Presidential Parcheesi

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The Presidential race has been drawing a fair amount of attention this year. While I don’t think it is going to be the closest race (that honour falling to the VP External Position), it is one of the more interesting. Here are the results of the RBT questionnaire.

Sean Kim and Bijan Ahmadian did not respond to any part of the survey. Natalie Swift answered the last two questions, reprinted here. Pak Ho Leung answered the first question, but not the other two.

The presidential race is hotly contested this year. The question is now whether Natalie’s hack-level support (an interesting tidbit – almost every one of the two executives who served immediately prior to this current one (Jeff Friedrich and Mike Duncan’s Execs) have endorsed Natalie, meaning that everyone spanning the ideological gamut from Sarah Naiman to Stef Ratjen supports her) can overcome Bijan’s massive volunteer base, and how the Condorcet system will affect his campaigns that have been typically geared towards the first-and-second-past-the-post system used in the BoG elections.

Bijan has faced criticisms for being too close to the university administration and letting them guide the decisions that he has made. He has generally defended these by saying that they were predetermined votes and that he was engaging in relationship building. However, he has been working hard in this campaign to shake off the perception that he is a puppet of the administration (but, just in case someone got offended, he’s let some of the people he’ll be speaking out against to tell them not to worry – that it’s just an election). Natalie, on the other hand, has been dogged by assertions that she has problems taking positions on issues, assertions which we have to say is not entirely undeserved, especially her given her response to our questionnaire:

I would still like to abstain from the survey as I am hesitant to say how I would vote on motions that I wasn’t even around to research or debate. It would be irresponsible for me to say “aye” or “nay” on a number of these topics.

Question One: How would you have voted on the following questions that came before Council in the previous year

Natalie Swift Bijan Ahmadian Sean Kim Pak Ho Leung
Committee Reform
Censuring Blake Frederick over Tunnel Press Release
Leaving CASA
Funding for Lobby Days
Whistler Lodge Bookings Policy
Iran Policy
Endorsement of BC STV
Retraction of Provincial Election Materials
Non Voting Seat for Students with Disabilities

Question Two: Briefly, what one major thing in the past year would you, in retrospect, have done differently had you been serving in the position for which you are currently running, and for what reasons?

Natalie Swift:

I would have absolutely consulted council regarding their desire and input in addressing various policies, while suggesting that the development of AMS policy be deferred to the appropriate committee for more thorough development prior to presenting a well thought out policy option to council. This approach can be used for a variety of the issue/motions debated this year.

Why? Well, for a number of reasons. First, all activity must be transparent not just to the executive and council, but students across campus. Second, I feel we (council) have not done a great job in effectively developing solutions to relevant student issues. There is no reason why we have to routinely debate on the merit of a motion until midnight. If we developed our ideas more thoroughly through committees and consultation we’d be in a much better place.

RBT Election Challenge: Natalie Swift submitted a drink named the “Natalie Swift Campaign Beverage“. It will be posted tomorrow, when I make it.


2 Responses to “Presidential Parcheesi”

  1. 1 Mitch
    January 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Since Natalie and Bijan were on Council, why not put how they actually did vote?

  2. January 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm


    Of all abstentions, I think the one for this survey was fair. There is no way I’m going back in time to research motions that I wasn’t around to vote for and there’s no way I’m stating yea or nay on things I’m not informed on. I just don’t have the time to do back-research right now. As for votes I was around for, you’re more than welcome to question me on them. I’ve learned my lesson and am more than happy to give firm responses from here on in or send things back to committee if I think people haven’t worked on the motion enough. The one motion I absolutely would go back to change and felt stupid immediately after the meeting for abstaining on: CASA. My vote would have been NO, don’t leave. At least not how we were going about it. In the hope for making up for it, I voted NO during the final vote in the norm theatre. It just wasn’t recorded because we didn’t have our clickers.

    Lesson learned.

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