Following a contentious and often times confusing byelection last fall, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations is promising that things will go much more smoothly in their general election later this semester.
The ASFA council is set to vote this Thursday on a joint committee recommendation to bring back affiliations in elections, a suggestion originally made following last year’s general election by then CEO Nick Cuillerier that got tabled by council.
“The definition of affiliations as it stands now is that candidates run individually, but they can be affiliated or in support of other candidates, without forming actual teams,” said ASFA president Alex Gordon. “I think having affiliations in this general election will be an improvement compared to last year’s general election, because there won’t be as much secrecy among the candidates. They will be able to openly endorse other candidates and ultimately, affiliations will bring more exposure to the elections.”
The affiliations proposal is the sole electoral recommendation that council will deliberate on this week, despite the fact that ASFA’s judicial committee has suggested that other parts of Annex A, the document used to run elections, should be clarified, especially in light of October’s tumultuous byelection.
The Concordian broke a story immediately after that byelection revealing certain electoral violations committed by then CEO Marvin Cidamon, such as the failure to have executive summaries at every polling station when the polls opened, as well as hiring a former ASFA VP as a polling clerk. Also, while Cidamon did release the byelection results to the candidates, he did not provide them to the student press until he was asked.
The case was brought before the JC and Cidamon ultimately resigned. In its written decision, the JC calls for, among other things, the rule regarding the announcement of election results to be clarified.
Gordon indicated that there is not enough time, according to procedure, to act on the JC’s recommendations before the general election, but said he has confidence that the new CEO, Christopher Webster, appointed at December’s council meeting, will do his job properly.
“He’s very critical-minded, having seen the last byelection and I think he’s learned from the mistakes that were made then,” Gordon said. “Also, we [the executive] are more hands on deck this time and have a better sense of what to do for the next elections.”