A note about the presidential election
The following quote is from a statement made by Kat Docherty, the returning officer for this year (the full statement can be found here):
"During the course of the elections, a number of complaints were received by the Returning Officer regarding a particular candidate for the position of President. Some of these complaints were upheld and the decision made to exclude the candidate from the elections."The disqualified candidate (several reliable sources told me it was Jamie Scudamore), has appealed the decision and there will be an Election Appeals Committee meeting that decides who becomes President next year. As a result of this I will be posting the result of the Presidential election in an extra (fourth) entry about the elections.
VP Community (final round results)
VP Education (final round results)
VP Sports (final round results)
|James 'Wayne' Kerr||930|
Chair Media Committee
Chair Campaigns & Democracy
There were several other positions up for grabs during the elections. One very intersting election was for the position of Chair RAG. In the final round, Ellen Hinsley won by just two votes. It's also interesting to note that after the first round she was only leading by three.
Some of the other elections only had one human candidate and the Re-open nominations option, so it was almost certain who would win that. For example, that happened in the case of Disabled Students Chair (won by Stephen Lee), the Male Chair of LGBT (won by Daniel Horner) and the Chair of the Mature Students Committee (won by Luke Howard-Pask).
Comments on the results
I find the result for the VP Education election very interesting. Chris Marks has managed to repeat what Richard Jackson did in last year's elections by winning despite having no experience of the area he's going to be in charge of. Hopefully, the students thought his policies were good enough. I also have to mention that Mark Tyson wasn't helped by his campaign team being absent most of the time. I have mentioned in a previous post that this was disgraceful. If you don't have a noticeable physical presence at election time, you're going to be disadvantaged.
The VP Sport election was incredibly tight (nine vote difference). I think that has to be one of the closest results for a full-time officer position in a number of years.
The picture above shows Nathan Webster (runner-up in the VP Sport election) doing some karaoke with some of the winners (I have to point out that the choice of song was incredibly clichéd), which shows in most cases, elections were cleanly fought and people were friends afterwards - which is nice to see. It's just things like the presidential election which casts a shadow over everything.
This was something that really impressed me. The turnout was 3087 and that is a 58% increase on the previous. Congratulations have to go to the union for improving it by that much. The biggest change to the voting setup was using the university portal as a login method, so I assume the decision to use that helped improve the turnout.
Another important figue is what the turnout is as a percentage of the total student population. According to the university website, the number of student scurrently stands at 19,818. Assuming that there were no people who opted out of union membership, that means 15.58% of students voted.
While that is still an impressive figure both compared to previous years and compared to other unions, it still means that the majority of students didn't vote. It means that next year's UEC still have work to do. However, it is always hard to get rid of student apathy. I can't see anything like 90% turnouts anytime soon.
Summary and Conclusion
This election has been 'mixed', to say the least. While most elections have been fought cleanly, things like the presidential election have caused considerable controversy and tarnished the outcome. The turnout was great. Also, many candidates performed well, despite not having that many posters or a physical presence.
Another thing to note is R.O.N. Although in some cases that option was removed in the first round, a surprising number of people voted for it. That has both positives and negatives. It means that more people are willing to engage with the political process, but it also means that they are prepared to delay things. Having said that, if it means the best person gets chosen for the job - it's a good thing.
So, what do you think?
Technorati tags: HUU, Student Unions, Election, Politics