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October 24, 2002 Strong campaign, platform helped Evolution win election




by Colin Bateman

Despite exams looming at the end of March, a record number of students voted in the Concordia Student Union elections, held March 25-27.

What looked like a close race turned out to be a blowout, as the slate called Evolution, Not Revolution brought in 2,533 of the 4,340 votes, 18 to 20 percent of those eligible. According to students approached at random for their comments, there were several factors that explained Evolution’s win. One only has to look at the slate’s name.

“The slate really scratched me where I itched,” joked first-year political science student Michael Gerstel. “I think their name encompassed what the students were looking for. Their ideas, but especially their strong campaigning, put them head and heels above the rest.”

Each of the five parties considered restoring Concordia’s reputation as a top priority, and all of them also guaranteed absolute financial transparency. The two top parties had candidates drawn from various faculties and few students said they analyzed each party’s policies, so why did Evolution run away with it?

“Students first, activism second,” explained Laurent Nikolaiczuk, who is majoring in communications and journalism. “They promised to represent the students instead of pushing forth their personal ideas, and that’s exactly what a student union should be doing.”

Steven Rosenshein, who ran for the Council of Represent-atives and is a member of Hillel, agreed that getting a completely fresh union in power was crucial, and despite the name, Clean Slate didn’t fit the bill, “we [Hillel] didn’t support any party in particular, but if you didn’t want the same people to get into power again, then the consensus was to vote Evolution.”

The fear that another controversial CSU would get into power in turn helped increase the turnout for the election according to Rosenshein,. “There was a backlash against the current CSU for some of the things they’ve been doing, and it’s not because they’re bad people, they’re just not the type of people we want running the CSU.”

Some students felt that Natalie Pomerleau would not be up to the task.

“I don’t think that Evolution had the best leader, or even the second best,” said second-year education student Brigid Shaw. “I heard that she didn’t do very well at the presidential debate, but it’s possible that her soft-spoken nature will be a good change for the CSU.”

Concordia students have been heard: They want less Napoleon, and more Darwin. If history does not repeat itself, Concordia may find itself in the news for all the right reasons next year, and the consensus is that a neutral CSU is a good place to start.

CSU election results:

Evolution, Not Revolution: 2,533

Clean Slate: 1,241

Renaissance Concordia: 312

New Vision: 152

Free Thinkers Parliament: 102

Student fee levies for Walksafe (2,321), a Student Centre (2,357) and Art Matters (2,451) were approved while a levy for Concordia Français was voted down 2,330 to 1,911.

Source: The Link