A copy of the petition currently being circulated made it’s way into my hands. There are six questions being asked:

1. The removal of Blake Frederick
2. The removal of Tim Chu
3. Creation of a $5.00 “Engagement Levy”
4. A code change to implement slates
5. Indexing all non-indexed AMS fees to CPI
6. Amending the bylaws to separate the director and officer status of executives (so Council can effectively impeach).

Questions 1, 2 and 6 were expected. Although questions 1 and 2 will come in to effect once another executive would be elected, its only real effects will be to bring out angry mobs to express their moral outrage, hopefully driving turnout through the roof for question 6, which would fix the problems we covered earlier.

Question 3 is Naylor’s “sad little idea that nobody liked“. The engagement levy is a $5.00 fee which is refunded upon casting a ballot in the AMS election. If you read the comments thread in that post, you’ll find my thoughts (as Ed. 2).

Question 4 is a code change to┬áre-implement┬áslates. My understanding is that it’s not getting as many signatures as Q’s 1, 2 and 6 however. It’s important to note this is simply a code change, however, and council is still permitted to overturn it later (though it would get rid of political will).

Question 5 is an item that has been on the table of the AMS for some time. SUS recently indexed their fee, and my reading of this referenda is that it would fix all undergraduate society fees to CPI as well. This would amount to approximately an increase of 2% per annum, depending on recessions and the competency of the Bank of Canada, to protect again inflation.

A successful referendum question requires 1000 signatures by Wednesday (read: tomorrow) January 15th. Alternatively, code allows council to simply vote questions onto a ballot. Further, each referendum question on this referenda contains the rider:

“… or other such wording as deemed appropriate by AMS Council or Student Court.”

Lets see if the promoters can mobilize 1000 signatures by tomorrow.

Edit: The elections committee clarified that referenda have until January 15th to place a question on the ballot. In order to receive funding, however, the questions must be in by today.

Referendums have until January 15 to get 1000 signatures to be on the ballot.


5 Comments so far

  1. Jonny on January 5, 2010 6:46 pm

    Saw Naylor wandering around the Totem Cafeteria yesterday getting signatures. A very strange scene.

  2. Ricardo on January 5, 2010 11:20 pm

    CORRECTION: referendums only need 1000 signatures by tomorrow to be able to qualify for campaign funding.

    Referendums have until January 15 to get 1000 signatures to be on the ballot.

  3. David Foster on January 6, 2010 5:37 pm

    I don’t think I would support question 5, if at UBC. Here at UVic the Student Society Board tried to get a referendum through to increase UVSS fees by the rate of inflation every year, and it failed miserably. I was the “No” side representative in that campaign. Student societies should not be trying to grab even more money from students during a recession, rather they should be trying to economize and reduce student fees.

    Frankly I don’t see much point in trying to impeach execs at the end of their term either. I think impeachment is fairly rare in student societies partly because student union execs’ terms are so short. By the time they’ve seriously messed up, it’s time to replace them. But Frederick and Chu would have some nerve to run for a second term.

    On the other questions, the “Engagement Levy” sounds interesting, but might not be fair in practice. Is there a box to check if you don’t like any of the candidates? Under a system of mandatory voting you need something like that. As for allowing slates, I’m not sure the original policy, or whatever it was, that banned slates would actually stand up to legal challenge. What about “freedom of association?” Slates make sense to me, since one person running as an independent can’t accomplish much on a board of 20-30 people. Only a group of like-minded board members can actually implement changes.

  4. Alex Lougheed on January 6, 2010 6:44 pm

    David, CPI was negative this recession.

  5. David Foster on January 7, 2010 11:23 am

    Would fees decrease if inflation was negative? UVSS Chairperson Caitlin Meggs, campaigning as the “Yes” side of the UVic referendum question, said no.

    In any case, if passed it would be a carte blanche for potential large fee increases if inflation rises. And tuition fees, also indexed to inflation, are still going up 2%. I’m surprised that question was more popular than the one on slates. But I’m not extremely familiar with the history of the AMS. There must be compelling reasons for why UBC students are wary of slates.

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