Editorial—Democracy on the Small Scale

The nomination period has closed, the candidates have been validated, the campaign period opened, and the latest AUSU election is underway.

This year, we have 10 candidates vying for 12 seats.  Only five of the ten have served on council before, with notable absences including the current president and the current vice-president finance and administration and several other councillors.

While it would seem like having only 10 candidates for 12 seats means there’s no reason to bother looking at who’s running, if anything, this means we have to look more closely at all the candidates.  To do this, take a look at this week’s AUSU Update, where each candidate’s picture should be linked to their own description page (and if one isn’t, please let me know, as there’s some technical doo-hickery going on and I need to get it right.)

AUSU requires there to be an acclamation process, where students have the opportunity to vote Yes or No to each of the ten candidates, and only those who receive more yes votes than no votes will get elected.  This is not just window dressing, as AUSU does have a history where students did in fact reject a candidate in an acclamation, with some students having noted what they found when they did a google search on the person was enough to convince them the person didn’t belong on Council.  After all, there is no pre-vetting process done on these candidates, that falls entirely to you, the membership of AUSU.

I’m not saying it happens often, but dysfuctional councils are not unheard of when it comes to student organizations, as there can be a lot of money involved and, if we’re being honest, not a lot of external scrutiny.  So it’s important that every student take a good look at these candidates and evaluate if these are the people you want representing you to AU, to the government, and to the wider student populations, both at AU and other accrediting bodies and post-secondary institutions.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked myself, and odds are that these are all decent people who want something good for their fellow students.  But odds aren’t sure things.

In addition, the indigenous circle is also running its election, with room for up to thirteen representatives from and for the indigenous populations at AU.  Three people have stepped forward to take on the role of bringing the indigenous focus to the wider students’ union.

Next week, just before the polls open, I’ll be running our usual interview with the candidates who choose to submit answers.  If you’ve read these before, you already know what some of the questions are, and maybe even some of the answers for the candidates who are already on Council.  But it should be interesting to see if some new ideas have developed, as well as what these ten people hope to bring to AUSU.

However, this week, in addition to our feature student interview, we’ve also got a look at AU’s newest writer in Residence, with a report on the talk he held back in December, as well as a link so that you can see the talk on your own if you want to be entertained by a Canadian writer with some good humor and good advice.  We’re also taking a look at just what makes “That Girl”, the one that seems to have her life completely together and is posting it all on social media.

But maybe it’s not as together as it seems.  Or even if it is, should it matter?

Either way, enjoy the read!

%d bloggers like this: