The neverending story, ConU style

Our beleaguered student union is heading farther and farther into unchartered territory with the latest decision of the CSU judicial board. It seems that all the time we spent lining up at polling stations was a complete waste.
The judicial board’s decisions were both moderate and radical at once. Some were radical in the sense the board rendered a decision on matters that are totally new to our political landscape, but others were timid with regards to the number of concrete suggestions or orders that would prevent November’s election disaster from happening again.
Completely annulling the election was a radical decision. The board figured that the electoral system was so tainted that the best thing at the moment would be to have democracy by proxy, since it directed the union’s council of representatives to appoint an interim CSU executive.
The board tossed out all the accusations of bribery against the Representative Union and the allegations of preferential treatment towards the RU by Concordia administration and various university departments. The panel decided that there was not enough evidence to decide. The result is another radical decision to wrestle the responsibility of adjudicating election litigation away from the Chief Electoral Officer to the judicial board. This speaks volumes about the board’s impression of the CEO’s hiring process, yet they did not provide suggestions on how the CSU could go about finding an electoral officer they could consider more competent than our latest one. The decision could also hurt the CEO’s position in the long run, because the job is already so lacking in its independence.
Other aspects of the report are fairly mild in terms of recommendations. The board did not recommend what should be done if accusations of an unfair electoral process ever resurface. There were no suggestions about what to do with a CEO that is deemed incompetent. There were no ideas about how to stop double voting. There were measures to enforce their recommendation that third parties (like student clubs) declare publicly that they are supporting one slate or another. The strict time frame with which the judicial board was working with could explain this slight oversight. Hopefully, somebody else in the system will be forced to make these difficult decisions.
No matter what remedies are offered to us by the judicial board, or any other judicial panel, the fact remains that our democratic rights have been stolen from us. Thousands of dollars have been spent on an election that had absolutely no value in concrete terms, except in exposing the insufficiencies of our electoral process. While all the presidential slates seem to have lost the election, that seems almost unimportant when compared to Concordia students’ loss of faith in their electoral system.
It would have been nice to say that with this judicial board outcome, we can move on and deal with other issues. While the board’s decision has clarified for everyone the extent to which the election process was flawed, the question surrounding who will be the next CSU executive is still unanswered.
Now we await a decision from the council of representatives. Councillors must put their partisanship aside when assembling the new executive. At the same time, they will have the daunting task of showing all of us why we should continue to take the CSU seriously.
Good luck.

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