out the way things are.

12:23 – Sarina reviews the Elections Committee case against Tristan.

12:21 – Apparently Tristan replied to the email that he didn’t get. This is very unclear. Tristan is upset that he doesn’t know what he’s being charged with until now. After a while we back up and start the whole overview again.

12:18 – Tristan claims that he did not receive any email. Sarina says that the ruling email that had been seen earlier (this is apparently what they were reading) was BCC’d to the three candidates. This should be easily verifiable, you can check online. The judge asks to see the email, and Sarina supplies this.

12:16 – There is still debate on what is going to be debated… Why is this one harder than the last two.

“It’s a great analogy, but I’m not sure that we want to go to Kafka today.” -Chief Justice

12:12 –  Some more spectators show up – Bijan and Jeremy Wood now are here. Tristan is under the impression that he is appealing the process by which he was penalized. And now he’s talking about Kafka.

12:10 – Ed Durgan and Bahram leave, Tristan is here now. The Justice wanted to clarify the slate rule of the code.

12:05 – Tristan still isn’t here. Bahram is, but I stepped out and I’m not sure if he’s the representative or not.

11:57 – Wrapping up, and transitioning to Tristan’s hearing.

11:55 – I don’t know exactly who the Judge is, but he seems to be deliberative. I think hes going to be very careful in making his decision.

11:49 – Sarina: We felt that the candidates could be perceived as a slate in the eyes of the average voter. This is in reference to “apparent” slates.

11:46 – Sarina: It was the coordinated nature of the campaigning and the sharing of schedules that was the reason that the committee chose to disqualify or penalize the candidates. Ale: I am not sure that campaigning together is for mutual advantage.

11:42 – How did you guys end up in the same classroom at the same time? We each had our own schedules. Prior to the election, what was the nature of your relationship with Blake and Tristan? I met Blake in the AMS offices. We would hang out outside of school once or twice. I have known Tristan since may, and I work for him.

11:39 – Describing the process. One person would approach a table, give a speech and then leave. Then, another candidate would follow.

11:37 – Apparently the three were also campaigning in Vanier, as well as Totem. The candidates specifically stated that they were not campaigning together when asked by a student in Vanier.

11:33 – Ale admits that she did between five and ten classroom announcements with Tristan, and five and ten with Blake. Ale says that she, Tristan and Blake went announcing together around eight times, with an additional four or so with each Blake and Tristan alone. She only made four or so classroom announcements alone. She made twenty five announcements overall.

11:30 – The word ‘disqualified’ has a problematic connotation when the person has already lost their election. The committee also felt that using disqualification might strip the candidate of any appeal.

“There were a lot of posters, and it wasn’t all me. I had volunteers.” -Ale Coates

11:28 – The Chief Justice specifically states that the burden that Ale bears is to prove that she wasn’t slating.

11:24 – Ale has not seen the video, but feels comfortable with the fact that the court has seen it. Ale was confused because there was a gap of six days after the original disqualification with Blake. This is an unreasonable hardship that was applied in an unfair way.

11:21 – There was some reading and now they’ve started talking again. Sarina reviews the same case for Ale. Sarina says that she apologizes for the untimelyness of the ruling.

11:14 – Wrapping up and moving on to the Ale Coates Appeal.

11:07 – Some of the case focuses on the fact that people did not have the right interpretation of the committee. Of the announcements that Blake did with other people, all of them were with the people he is accused of slating with.

11:05 – I feel unpleasant… Oscar Shots is only fun while it’s happening.

11:02 – Blake makes a reference to a statement by Rory Green, who was told by Mitch (VFM Administrator) that “we could have disqualified Blake”, indicating that deliberation had happened. Sarina says that no decision was made to disqualify or not disqualify on Wednesday, and Mitch should ot have said that.

10:58 – Moving on to wrap-up questions. Blake says that he is concerned as to how the complaints process proceeded. Sarina explains that the delay was related to the requirement for at least one member of the committee to be present in the ballot counting chambers.

10:54 – Rebuttal from Blake:

  • It was made clear at the All Candidates Meeting that it was permissible to do classroom announcements. Sarina responds that this was meant to be more in reference to when people just showed up at the same time, but not in reference to planning.

10:48 – Rebuttal from Sarina:

  • We didn’t give a warning because there was no need – the complaints were after the end of campaigning.
  • The Elections Committee has the discretion to consider complaints more than 72 hours after an incident. (Art. 8.2)
  • I have taken a draconian level of punishment throughout the campaigning. A two day suspension during online voting was issued for someone having an oversized sign up for half a day.
  • The statement that keeps being brought up regarding group classroom announcements was apparently in reference to a specific question on whether shared volunteers were permitted.

10:47 – Blake: I did not break any rules in this election, and if they deemed to to have broken that rule, why was disqualification the appropriate measure?

10:43 – Blake wonders why Ale and Tristan were not disqualified. (ed – Well, there was no need, was there?) He also denies that there was any postering together (ed – I don’t think this is what Sarina meant – I interpreted her statements as saying that posters were near each other.)

10:39 – Blake is talking about the lack of a hearing, or contact with the Elections Committee. He also is questioning the validity of the complaints, with regards to the timeline. Blake feels like the complaint associated with the video and Alex’s complaint would be invalid. Blake talks about how exceeding the timeline was also with regards to the delivery of results.

10:35 – Blake says that to the point when Tom started to videotape him, Tristan, Ale and Blake were approaching the table separately. Of the fifty classroom announcements that he claims to have done, approximately nine were with at least one of the other two people in the ruling. Blake’s interpretation of the Slate rule as stated by the Elections Committee is that basically anything goes as long as the individual candidates do their own campaigning, even if they are around each other. Sarina focuses on the what the perception of people could be.

10:31 – This just reinforces how terribly the slate rule is written. Additionally, there was some conversation during the early part of the campaigning period where Sarina was approached by Blake and Emily, his girlfriend and SLFS-Director Elect, about slating rules.

“Just because you don’t call it a slate doesn’t mean it’s not a slate.” -Sarina Rehal

10:29 – One of the things that Sarina talks about is the ‘apparent’ nature of the slates. Part of the reason that she chose disqualification was the fact that Sarina witnessed Ale pre-planning classroom announcements with Blake.

10:28 – Blake had been aware that there had been a camera, but had thought that the camera had been shut off for the majority of the tape.

10:24 – They are playing the video now. I’ll see if I can get a copy of this to post up. While this is happening, let’s review what is up for debate here:

This committee can overturn the decision if the committee finds that the ruling fulfilled one of four points:

  • The ruling was inconsistent with Code or the Elections Handbook.
  • The ruling failed to consider relevant evidence.
  • The committee acted in an obviously unfair manner.
  • Inconsistent penalties have been applied for similar violations.

10:22 – The Elections Committee, with Sarina Rehal representing, begins to lay out the case. The case overview largely hinges on the video, as well as witnessed evidence by the Elections Committee from the election period. Sarina apparently is developing a huge headache, which is concerning, because she was involved in what seems like a huge traffic accident this morning that left three cars undrivable.

So, I’m here in SUB 205, and the committee appears to be just getting underway. There apparently was some confusion as to the process, so things started about 20 minutes late.

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11 Responses to “Liveblogging the Election Appeals Committee”


  1. 1 Alex Monegro
    February 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Nice. I caught this randomly. Thanks for all the hard work dude!

  2. 2 Alex Monegro
    February 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    It is worthwhile to note that these candidates where the only candidates that ‘didn’t understand’ the rules. It’s too bad that no one highlighted how everyone else followed the rules. I reckon rules are only unclear if one is trying to skirt around the edges for a little bit of extra advantage.

  3. 3 Alex
    February 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    The importance of this process is that it clarifies the nature of appeals. Whatever is resolved here will form the basis of a studco case, if it gets to that point.

  4. 4 Krusty
    February 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    11:49 – Sarina: We felt that the candidates could be perceived as a slate in the eyes of the average voter. This is in reference to “apparent” slates.

    Did any “average voter” (ie. not Alex or Tom) actually perceived it as a slate? Given everyone’s reaction when the disqualification news hit, no one else seemed to notice this except for the EC. Seems pretty flimsy reasoning for disqualification when they are projecting possible perceptions onto “average voters”, if there is no evidence that any “average voters” actually perceived it this way.

  5. 5 Joey S
    February 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Great coverage, Naylor. Question… why on earth is Sonia appealing? She’s such a poor sport… not just that, but she’s petty. My goodness. She got handily destroyed by Johannes and she’s still crying over spilt milk?

    Haha to Durgan complaining as well

  6. 6 Random Student
    February 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Spilt milk, and dropped cookies, actually.

  7. 7 Student
    February 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Actually, Monegro, the entire point of the appeals process is to provide a legitimate forum to establish innocence or guilt.
    Maybe don’t jump the gun so fast.
    There’s reason to believe Johannes cheated. That’s why Sonia’s concerned, Joey. How about you don’t shoot your mouth off insulting people you don’t know? That’s petty.

  8. 8 radicalbeer
    February 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Third Alex is Lougheed, not Monegro. I was responding to Naylor’s point about the redundancy of this committee when things just go to student court anyways. – Alex

  9. 9 Student
    February 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I was responding to Alex Monegro. FYI

  10. 10 Alex Monegro
    February 25, 2009 at 2:06 am

    I’m sorry ‘student’ but Blake’s appeal is based on the ambiguity of the rules issued by the Elections Administrator. Sadly, Blake and the other two accused were apparently the only candidates that found the rules ambiguous. Many of the other candidates could of used the social support and extra encouragement provided by campaigning together, but the rules were clear and no one else pursued that option. Also, the first level of appeal is meant to determine if the Elections Administrator’s ruling was incorrect or unfair. The second level, Student Court, would be the forum where innocence or guilt would be establish depending on the case brought forth.

  11. 11 Student
    February 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I’m sorry, ‘Alex’ but I think I can say on behalf of many many students at this school, we’re absolutely relieved you won’t be our president.


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