Monday, March 10, 2008

The Battle on the Mountain

The OYL AGM is in the books and it was one to remember. A fierce, if civilized, contest between two teams ended in a mixed bag result. The two teams squabbled over approaches to the senior party and the rules for the creation of new clubs among other things. In the end, OYL Beyond (led by incumbent president Jacob Mksyartinian) took the big jobs while OYL Roots (led by incumbent Eastern Region coordinator Mary-Rose Brown) took the most spots. The breakdown is as follows:

President: Jacob Mksyartinian (Beyond)
Executive Vice-President: Kayla Lewis (Beyond)
Vice-President Federal: Elyse Banham (Roots)
Vice-President Provincial: Joanna Murrell (Roots)
Treasurer: Ryan Singh (Beyond)
Communications Director: Zac Spicer (Roots)
Policy Director: Chris Drew (Roots)
Recruitment Director: Laura Wiesen (Beyond)
Riding Director: Terry Chemij (Roots)
Student Director: Magda Dronicki (Roots)
Toronto Region: Jonathan Tsao (Beyond)
Central Region: Jonathan Pinto (Roots)
South-Central Region: Deep Chawla (Roots)
Southwest Region: Mandy van Waes (Roots)
Eastern Region: Krista Balsom (Roots)
Northern Region: Joey Montpelier (Roots)

Some quick analysis:
  • Three of the top four races were razor thin. Mksyartinian and Murrell reportedly won by less than 20 votes while Banham cruised to victory by a single vote.
  • Brown (Presidential candidate, Roots) may have been hurt by her sponsoring of an unpopular (and eventually defeated) amendment on gender parity. The top-down nature of the amendment didn't mix well with the Roots team's grassroots message. Brown was not only one of the chief defenders of the amendment in the morning's constitutional debate, but also repeated her support for the amendment in the presidential debate. Considering the margin, this may have been key.
  • The most distressing part of the result for Beyond has to be the regional coordinators. Toronto voted in large numbers (the lines were ridiculously long for Toronto delegates and non-existent for everyone else) so the other races were close. However, without regional coordinators the prospect for the Beyond team's future success diminishes dramatically.
  • The Queen's University Liberal Association (QULA) leaves a little bruised as all three Queen's candidates on the Beyond team went down to defeat. Sam Yorke was defeated for VP Provincial, Radey Barrack lost out for Communications Director and Samantha Smitiuch was beaten in Eastern Region.
  • One of the biggest issues of the convention, the failure of the outgoing executive to ratify 14 new clubs in time for the AGM, is already solved. The passed constitutional amendment will force the executive to meet at least forty days before the next AGM in order to ratify new clubs.
  • In spite of the extremely tight race, there were no recounts. While delegates today were happy to finally have results after a 90 minute wait this afternoon, the fact that a one-vote margin didn't trigger an automatic recount is a little disturbing. There was no recount apparently because the teams agreed, before the final tally, to forgo any recounts. A constitutional provision for a recount would not be an unwarranted proposal at next year's AGM.
The biggest message from this weekend has to be that the OYL has to unite or risk an all out civil war. The presidential debate on Saturday was at times tense with supporters from both teams drowning out their opponent. The split result and the closeness of most of the races means that the delegates were fairly evenly spit. Mksyartinian has got to find a way for this executive to work effectively under his leadership. Likewise, the Roots members that make up a majority of the executive must be willing to work with their President. Otherwise, a very successful AGM (high turnout and enthusiasm) may turn into an unsuccessful year.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In spite of the extremely tight race, there were no recounts. While delegates today were happy to finally have results after a 90 minute wait this afternoon, the fact that a one-vote margin didn't trigger an automatic recount is a little disturbing"

I'm not sure where you got a 90 minute wait from. Voting closed at 11 am and the results were not announced until after 3:30. They were counting for over 4 Hours.

Anonymous said...

Also, there was one recount. Not sure where you heard there were none.

Anonymous said...
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aginsberg said...
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quitomaggi said...
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aginsberg said...
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Scott Tribe said...
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Deep said...
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Anonymous said...

All 4 of the top positions were close. Kayla won by 11 votes.

Anonymous said...

For the record, there was absolutely no recount for the VP Federal race (from numerous sources in the counting room). A one vote difference should have required a recount without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

There was a recount.

Anonymous said...

"Brown (Presidential candidate, Roots) may have been hurt by her sponsoring of an unpopular (and eventually defeated) amendment on gender parity"

How can it be said to be unpopular? I was told by a scrutineer it got over 50% of the vote, but was short of the 2/3 required. Over 50% is not unpopular.

Anonymous said...

1) There was a recount

2) The amendment got over 50%, falling just short of the 2/3rds margin.

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