Opinions

And this is governance?

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It's the latest in a series of what can only be described as confusion emanating from our Students' Union. The general election may soon go the review board, and there is an outside possibility that the entire election could be overturned.

That is, quite simply, a giant waste of time. So, if you're already fairly disenchanted with the SU, stop reading right here--you don't need any more fuel for that fire.

First, let's have an explanation of how things went down. This year's election came and went with its normal share of shits and giggles. Besides the astounding array of acclamations--including the top job--another big surprise included the online voting system malfunctioning on the first day of the elections. Apparently, a security certificate password got "misplaced." Shit happens. Bylaws get broken in situations like this.

A frazzled-looking SU President came to the Gauntlet offices almost immediately to do damage control and give us the latest news. She wanted to see voting extended by a day. On Thu., March 16, one day after the mess began, Students' Legislative Council decided, as a body, to effectively do nothing and give control of the election to Chief Returning Officer Jordana Hennigen. Using common sense, she decided to extend the election by a day.

Banners went up, notices were posted and Web pages were updated. People voted on Mon., March 18, and as a result, several things happened. All candidates and election campaigns received an equal opportunity to campaign for three more days--the extended voting period affected everybody equally, so don't let anybody tell you that the extension was unfair to any particular candidate. The results were tallied electronically, and while the outcomes were surprising in many respects, the miniscule voting body spoke its mind.

Of course, not everybody was satisfied with what happened, both with the results and how the election was run. Review board proceedings are not yet underway, but they may start next week depending on whether the chair of the board grants a hearing or not.

Hopefully things don't go that far.

It is not surprising that there are review board applications-this happens every year. It also isn't surprising that election bylaws were contravened both when the election failed to begin and when it ended at a different time than anticipated. But the truth of the matter is the SU and the CRO did what they could to ensure as fair an election as possible. The CRO, lacking any clear direction from the SLC, felt that voting should be extended and that's what happened.

Still, two applications to the Review Board have been made, one seeking to reprimand the CRO for her actions and another calling for a complete overturning of the election. While the merits and failings of each application are debatable, both must realize that in spirit, the election proceeded as it should have. The CRO's decision did not unduly influence the election in any particular way, it simply gave the student body the full amount of time it deserved for voting. Any effects the extra day may have had could only amplify the results.

Debate all you wish, but whatever the outcome was, the election was as fair was possible given the extraordinary circumstances.

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