Brian: Well Ricardo, this is our new blog. I think it looks pretty good. Especially the burrowing owl. And what a great name! The VANGUARD. It makes a statement. I don’t know exactly what that statement is, but what’s important is that a statement is made.
Ricardo: Yeah, we’ve decided to cash in on VFM (apparently, at precisely the worst time seeing where funding is at) and put our years of unfortunate experience to good use (other than yelling drunk at the Ubyssey). We’ll be covering the upcoming
clusterfuck AMS election and other things (after all, we are the UBC Vanguard, not the AMS Elections Vanguard).
Brian: Righto. So, where to begin?
Ricardo: Well, let’s get our credentials out there. Or glaring conflicts of interest, depending on your viewpoint. We have, oh, just a couple to get out of the way. For me: former staff of Ubyssey (though mortal enemy of its business manager); former chief returning officer of AMS elections; former elections administrator of SUS elections; currently or formerly involved in various clubs including UBC Brewing Club and other departmental associations.
Brian: Can I beat you in credentials/conflicts? Possibly. It looks fairly certain that at least half the candidates running will be councilors of the society that I’m the freaking president of. Also, I write a lot at the Ubyssey–including THE GREATEST BLOG EVER–and play N64 in their office when I’m bored or drunk or both. Also, VP External Jeremy McElroy lives in my apartment building and constantly says he’ll come over to watch hockey games and never shows up. (Sorry, lost my vote right there. I’m a single-issue voter.) Also, I’ve played pool with Elin Tayyar, and usually beat him.
If you haven’t heard who’s running, AMS Confidential did a post on the rumoured candidates.
But here’s the thing, Ricardo. Neither of us are ever going to run for an elected position ever again at UBC. Or at least aren’t planning to. So we can pretty much say whatever the hell we want to, which is nice. Ah, freedom.
Ricardo: So my biggest problem with the election so far is that there could be basically unanimous favorites for some positions but instead some of the stallion candidates are running in odd positions, probably because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings (read: Justin Yang, you can destroy Elin Tayyar so run for VP Finance).
Brian: I like the term “stallion candidates”. Well, yeah, but I think that sort of always happens. Candidates will adjust themselves around to find the best positions to go for. (Although Justin is also the head of AMS Tutoring, so VP Academic makes sense for him there too.) Obviously the Social Justice Centre folk collaborated to decide on which person is best suited for each position, and to avoid conflicts with each other. Oh wait a minute, they must not have because that would be slating, right??? I hate the anti-slate rule, by the way.
Ricardo: Perhaps I’d just like to see someone in VP Finance who won’t be a mule for the rest of the exec. Sure, the captain of the ship should go down with it, and he’s doing that very admirably, but you can take evasive action on icebergs besides yelling “ah shit, looook out…”
But yea, anti-slates are kind of dumb though somewhat necessary. Will a Naylorite renew the debate this year? Will Erik (elections admin) effectively enforce the anti-slate rule like Isabel last year? (By the way, she is my girlfriend though to be fair I gave her a hard time constantly last year during elections.)
Brian: Oooooh, is this the Vanguard’s first attack on a candidate? You mean that Elin should have done more about the fact that the AMS is set to lose a fairly epic amount of money this year, after promising a balanced budget? I actually think that almost any VP Finance is screwed right now, because it’s impossible to know ahead of time whether the businesses in the SUB will make $600,000 (like they are this year), or 1 million dollars (like they did a couple years ago.) The businesses make up 40% of our discretionary revenue. Why the hell should anyone trust the budget projections when it’s such a gong show?
Ricardo: For sure, and who could have expected that a new TV in Bijan’s office or new couch in Jeremy’s would also be a detriment to the budget? He’s not a soothsayer you guys!!! Granted, drops in a bucket but at some point you need to actually plug a leaking pipe. To be fair, kudos Elin on doing something about Safewalk. What. A. Joke. Hmm, maybe the AMS should cut Safewalk altogether and get into the cabbie business…
Brian: You know, I always thought I’d make a good cab driver. Seriously.
Anyway, I see we’re off to a great start, jumping wildly from topic to topic. Let’s get back on track, at least momentarily. For the students who actually pay attention and, you know, vote, what do you think they’ll care about?
1. How to make it so that we don’t lose shitloads of money
2. The legality of the blockade around Gaza (soooooooo tired of talking about this)
3. How to throw an outdoor concert that lots of students will go to and it won’t lose, oh, $120,000. Actually this might be the answer to #1
4. HAHAHAHAHAHA policy?! These elections are just won by herding mass quantities of students, sheeplike, into voting for you within a week’s time
5. Stuff to do with the new SUB
Ricardo: Meh, Gaza itself is a non-issue but Resource Groupies will campaign on establishing Resource Group independence, tapering down AMS council’s power over it & similar groups, and shoring up code that’s full of ambiguities. Of course, few people will care about these things, though they are important but not exec-important. Also, fixing the partying situation at UBC would be a great platform (*cough cough* Radical Beer Faction) but no one’s actually going to have any concrete planks to campaign besides lobby RCMP and “just do better with parties.”
Also, dear candidates, DO NOT CAMPAIGN ON LOBBYING, because NO ONE cares besides you and your stupid young Liberal/NDP friends. Unless of course you’re running for VP External, then maybe mention lobbying, but in specifics, not just “lobby more and better.”
Brian: Haha…this is going to be great. I love having a platform to rant. I actually think the Resource Group topic is going to generate a lot more discussion than people think. At least if I have my way, it will. Okay, let’s wrap it up, yeah? The all-candidates meeting is Friday at 5 in SUB Council Chambers. That’s when the fun begins. I suppose we should tell readers about our twitter and so on.
Ricardo: Yea! Find us @UBCvanguard, and of course there’s Brian @btaplatt and myself @ricardob (though I probably won’t allow you to follow me). Keep an eye out for Brian at the all-candidates too (since I’ll be stuck in the lab). Hey Brian, this was fairly medium eh?
Brian: Medium? What do you mean?
Ricardo: It wasn’t rare, and it wasn’t well done!