The Pre-Campaign 2011
Action and Your Concordia Accused of Pre-Campaign Posturing
The first week of this year’s Concordia Student Union election campaign is already over and though neither slate has filed any formal complaints, both are accusing the other of not playing fair.
“My biggest complaint is about posters or some kind of pre-campaigning. Which are, in the grand scheme of things, [not too bad],” said Oliver Cohen, the CSU’s chief electoral officer.
One such controversy centres around Morgan Pudwell’s recent resignation as VP Sustainability & Promotions from the CSU. Members of Action are not so quick to believe her claim that she was only approached by Your Concordia to run on their slate after she had stepped down.
“I think that the actions that she took were more politically motivated and did not represent students’ needs at the end of the day,” said Khalil Haddad, presidential candidate for Action.
Meanwhile, members of Your Concordia are suggesting that Action was behind the protest outside of The Link offices that aimed to discredit both The Link and Lex Gill, whom it was then only assumed would be running in this year’s election.
The protest was attended by at least one Action candidate, Ariel Dabora, while seen standing on the sideline were current CSU executives Heather Lucas and Adrien Severyns.
Gill, who is running as president of Your Concordia, says she will talk with her executives about whether a contestation should be filed with the CEO.
Haddad disagrees with the connections being made between the protest and his slate, saying that “it was [nothing but] concerned students who were coming to The Link and showing their concern.”
Cohen says that the slates can complain as much as they’d like about the other team’s actions, but until contestations are filed with him there is nothing he can do. So far none have been filed.
He also cautioned that Pudwell’s resignation and The Link protest cannot be considered pre-campaigning.
“Obviously those kinds of things are very hard to prove and very hard to address,” he said. “Both parties understand that that’s the nature of the politics. Those kinds of things are political strategies that are not unusual to see during an election.”
Gill did address with Cohen the issue of illegal posters put up by Action on poster night last Monday. Cohen said that if they were not removed by Action, a sanction would be filed against them. So far as can be identified, the posters were removed.
Officially though, the first controversy of the election arose just minutes into the campaign, when Action uploaded to their official website a list of 28 clubs that endorsed their slate. Several clubs have come forward saying they did not in fact endorse Action. Some students, including members of these clubs, have also questioned whether endorsements were sought before the campaign officially began, a violation of CSU election rules. Haddad has claimed the endorsements were uploaded in error by the slate’s web master and were removed a couple hours after being posted.
Haddad is not worried about the controversies and sees the election as largely positive.
“Both parties, Your Concordia and Action, are talking to each other,” he said. “There’s no animosity towards each other. I hope it’s going to continue that way next week.”