Archive for January, 2011


you can’t disqualify them all

So it seems that most of the candidates have now run afoul of the slate ban in some way or another. Whether it was unfairly benefiting from unfair (and in my opinion, illegal) third party advertising, or running some blog (which, by the way, was brilliant save for the flagrant violations of the slate ban), candidates have become ensnared in the sticky tendrils of the slate ban with alarming frequency. I can only hope that this begins to spell the end of the slate ban at UBC.

The slate ban is a monstrous infringement on the rights of both candidates and electors, and has overwhelmingly negative effects on the society. When candidates are not allowed to be open about who they support, its not like to predilections are going to vanish into thin air. Justice Brandeis of the US Supreme Court is oft quoted as saying that Sunshine is the best disinfectant. While I don’t neccecarily agree with him with respect to legislatures, there are clearly rooms in a house that need sunlight, and when one artificially walls them off from the sun, icky, icky things start to grow. Elections are, by definition, public. It naturally follows that the information pertaining to the election should be public.

I have always taken a very narrow view of the slate ban, insomuch as I believe that it outlaws a vast degree of behaviours which could, by someone, be considered slating. I believe that I am vindicated in taking such a narrow view, because allegations arise again and again over the nature of the ban and the degree to which it should be enforced. The slate ban drastically reduce the number of women who run for high office in the AMS. It isolates decision making to a small group of well connected students. It starves democracy at its roots.

Some people talk of the merits of relaxing the slate ban. This is folly. It would be impossible to explicitly define all the activities a candidate could undertake during a campaign, and deem each as either acceptable or not. This situation cannot persist as it is – the regulatory system must be all one thing or all the other.

Everyone calls the ‘loose groups of candidates’ slates anyway, but that knowledge is restricted to a privileged few. The electorate has a right to know what is going on, and participate in regulated and regimented political parties. Backroom deal-making is all well and good, but if the machinations behind the ‘Bijan Slate‘ are true, why couldn’t that have happened in the open, with candidates mobilizing to engage more people in their party and their candidacy.

The slate ban has been a complete and utter failure in every possible way. Do not ‘relax’ the ban, repeal it.

Justice Brandeis


vote this way! Naylor’s radical beer endorsements

McElroy, Tyson, Tayyar, Silley, Yang

Check out my ballot, folks!


We think Black Box are Scum Sucking Cowards

Sign your name to the damn posts, you bastards.

The responsibility of the press is paramount. When people spew their invective into the world at large, that is well their right, but they should be judicious in how they do it. If they are going to espouse their opinions, they should say where those opinions are coming from. These bastards won’t even provide a name to the Elections Administrator – neither Foxtrot nor Gossip Guy stooped that low.

Both of those provided a person to receive their cheque. These jerks refused. AMS Confidential has anonymous posts, but they have an editorial board to hold accountable.

Black Box bastards are vile and despicable, and should drown in the putrescent rot extruded by the sores on the organs that control their journalistic ‘ethics’.


Videos Are All The Vogue

Apparently, we’re way behind the curve. UBC Insiders is already on it’s third incarnation, we’re only on our second. has videos. We… will soon!

Endorsements will be out by video this year, because did them. I mean, I can’t guarantee that they’ll be any good. I mean, I’m a little drunk. But I’ve been filming them, with our new editor, Jonathan Elmer (Go Faculty Cup!) all today, and they’ll be up soon.

I’m off to mix myself a SUB Green Drink. Thanks Michael Hacke.


Cheryl’s votes

While I’m waiting at home for my individualized voter id and login to be sent, I figured I would post up who I’ll be voting for.  See below for how my ballot will look.

All in all I haven’t been super impressed with any campaigns. What happened to the good ole days of intense campaigning?! (See Tim vs. Iggy) Most of the candidates themselves do not even seem that excited about the elections. Apathy at its finest.

And because I like to read posts with pictures, here’s one:

And my choices:


1. Jeremy McElroy (he’s got the experience and professionalism that the AMS President definitely needs – Jeremy will be a good balance between the past two extremes of AMS Presidents)

2. 3. undecided yet which order I will rank the remaining candidates in

VP Academic and University Affairs:

1. Justin Yang (he has the most relevant experience and is one of the most hardworking and dedicated student leaders I know!)

2. Jennifer Wang 3. Matt Parson

VP External:

1. Mitch Wright (while Mitch and Katherine’s platforms are very similar, Mitch has more direct experience as the current AVP External; also, I think it would be good for the VP External to not have political aspirations as well as to be as non-partisan as possible)

2. Katherine Tyson 3. Rory Breasail

VP Admin:

1. Mike Silley

2. Kath¥. 3. Gordon Katic

VP Finance: (I actually forgot this race and almost hit post…a true testament to how boring of a race it has been)

Undecided. Both candidates are similar (even in appearance!). Elin has the knowhow but I have a lot of respect for Arash as a leader.


Sean Heisler and Sumedha Sharma


Justin Yang, Spenser Rasmussen (undecided on rest)

Don’t forget to vote at Happy voting 🙂


Erik Mackinnon, You Suck at VFM!

Ugh, AMS Elections Administrators seem to hate VFM. Whether its the neglect and mishandling of Brendon, or the intransigence of Isabel, the chief electoral officer of the Society seems to hate the idea of open debate.

AMS Council, because it decided that it didn’t want to do the job of the Elections Administrator for the Elections Administrator, effectively cut off funding for VFMs on World Press Freedom Day, one of the more ironic decisions that the AMS has ever made, to be sure. But it’s not really Council’s fault, as they are not really supposed to be making regulatory decisions for administrative bodies of the AMS. If they WANTED to make some changes, they’d impose them through the Code of Procedures, but since they didn’t, the EA must assume ‘Qui tacet consentit’, that their silence implies a level of consent to regulatory actions.

Given that the EA is an independent body of the AMS, I don’t know where Mackinnon gets off taking orders from the President. It is grossly irresponsible, especially considering that Bijan had not ruled himself out as a candidate.

To make clear our position, Black Box is a legitimate media source, and so long as they provide such solemn affirmations that they are not one of the parties proscribed from participation, they should be allowed to compete. They are also cowards. Here, we sign our name to things (when we write them).

However, it would be a totally legitimate decision to decide that anonymity was unacceptable, and make the opposite decision. What was inappropriate was the abrogation of the regulatory responsibilities of the EA.

There are a lack of rules and regulations for VFM because it was intended that there were to be very few barriers to entry. Maclean’s was one of the entrants in the first year of VFM. Anyone should be able to enter, as I trust that with the right voting system, appropriate allocations will be made by the voters.

Unless, of course, there’s nothing to allocate.

Voter Funded Media

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January 2011

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