Candidate Reviews – Introduction

By Lawrence Bailey

I’ve spent many years at the University of Calgary, more than I’d care to admit or remember. In that time, I’ve witnessed more than my share of elections.

As the disinterested first-year in 1998, to the editor of this very Gauntlet Election Supplement in 2002, to a candidate in the race for Vice-President Events in 2003.

It is for that reason I can feel confident saying, without hyperbole, that this is the most remarkable, most intriguing, indeed the most important election the university has seen in a decade.

With upwards of 90 candidates, no executive acclamations, a pair of extensive slates and a quintet of referendum questions (two of which have the potential to polarize the electorate), there is a great deal at stake.

And I love it.

I feel privileged in my final year at both the U of C and at the Gauntlet to have the responsibility of overseeing what many see as the most crucial election-related publication–some going so far as to say it determines the outcome of the election. While that is a exaggeration (see page 33 for specific details to that effect), I am not so naïve as to believe we have no influence.

With that in mind, the seven-member panel and the number of other Gauntlet editors and volunteers who have worked on this have endeavored to make it as balanced, fair and thorough an election supplement as possible. Beyond the supplement, we as a paper are working around the clock for the two weeks of campaigning and voting to ensure any and all coverage is as professional as possible. We owe the plethora of candidates that much.

That said, we are not going to shy away from what we feel is not only our duty as a newspaper, but our responsibility to the student body we represent. We create this annual supplement to let you know just what we think of the hand shaking, baby kissing twentysomethings trying to woo your support.

Now, you most definitely do not need to take a damn thing we say to heart, but I would feel confident in assuming no one else on campus had the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with every non-commissioner candidate for 20 minutes. We were fortunate enough to get that face time and have synthesized our impressions of those candidates here for you, in the 11 pages that follow.

What we have to say is in no way the last word, but it is the very informed opinion of a septet of individuals who are on campus far too often–at times to the detriment of their health.

Numerous students dismiss the election process, feeling the SU is an ineffective body and no matter who gets into office, the day-to-day existence on campus will remain unchanged. This is a very dangerous and inherently false assumption.

While it is more than possible students can, and indeed have, elected woefully inadequate representatives in the past, they can always do worse.

However, they can also do better.

We have spent over 300 man hours putting this supplement together because we care what happens to this school.

First of all, we want as many students to make their way to the polls as possible.

Once there, we want those same students to be armed with the most important thing any person can have–knowledge.

We have taken a different approach this year, openly accepting criticisms leveled at us in the past, working with a variety of parties from former candidates to former Gauntlet editors to the Chief Returning Officer.

The result?

Well, you’ll have to read on to find out now won’t you.

Finally, I would like to encourage everyone to involve themselves in the process. Inform yourselves, using the Gauntlet as one of many resources. And for God’s sake, if you disagree with us, let us know. We always love to hear how and why we have fallen short.


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