Home News CSU referendum challenged in court

CSU referendum challenged in court

by Archives October 28, 2008

Questions regarding the legality and legitimacy of this week’s CSU referendum have prompted a group of students to take the matter to court.
Lawyer, former CSU president and current student Patrice Blais filed an injunction Monday to stop the union’s referendum.
His request to the Quebec Superior Court is based on two claims: Firstly, that the CSU ignored a petition for a referendum question he proposed on Oct. 3. Secondly, that the referendum itself is illegal, because the CSU has failed to abide by its own bylaws.
Blais has asked the court to prevent the CSU from holding its referendum until it can be determined whether or not the vote is legal according to the CSU’s own bylaws.
The referendum was announced on the CSU’s website Friday, just four days before the first day of the referendum.
According to the CSU’s standing regulations, a general public notice announcing the polls is supposed to be issued no later than 25 days before the polling period; the exact wording of the questions should be publicized at least 10 days before voting opens.
CSU VP communications at Elie Chivi conceded there had been some problems leading up to the vote. “There was a delay from the Chief Electoral Officer’s office,” he said, “but the minute the questions were finally approved, they were posted on the website.”
He added that posters advertising other club events probably quickly hid the posters announcing the referendum. “I think the biggest problem here is students are used to seeing their school plastered with election posters,” Chivi said. “But there have been vast reductions in the amount of paper used for elections in order to reduce waste.”
Reducing the amount of paper used in campaigning was one of the items in Blais’ referendum question. Blais also proposed a series of democratic reforms designed to control election spending.
“If the CSU had followed through with their own rules, the election would have gone forward,” Blais said in an interview.
Other students agree the referendum is illegal. “There’s just been a complete disregard of your own rules,” Beisan Zubi told the CSU council at a meeting last Wednesday.
Concordia student Alex Oster was also at the meeting. “A lot of allegations have said this is a democratic process because we’re giving it to the people,” he said. “But the bylaws stating how to hold a referendum have essentially been ignored.”

Related Articles

Leave a Comment