February 11, 2007

Election Process Interference?

I have been able to confirm the following information:

The Executive Board of the MSU had an emergency meeting on Monday where they had an in-camera session to discuss the MSU election and the potential of firing the CRO in the middle of the election process.

The following people are on the Executive Board, and I have included their campaign teams/positions: (it is not known who was present)

  • John Popham, MSU President, Scrutineer for Drew Mitchell
  • Ryan Moran, MSU Vice-President, Candidate for President (Leave of Absence, not in meeting)
  • Drew Mitchell, MSU Vice-President, Candidate for President (Leave of Absence, not in meeting)
  • Kyra Machen, MSU Vice-President, no campaign affiliation
  • Kyle Park, no known campaign affiliation
  • Azim Kasmani, in on the elections counting.  Scrutineer.  Not supporting any candidate.
  • Andrea Dowell, Scrutineer for a campaign (Moran’s expected choice for position of VP Education under Moran Presidency)
  • Paul Jones, Campaigner for Ryan Moran , present at the election countering  (Moran’s expected choice for position of VP Admin under Moran Presidency) not in meeting, declared conflict of interest
  • Arati Sharma, Elections Committee Member

The Executive Board immediately went in-camera for this meeting.  It is unknown what was said, what decisions (if any) were made, and what effect they had on the elections process.   It is worth noting that no other campaign was invited or present.

My take on the information (sorta implied being my blog and all):

The very fact that these two campaign teams meet in the middle of the election as the Executive Board raises very serious questions.  If something were occuring that were so serious as to require the MSU politicians to respond outside of the politician majority Elections Commitee, it should have been done at the SRA with the campaign teams declaring conflict of interest and removing themselves from all discussion.

Politicial interfere in MSU elections is a given, frankly it is a given in a lot of student union elections, but it is unacceptable.  The Executive Board should come clean.  The MSU has a real problem with the Executive Branch being out of control.  There are many questions being raised at this point.

I know that one candidate already has at least one appeal that if filed will eventually be successful.

Frankly, this kind of interference raises plenty of questions and if I were a candidate I would appeal on principal.  The fact that these members of campaign teams met in secret in the middle of an election process is a very serious matter.  If I were on the Election Appeals Board, I would have very serious concerns about what role these campaign teams were able to have in the election by using the power of the Executive Board.

**UPDATES: **Paul Jones makes clear he was not in the meeting and did not scrutineer for Moran.  He was, however, present during the elections counting.  Not sure in what capacity.
This is a developing story.  Now that I have made it public, the MSU will start to reveal information which will clarify why the EB had this meeting.
In case they have not read the post, they must realize that I am asking the questions that need to be asked.