What’s this? A post without pictures?
Well, yes. VFM got an email today with some shiny new potential referenda, much less sexy than the old referenda. And sadly—not because we’re ladies, but because we’re normal forward-thinking people—legislative procedures make our heads hurt. We had to consult codemonkeys to bring you this highly scientific breakdown of What Might Be on Your Ballot:
What It Says:
1) “Do you support the amendment of the AMS Bylaws as presented, based on the recommendations of a consultant hired to review the operations of Student Court, for the purpose of revising the rules concerning Student Court? This revision would make Court decisions binding as soon as they are sent to Student Council, increase the amount of the fine the Court could levy on individuals, require that the Court include judges from faculties other than Law, and remove the Court’s power to interpret the AMS bylaws and its power to rewrite referendum questions.”
What It Means:
- Fees: Revises the upper limit of the fees student court can impose. Currently this is $10.00—not exactly a deterrent.
- Finality: In 2008, Crompton v. Elections Commissioner (ie: LougheedGate), Council overruled student court and overturned their verdict. These changes would mean that this could no longer happen.
- Power to interpret: if you and someone else have a disagreement on the interpretation of a piece of code, you would normally, a la Civics class, ask the judicial branch (aka Court). Questions like these would now be referred to the Legislative Procedures Committee, currently headed by our Chairman Naylor.
- Referenda questions: The court decides what a “clear question” is—important when presenting to an unengaged student body. Changes indicate that this would now be Naylor & the Legislators’ problem. (BTW: band name?)
- Composition: Some changes to the composition of the court would be prescribed—namely, that of its seven judges, at least two must be from faculties other than Law. (But how will they pad their resumes now??)
What It Says:
2) “Do you support the amendment of the AMS Bylaws as presented, based on the recommendations of a special AMS joint committee, for the purpose of revising the rules concerning Student Court? This revision would eliminate alternate judges, require that there be judges from at least two faculties hearing any case, and set out new rules for referendum questions.”
What It Means:
- See No. 5, above, with minor changes which don’t concern you, peon.
Of course, all this fun times & happiness may turn out to be for naught, depending on whose interpretation of elections bylaws wins. (See, we told you this wasn’t sexy.) In order to put these beauties on the ballot, they need to be motioned up by Council. Problem is, the deadline for referenda is the 15th—five whole days before Council next meets. And since elections code, as we’ve learned, is writ in steel, well.
But hey, at least you learned something about your student society today! Namely, that there’s a very real reason we pay people to have a vested interest in this stuff.
(With files from our Very Secret Expert, who can totally apply to us to have his name on this post.)