Oliver’s All Over It

Maybe the Real Contestation Is in His Heart

Does Oliver Cohen’s contestation ruling that ousted the entire newly elected CSU deserve a slap on the back or a slap in the face? My metaphoric hand is yet to be reddened by either of those gestures because I can’t decide if he’s a martyr or just plain silly.

Everyone knows that this is the same guy that turned a blind eye on the contestation-ridden 2009 elections that turned Concordia into a house of bedlam: sexist and racial slurs thrown, students being cold-called and prodded to vote, cheerleaders, trucks, etc.

This year, the same old thing erupted in both slates’ faces. Every year, slates do the same thing. They campaign beyond their allowed spectrums and they abuse campaign expense protocol. It’s really, really hard to not call Cohen a complete hypocrite, especially when one sifts back into some 2009 issues of The Link and see this quote from him:

“I ask myself the same question: how do they afford this?” Cohen said to The Link [CSU Election Outcome Still Questioned, Vol. 29, Iss. 29] while commenting that campaign financing needs to be monitored better. “It is clear to me that there were over-expenditures by all parties […] but according to receipts that they have submitted, everything is accounted for.”

But maybe this election season was just the straw that broke the Cohen’s back. Imagine having to deal with pompous politicians, jeering journalists, and anal activists every year and not getting the results you want: just a clean, pure election.

Maybe he saw the candidates campaigning during voting season with nothing more than a grin when they saw him, shamelessly breaking his rules. He picked up a copy of The Link , folded it along the dotted lines, and it said the word ‘reform.’ ‘Reform, my ass,’ he thought, ‘it’s all coming from the same old shit.’

Maybe, deranged by his frustration, he looked to the bottom of a bottle of Prince Rupert vodka for answers on how he can conquer his demons, but that just brought the demon out of him. ‘The two slates said they don’t want any hard feelings,’ thought Cohen (maybe), ‘but what about me ?’

Maybe he realized that the only way to get true reform is to clean out the whole system and start over again. ‘No more recycled politicians,’ he might have thought. ‘A whole new group of students can look back into history and realize that there are consequences to cheating, lies and deception.’

Despite the fact that there were no contestations filed against either slate, he wrote out his opinion about what was wrong in a fit of rage. He may have scanned it over once, looked at the last sip of the Prince Rupert and decided not to drink it, because when he sent the contestations to each slate, he sent his demons away also.

Maybe he decided to skip town. He packed his bags, put on his black hoodie to make sure no one saw him, and bid farewell to Montreal and Concordia alike. When he looked back at the school, he knew his time as CEO wasn’t done. He knew that this personal journey was just the beginning of a bigger quest, one that is larger even than himself.

He decided to forgive himself for not doing what he believed in 2009 and getting rid of all of Change and Vision because if he’d done that, maybe none of this would have happened. Maybe he decided that it all doesn’t matter now, and he can finally appoint himself as the Chief Electoral Officer of his heart.

Or at least, that’s my take on it. What’s yours?