Are you on Team Edward or Team Jacob?
AJ should have been the candidate to beat in this election—just like Bella should have been the star of the show. But just as we all got sick of Bella’s hemming and hawing with no action, AJ’s communications-only platform—and a few factual missteps during debates—made her a medium-strong candidate in an All-Star Race.
Let’s be clear: in any other year, we would have been happy to endorse AJ. She’s a great leader with real skills who’d do a great job as president. We have to give AJ a massive amount of credit for her work on the AMS referendum and SLC. But at the end of the day, we weren’t feeling it.
What were we feeling? That AJ’s campaign should have been for VP Administration. It’s the perfect fit for her longstanding relationships with student development. Her team-building skills would have revitalized the Clubs-based portfolios. And her interest in architecture and design are perfect for the New SUB. Even her emphasis on collaborative, clear communication in the AMS could have been achieved from this position.
So who did we endorse? check after the jump, in which we get so freaking serious. Yeah, we feel kinda weird about it too? But, like, this is important—it’s our relationship we’re talking about here. The AMS is totally our boyfriend.
Matt ran an incredible campaign. Ben ran an incredible campaign. And as many commentators pointed out, their positions on several key issues were the same. On the Gage South/land use/governance portfolio, by far the biggest upcoming issue, their answers were practically identical—and to give credit where credit is due, identically strong and student-focused.
Where the two candidates differed is in their vision of the AMS.
We don’t doubt that Matt sees the potential of the AMS, the largest student society in BC and one of the largest in Canada. We don’t doubt that he’s got big plans for the AMS—but he sure didn’t tell us about them.
Matt’s pledge is small change. Nobody’s going to give a shit—they’re never going to give a shit—and they’re going to continue to not give a shit. If we’ve learned one thing in our hours in the Ubyssey archives, it’s this. Campaigns used to talk to thousands of students in one three-week period—and student apathy was still the subject of scathing editorials that could have been written last week. If your biggest promise and the thing that sets you apart is to talk to a bunch of students, you’ve completely missed the point of what the AMS can accomplish.
Ben, on the other hand, referenced the big things the AMS can do. In fact, he brought it up time and time again in debates. And his big difference—his pledge to make us a leader across the province by fighting for a provincial lobbying group and joint lobbying initiatives—speaks to that vision of the AMS.
Some people may call us naive. Fuck those people. Student politics isn’t always about the cynical, it’s about what is reasonably ambitious. It’s about what we can accomplish with the combined power of nearly 50 thousand students, whether or not those students are aware of it. Revel in the reasonableness, as this election has been dubbed.
We’re endorsing Ben because of his ambitious vision for the AMS. And if Matt or AJ wins, we’d encourage them to think bigger and do the great job we know they can.
We realize this endorsement is not going to make everyone happy. This was a hard decision to make, and this post was delayed because frankly, we couldn’t make up our minds. Just like Bella, we were torn for three novel-length nights.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: AJ, in one perfect moment, summed up this entire Presidential race in her debate on Friday:
Congratulations to all three candidates for their excellent campaigns, intelligent responses and for making this the hardest endorsement for the best reasons.
This post was written by Kai and Taylor in the Gallery, and our endorsement is unanimous with the rest of our editorial staff.