By Dale Miller
The Students’ Union attempted to do great things this week. Unfortunately this included unconstitutional legislation.
After over a month of toil, SU President Bryan West brought his revised election bylaws to the Students’ Legislative Council to be muddied and confused with a flurry of on-the-fly amendments.
The SU decided to revise the election bylaws so as to not repeat the embarrassment of a contentious and drawn-out election last year. The proposal defines slates of candidates, restricts them to running no more candidates than contested positions and forbids a candidate from making reference to any other candidate in their campaign material. As of now, it is unclear whether SU is trying to allow slates to exist, or to create the most boring elections this university has seen by effectively crippling future candidates.
Unfortunately for the current version of the bylaws, campaign materials include interviews with media, making the legislation potentially a violation of free speech as allowed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms–just a slight oversight perhaps?
SLC tried desperately to amiably amend the bylaws, but ultimately passed their first reading in spite of a consensus that the bylaws were in no way ready and admitting they knew it was unconstitutional.
West insists revisions will be made to restrict free speech as little as possible, and says his strategy was to disallow everything at first, making amendments as needed. Hopefully Charter issues will be remedied by the second reading.
In another bit of laundry cleaning, embattled Chief Returning Officer Shuvaloy Majumdar has been replaced by third-year psychology major Tom O’Neill. The SU received a grand total of ten applications by the deadline for this position and according to SLC, “of the candidates O’Neill was the strongest.”
Good enough for me.