Home ASFA election results overturned because of illegal spending

ASFA election results overturned because of illegal spending

by admin March 23, 2010

ASFA election results overturned because of illegal spending

by admin March 23, 2010

While the Arts and Science Federation of Associations elections fell into the shadow of the CSU elections this month, the controversy is far from over as two people elected to the ASFA council were removed from their positions last Friday. Anna Goldfinch and Sarah Moore were elected as vice president internal and VP communications respectively in the Feb. 18 elections, but were removed from office after being docked 100 votes each after their Stronger slate went over the spending limit on political campaigning.
The issue was brought before ASFA’s Judicial Council after a motion from ASFA councillor Beisan Zubi raised the topic of their illegal spending to the ASFA council on March 11. According to ASFA president Leah Del Vecchio, the expenditure of the nine candidates associated with the Stronger slate spent a total of $731.07. Since the total allowance per candidate is $50, the spending cannot exceed $450, according to ASFA electoral bylaws.
Moore said that when they went to the JC’s ruling, they were told “something to the effect of: “In your position, we would have done exactly the same thing and followed the directives of the CEO, but what he said was against the bylaws and so you broke the bylaws. So we are docking 100 votes from each of you.'”

The directives they were referring to came from the chief electoral officer for the ASFA elections, Colby Briggs, who said he thought the rule on posters was changed, and told candidates that regardless of how much was spent on posters printed before Feb. 6, teams would only have a cost of 55 cents per poster docked from their budgets.
Moore had won by 87 votes, and Goldfinch by 60. So loosing 100 votes each resulted in the loss of both of their positions. Both candidates were outraged at the JC’s decision.
“This decision was a smack in the face to democracy,” Moore said. “The students made a decision, and ASFA is choosing to ignore it. It is unheard of for a candidate to have votes docked from an election.”
Goldfinch was equally upset. “Throughout the elections we followed all of the directives given by the CEO,” she said. “We played by the rules and won because students believed we were the best candidates for the job.”
Del Vecchio said that Marco De Gregorio and Nicole Devlin, who came second in the election for VP communications and VP internal, will now take over those positions.
Briggs suggested Goldfinch was targeted by the ASFA council and Del Vecchio because her older brother is a former Concordia Student Union VP, and a former member of the board of directors of Canadian Federation of Students’ Quebec component.
Goldfinch and Moore on the other hand, said they believed they were directly targeted by Beisan Zubi, who they said tried to disqualify them on multiple occasions during the election.

Zubi responded to the allegations saying, “It’s certainly not a vendetta. I did not force them to overspend.” Zubi added that it would have set a bad precedent to let their actions go unpunished.
Briggs, who was extremely angry at the JC’s ruling on the issue, said that some ASFA councillors were running student politics with an iron fist. “We have a bunch of little Nixons and Castros on our hand,” Briggs said, referring to the ASFA councillors he felt unfairly targeted Moore and Goldfinch. “This shouldn’t be melodramatic at all, but it is. I don’t get it!”
While Moore and Goldfinch haven’t decided on a course of action, Briggs has already considered legal action against ASFA in response to their decision. “From an ethics standpoint, I will fight their battle for them because this is insane.”

Leave a Comment

While the Arts and Science Federation of Associations elections fell into the shadow of the CSU elections this month, the controversy is far from over as two people elected to the ASFA council were removed from their positions last Friday. Anna Goldfinch and Sarah Moore were elected as vice president internal and VP communications respectively in the Feb. 18 elections, but were removed from office after being docked 100 votes each after their Stronger slate went over the spending limit on political campaigning.
The issue was brought before ASFA’s Judicial Council after a motion from ASFA councillor Beisan Zubi raised the topic of their illegal spending to the ASFA council on March 11. According to ASFA president Leah Del Vecchio, the expenditure of the nine candidates associated with the Stronger slate spent a total of $731.07. Since the total allowance per candidate is $50, the spending cannot exceed $450, according to ASFA electoral bylaws.
Moore said that when they went to the JC’s ruling, they were told “something to the effect of: “In your position, we would have done exactly the same thing and followed the directives of the CEO, but what he said was against the bylaws and so you broke the bylaws. So we are docking 100 votes from each of you.'”

The directives they were referring to came from the chief electoral officer for the ASFA elections, Colby Briggs, who said he thought the rule on posters was changed, and told candidates that regardless of how much was spent on posters printed before Feb. 6, teams would only have a cost of 55 cents per poster docked from their budgets.
Moore had won by 87 votes, and Goldfinch by 60. So loosing 100 votes each resulted in the loss of both of their positions. Both candidates were outraged at the JC’s decision.
“This decision was a smack in the face to democracy,” Moore said. “The students made a decision, and ASFA is choosing to ignore it. It is unheard of for a candidate to have votes docked from an election.”
Goldfinch was equally upset. “Throughout the elections we followed all of the directives given by the CEO,” she said. “We played by the rules and won because students believed we were the best candidates for the job.”
Del Vecchio said that Marco De Gregorio and Nicole Devlin, who came second in the election for VP communications and VP internal, will now take over those positions.
Briggs suggested Goldfinch was targeted by the ASFA council and Del Vecchio because her older brother is a former Concordia Student Union VP, and a former member of the board of directors of Canadian Federation of Students’ Quebec component.
Goldfinch and Moore on the other hand, said they believed they were directly targeted by Beisan Zubi, who they said tried to disqualify them on multiple occasions during the election.

Zubi responded to the allegations saying, “It’s certainly not a vendetta. I did not force them to overspend.” Zubi added that it would have set a bad precedent to let their actions go unpunished.
Briggs, who was extremely angry at the JC’s ruling on the issue, said that some ASFA councillors were running student politics with an iron fist. “We have a bunch of little Nixons and Castros on our hand,” Briggs said, referring to the ASFA councillors he felt unfairly targeted Moore and Goldfinch. “This shouldn’t be melodramatic at all, but it is. I don’t get it!”
While Moore and Goldfinch haven’t decided on a course of action, Briggs has already considered legal action against ASFA in response to their decision. “From an ethics standpoint, I will fight their battle for them because this is insane.”

Leave a Comment