29 January, 2009

Revelations from ACF

This is the closest thing to a liveblog you're going to get from the D.A. Here are some quotes and thoughts on the {All Candidates} - {Bijan} forum.

And no, ACF isn't back. I'm talking about the second most exciting thing with that title... the All Candidates Forum!

VP Administrate This!

"It's a transgendered water fountain." - Water Fountain spokesperson

Crystal, on why to replace Tristan: "a new pair of eyes looking at this, a new perspective on the SUB renew project, allowing different people to take part would be a really good idea, because this is a student initiative. I'm going to be taking other routes with consultations, so... just a different method of doing things would be useful." - Not good enough, Crystal, sorry.

"People are stupid and cannot govern themselves" - Jeremy, spokesperson for Kommander Keg, on how he'd reform clubs.

"I would like all the students here to make him your number two choice on your Condorcet vote." - Kommander Keg. Filed under L for 'Likely to get him elected'.

"In light of the Kommander's platform, if you want to vote again, perhaps don't vote for Kommander Keg" - Water Fountain

On joke candidates: "the reason I'm running a Water Fountain is that my voice wasn't getting heard." - WF spokesperson

VP Academic & something we can't quite remember

Johannes - the flyerfuck candidate this year. Born in Kentucky. Is fried chicken?

David can help transit w/o spending money. How? Moving more buses to peak times... ummmmmmmmmmm.... Not that easy, bucko.

"Last night I went to a council meeting, which Johannes came for a small part of. Not all of, but I applaud him for trying." - Jeremy Wood

"I have none, and I'm sure it will be very negative on anything I do." - David Nogas on his AMS [non]experience

A touching moment...

Asked to say nice things about other candidates: Sonia, almost breaking down: "I hope that if you vote for anyone other than me, you vote for Jeremy." All candidates talk about passion of others. Johannes and Jeremy hug. Hot.

Then Jeremy on Johannes: "I was going to just say you have a nice website and leave it at that... but at the end of the day, I admire your ambition, I admire your persistence, and I'm confident that, whatever happens at the end of this election, you'll continue to work for students"

VP Fine Aunts

What is your added value as VPF? blah blah blah. The only upside is that I'd trust both these people with my money more than either Chris Diplock or Andrew Forshner (in case you don't remember, he was the loser last year).

Tom "this isn't a pet project, a hobby for me... I have run a business on my own; this is what I'm studying."

Board of Guv'nors

Free metaphor: this debate is a sandwich with no Bijan mustard.

Interesting facts: Mike was shy once! Andrew almost went to film school! Tristan worked with death row prisoners. Blake was ...?

Rodrigo: comment on performence of current board reps. What would you do differently? Tristan: "maintain ties with community. One of our Board reps has done a relatively good job with that. Tim..." (Oh Bijan, why aren't you here! You'd make the debate twice as fun.)

Mitch Wright hands out starburst candies to attendees, care of the Elections Budget. Thanks AMS, using my money properly! (Where's my beer care of the elections budget?)

Paraphrasing AJ, debate moderator."Hello, my name is Student Atlarge. Why should I vote for you? Did I mention I'm a student at large?"

VP for Real World Relations

Kings Head makes a splash with no representative, but a sign: "Eet Moar Chikin'." Is he from Kentucky? No sign of fire, which is probably good for our us continuing to stay in the building.

Iggy: "The thing I get asked about is my size. I'm six foot five... I think I could bench press Tim." I challenge him to, but AJ shuts it down. We may still see this happen after the debate.

Tim: "I think that I would like to emphasize the sheer size of UBC." We'd like to emphasize the sheer size of Iggy.

Tim talks about Equity again!! I though we told him not to do that...

Alex Lougheed points out that they're signing officer to the External Lobbying fund. OMG, we're giving them $70,000. Where is fire when you need it?

Student Atlarge returns. "I've never cared, I've never voted, and every year it turns out well." Student Atlarge clearly doesn't remember the time the Exec tried to fire the GM, Bernie, and got censured. Or the other student unions that have been in hot water recently - like Carleton, which nixed Shinerama and made MacLeans.

Iggy "The AMS... it has become quite incestuous." iRod. Against incest. There's a campaign slogan we can get behind. Iggy "we need fresh blood." D.A. concludes that Iggy is a vampire.

President, finally!

My editor, Aaron, is rooting for the proletariat. I think he's implying not voting.

Candidates make opening statements in their native language. Yay diversity! Too bad none of them speak Woman.

Candidates talk about ... something.

AJ and candidates agree to extend this thing beyond two pm.

Jeremy speaks of "certain drinks of a student variety". Finish the sentence: "when I'm drinking my beer, I'm drinking a ..."
Paul: Granville Winter Ale
Blake: alongside a bottle of Havana Club
Alex: God's gift to Humanity

Blake, on Condorcet. "I think we need to explain it to people so they understand that strategic voting cannot happen." Umm, Blake, that's the only thing we understand about Condorcet.

Aaron Palm: "One of your Exec lights the knoll on fire while voting for themselves a dozen times. How do you interact with this person?"
Blake: "I would bring them to student court."
Paul: "You stole my answer."

We learn that Blake doesn't have much of a life outside student politics and student issues. Paul needs "me-time" sometimes - difficult if he's both AMS Prez and an RC.

Aww another tender moment... Blake wishes everyone good luck. And we're done. And I'm late for class.

Overall comments

Overall, I wish I were at the other ACF. But there were good moments.

Also - Mike Duncan, you've been AMS Prez for a year and you can't spell "hectare" on your posters? Shame.


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Thanks to Warren Springer for letting us use his video.

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28 January, 2009

Dis-Endorsements Round II

While campus media was masturbating our egos and ejaculating all over Bijan and his farm speech, some sketchy sketchy shit has been going down. First up is the race for the Student Legal Fund Society. The SLFS was created after APEC got spicy to provide a way for poor students to afford pricey lawyers after our rights are violated by the Man. To prevent these funds (each UBC student pitches in a dollar) from being depleted every time some concerned student lights a bonfire on the Knoll, the SLFS has the descretion to approve or deny funding requests.

Last year many concerned students lit bonfires on the Knoll and were denied legal funding from the SLFS. This year, there are 11 candidates running. We don't know how many of them will be elected because the SLFS's website was last updated in July '07 (and it says student reps terms expire in 2000) the AMS website just lists a temporary email and a link to the website.

Despite what the Man would have you believe, this election is actually happening. Read the dis-endorsements behind the jump.

Arash Amouzgar - No statement on the AMS website. His Facebook is private. Google didn't reveal anything relevant. DIS-ENDORSED pending additional information.

EDIT: Arash found this article one late night as he sat alone googling himself. He emailed me with many bulleted points as to why I should de-dis-endorse him. The two salient points:
1) Kno to the Knoll endorses him. Therefore not a member of the Knoll Slate
2) Wrestled in high school. Perhaps he can take Durgan? If he can, he will be

Ed Durgan - no election would be complete without Durgan's shiny face. He graduated high school the year I was born (according to facebook) yet his youthful vigor enables him to stay active in student politics at an age when my father was starting to contemplate retirement. He's . . . festive? Ah fuck it. Seriously. What. The. Fuck. His disrespect for the rule of law and common fucking courtesy were made apparent during last years campaign. I offer you a snippet: "First class slime balls like [Matthew] Naylor, [Colin] Simkus, and that lawyer guy for Lougheed ran the show while others without the abliity to think autonomously went along with it." and when asked to prove libelous assertions, he responded with "snakes like these guys [refering to Simkus] don't leave 'evidence'"

Yep. This is the guy we want on our legal aid society.

Emma Ellison - No statement on the AMS website. Known equity lover. We fear her wrath. We like her enough that we don't want to dis-endorse her personally But she is an admin on the "Vote the Knoll for VFM" Facebook group and we think she is part of the [apparent] Knoll Slate. In the name of democracy she is

Graeme Fisher - No information on the AMS website or the internet in general.
DIS-ENDORSED pending additional information.

Emily Griffiths - according to AMS website wants to "start fucking with the status quo". Although the Devil's Advocate tends to enjoy fucking the status quo, (we'll fuck anything, really) bailing arsonists out of jail with my money is not cool.

CJ Liu - No information on the AMS website. Private Facebook.
DIS-ENDORSED pending additional information.

Gordon McCullough - No statement on the AMS site and no public Facebook.
DIS-ENDORSED pending additional information.

EDIT: It has come to the DA's attention that Godron is actually Gord whom Eoin O'Dwyer likens to Jesus. I trust Eoin's opinion, especially on matters of faith.
Gordon McCullougn is DE-DIS-ENDORSED

Aaron Sihota
- Incumbent president. While he has a creepy smile, he is also the only candidate who provides contact information. He may actually be competent!

Colin Simkus - The DA knows Colin personally. While he is probably the most competent and qualified candidate, he makes boring dinner conversation.

Sarah Stevenson - Provides not only a write up but also a public Facebook page. While normally these two things are expected to be a given in a political race, they stand out as exceptions in this one. This allows us to thoroughly check her out. She belongs to the Facebook group UBC Student Media, created by Rodrigo Nunes and apparently a front for the Knoll. Thank you transparency!

Wladimiro Woyno - No information provided, private Facebook. Google says he did set construction for a UBC theater play called "The Learned Ladies" - to be fair construction workers have a long tradition in the AMS (see Yian) they tend to fuck with democracy. We don't like that.

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Condorcet explained.

Everyone votes, then no-one gets their first choice, but instead a candidate that no-one really wanted but is inoffensive is elected (see picture).

It's also worth noting that the Board of Governors election, not being an AMS spot but a University position, will be using the old (First Past the Post) electoral system, which means that instead of the above, we will again be electing the candidates with the most friends.

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27 January, 2009

Graphifying the election

The axes are fairly explanatory: Outsider vs. Hack, and Knollie (ideological, though potentially not pragmatic; knows what they stand for) vs. Confused (practical, stands for something but not quite sure what, will negotiate and compromise).

Candidates are coloured by race (not in the usual sense that candidates are coloured by race, but by their electoral race).

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25 January, 2009

It's DIS-ENDORSEMENT season kids! The wait is finally over. See who didn't make the cut behind the jump.

VP Academic:

Johannes Rebane - says he wants to orally vet teaching assistants. We think that sounds dirty. Plus he totally tanked his first debate. Although he did better in his second, that doesn't matter because we at the Devils Advocate do not believe in second chances. He's sort of like Lougheed minus the charm. They even look like each other. That is creepy enough for us. DIS-ENDORSED

Jeremy "John Kerry" Wood - He likes equity to the point where he thinks that requiring TAs to speak English is offensive. He has the annoying tendency to replace every third noun with "farm". Dropped out of the race, before dropping back in half an hour later. Flips like an acrobat, flops like Ron Jeremy, waffles like a pancake. Has probably never even been to Vietnam.

We decided not to dis-endorse Sonia Purewal or David Nogas. Sonia's safe because, although boring, she may actually be qualified for this job. David's safe because he believes that "people should be able to do whatever they want" which is something we at the DA totally endorse. See you at the drug fueled snuff orgy, David.

Next, the gong show that is the VP External Race:

Fire and King's Head - Not Funny. Also, rumour has it they were originally going to run as VP sEXternal and VP eXXXternal, which would have been much better in our humble opinions.

Tiny Tim Chu - While Rory Green (Tim's Campaign Manager) may use our comment threads to debate whether her hand is physically capable of fitting up Tim's tiny ass, it cannot be denied that the campaign would go a lot smoother for everyone if Rory just cut to the chase, skinned Tim, and wore him like a suit. Also, he comes off as a one issue candidate for equity. We at the DA will not abide equity. Not on our Campus!

Although iRod is a huge dickhead with the campaign intelligence of a chinchilla with Down's syndrome, he hates equity, drinks tequila like a man, and kills small animals with big guns. It would not be a stretch to say that the entirety of the DA staff has a throbbing man crush for him.

VP Admin:

Tristan Markle - SOOOOOOO dis-endorsed! SERIOUSLY. WHAT THE FUCK. Tristan Markle fucked with Man. We approve. Unfortunately, the Man fucked back. Now we're all fucked. Shit. Fuck you Tristan. You've fucked us all with Admin dick.

None of the other candidates in this election are dis-endorsed yet. Water Fountain is safe because she's the only candidate who's ever proposed a radical reform that all students can benefit from. Her stream of thought is both cool and refreshing, making her opponents look like Coke-Heads. Having made quite the splash in the pool of politics, we find ourselves having pipe dreams about her victory. Her uncompromising idealism makes us wet. Kommander Keg is safe, but only because we find ourselves fearing that Condorcet will lead to his election. We don't want to be on his bad side once the Media Gulags are built. Crystal Hon is safe because AD Holm, one of our totally unbiased columnists, is dating her campaign manager. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.


Ale Coates - "Many student problems involve money. I plan to fix this." Obvious Pinko Commie. Ale Coates is like Diet Yian: Same Yian Taste, only half the intelligence.

Board of Governors:

Bijan Ahmadian - When we at the Devil's Advocate asked candidates whether they would collaborate with a foreign military occupier or lead the resistance, Bijan was the only one who hypothetically betrayed us. This is fitting, because he's already collaborating with the Man and the Fuzz. Traitors are

Bijan Ahmadian - Oh, and also, he tried to blackmail the Friends of the Farm into endorsing him. Not only does he hate students, he also hates democracy.

Bijan Ahmadian - Oh yeah, did I mention? Bijan also sold out to the Man and went to work for professor Stephen Toope. He claims his "relationship" with Prof Toope helps him help students. I don't know about you, but last time I checked a relationship between a student and a professor counted as statutory.

Mike Duncan - Mike, we love you. But it's time to go. Your campaign is based on you being Mike Duncan, Lord of Facebook, Stripper of Poles, and Cowboy of the Seas. What once was cute is now tiresome. Forgive us Mike. It's not you. It's us. And our new president.

Escaping out wrath for the moment:

Blake Fredrick. Having to rename the exec offices the tool shed is a small price to pay for Blake's charming socialism. You're so cute, with your dreams and idealism. Yes We Can!

Tristan Markle. Although we dis-endorsed him for VP Admin, we think he'd make the perfect BoG monster. The BoG could really use some one to light a fire under their asses.

Andrew Carne doesn't exist. He is thus, un-dis-endorsable. Tricky Bugger.

And finally:


The Fair Vote Guy - You know him. He's the douchebag who shows up to every student debate to ask questions about provincial issues. I love STV as much as the next anarchist, but let's be honest: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT!

The Knoll- Who the fuck gave you hippy shits permission to disendorse people? That's our shtick! Get your own jokes! Possibly after buying a copy of "Intellectual Property Rights for TOTAL FUCKING RETARDS!"
ps - "The Internet" is not an acceptable photo credit.

The UBC Insiders
I'm going to be a clear as I can be:
We make jokes
You make indepth analysis
Why are we doing both jobs?

Radical Beer Failures:

When the Radical Beer Faction first appeared, they promised change. They promised to fight for my right to party. Unfortunately somewhere along the way that got interpreted to mean hosting their own parties that shut down before midnight. After the proles are kicked out, the RBF bourgeois retreat to their inner sanctuary and continue their decent into alcoholism. Shame RBF. Maybe you should run serious candidates and actually get something done.

That's all for now folks. Those candidates that escaped dis-endorsement: don't take this as a sign to take it easy. One Wrong Move AND BLAMMO -

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24 January, 2009

Breaking news: there's politics in campus politics!

Bijan Ahmadian, Board of Governors incumbent and candidate, doesn't plan to prioritize saving the UBC Farm - but would make it a priority if he got the endorsement of the Friends of the Farm, which reveals that (surprise!) politics is a part of student politics!

I have been kind of clear that, if you endorse me, and if we have that contract between each other, then I will have a very solid commitment. I know that I'm emailing everyone saying that I have made this solid commitment, but if you're not endorsing me, then I won't be emailing people saying 'this is my project this year.' - Bijan Ahmadian

The quote comes from audio of the candidate speaking at a Friends of the Farm Meeting, which was posted by WordPress user "wethunderbirds" and anonymously linked to in Devil's Advocate and UBC Insiders comment threads. Bijan also goes on to claim that "based on my calculations I am very likely to win this election", which at least one member of the meeting interpreted as a political threat to get the group's endorsement.

I have three things to say, and I'm going to actually be Serious Steve for a moment.

1. It is concerning to me that a candidate would sell his loyalty. From watching The West Wing I'm aware that this happens all the time in the real world, but I guess I hoped that student politicians, well, stood for something. Or were just there to be poked fun of.

It's not that Bijan was making a public show of supporting the farm, as his platform wording is quite vague, but yet the idea that his priorities depend on what endorsements he receives unsettles me. I feel that candidates should stand on their values and causes, then be endorsed or disendorsed based on these. And speaking of disendorsement... watch out, Bijan.

2. This tells us something about how Bijan feels about the election. If he's sailing to an easy win, then approaching the Friends of the Farm for their votes just doesn't make sense - why commit yourself to a "contract" instead of choosing your own priorities?

So I think Bijan is scared. I think he's scared of Mike, who has a truckload of friends, Blake, who has his name on the President ballot, Tristan or Andrew, or a combination of the above. I think he's reaching out to snatch votes from Blake and Tristan, and chose a bad way to do it.

3. To whomever posted the audio and commentary: Thanks for the heads up - but remaining anonymous? That just hurts the credibility of your evidence.

Update (January 26th): Bijan has responded to the news. You can see the full response at this pandering news source. I'll give you the Coles notes:
  • The quote apparently refers not to Bijan's support for saving the farm, but for his support of a side-project related.
  • Bijan claims that his presentation resulted in him getting half the vote for the Friends of the Farm's second endorsement (#1 was Tristan Markle), arguing that most of the people there received his message positively.
  • His reason for the "endorsement for priority" message: he didn't want to get behind this fully if the University wouldn't see him as speaking for Farm advocates.
Now, if the University didn't see me as speaking for Farm advocates (I'm pretty sure they don't), I don't think I'd get very far in trying to lobby them on a Farm-related project. But if I were really intent on helping the farm, I'd probably declare that outright and hope to get an endorsement, rather than suggesting that my prioritizing the project was conditional on the endorsement.

The Ubyssey also has a good take on the whole thing.

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Ode to Jeremy Wood

Our Jeremy Wood, to do some good
For VP Academic stood
He had a plan to fight the man
Whose market housing blights the land
To save the farm, to save the day
To save the overworked RA
But that's not all, he'd heed the call
To fight Johannes Rebane.

Our Jeremy Wood, misunderstood
By all the VFM who would
But mock his statements in debates
About how it discriminates
Against the foreign TA guy
To make him take the LPI
(At least he's not Johannes who
Would orally vet the TA crew).

Our Jeremy Wood did what he could
But still too blurred the issues stood
And recognizing this sad fact
He shut down his campaign, sacked
His candidate, and left the race
Pausing only to give a taste
Of venom to dear Rebane
And leaving him but two to face.

But Jeremy Wood's fan base withstood
All his flip-flops that it could
And inspired by this new support
He squinted in the distance short
And lo! priorities clear became
And Wood again put down his name
On VP Academic ballot
To fight Johannes and win fame.

Of Jeremy Wood, what really should
We expect when he's already good
At making our posts fun and easy
And Johannes' election breezy?
Perhaps he'll pull a Yian and stand
And ask for votes, laptop in hand
Perhaps he'll win, but I would bet
He'll count among the also-rans.

(Thanks to Gerald Deo for the picture!)

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23 January, 2009

Breaking - Equity GULAG Being Constructed

Word has reached the DA that the concentration camp that was build overnight around Buchanan Tower is to be used as an "Equity GULAG" to hold student dissidents.

A tank was airlifted in this morning. This reporter is scared.

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Debate Round Three: Rumble in the Gallery

Idiotic statements. Incendiary rhetoric. Tequila shots. People pretending to be Obama.

Personally, I found the Wednesday debates to be much better than Monday’s. I know that some other viewers ( UBC Insiders ) found the debates to be “painfully dull”, but I suspect this disappointment was due to their expectation of things like argumentation and policy. We at the DA have much simpler tastes: we wanted to see a gong show.

We were not disappointed.


Ale Coates VS Tom Dvorak

I went into this debate expecting a repeat of Monday’s events: Ale would say obviously ridiculous things while Tom droned on about things like fiscal responsibility. Instead, Ale said subtly ridiculous things, while Tom droned on about sensible business practices. Thank god we had two VP Finance debates back to back, otherwise I would have totally forgotten how one sided this race is.

Debate Highlights

Ale Coates calls SAC on its bullshit. “There is a current lack of promotion for clubs through SAC,” she said. Wow Ale, you really hit the nail on the head. I wonder who’s to blame for this? Maybe the Vice Chair of SAC? What’s her name again? Ail Kodes? Alley Cates? Beer Jackets? Something like that. Anyways, I hope Ale really nails that slacker once she’s elected.

Ale Coates tells students that their student fees aren’t really too high. “At the end of the day, AMS student fees are among the lowest in Canada.” Although this is technically true, I feel like this is a ridiculous comparison to make. A Calgary winter isn’t as cold as an Edmonton Winter, but I’m not about to go streaking in either. Likewise, the fact that UBC’s student fees don’t suck as hard as other schools seems like a poor excuse for not making them bearable.

Ale Coates proposes to build a new used book store on campus. Tom Dvorak asks why anyone would do this when there are already used book stores on campus that are struggling to turn a profit. Ale Coates responds by saying “They haven’t made a loss. They just haven’t made much profit.” Increase supply in an industry with a demand shortage? Genius. I think more people should follow this logic. We could double print order sizes for the AUS Underground. We could start giving the War Gamers club free Viagra. We could hold five AMS elections a year! If you build it, they will come!

One point of actual debate was Art’s County Fair debt relief. Tom argued that the AMS should probably forgive the AUS debt, saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that since all faculties contributed to and benefited from the ACF, the whole student body should shoulder the costs. He did, however, note that he would “need to see everything before [he] make[s] promises.”

Ale Coates argued that since “they’re capable of repaying the debt,” they alone should shoulder the costs. Sucking a crippling amount of money from the coffers of a key constituency? If I didn’t know Ale was an international student, I’d swear she was Canadian.


iRod VS Tim Chu VS Fire VS King’s Head

Before we get into the issues, allow me to say, thank God for iRod. Finally, a bonafide asshole to shake things up in this election. There’s been some complaining (notably from the Insider’s and (allegedly) from Tim Chu himself) about iRod’s abrasive campaign style. Since he spent most of his time attacking both the current administration and Tim Chu, I suppose that’s not entirely surprising. What is surprising is how upset everyone got. I mean, honestly, who complains about mud slinging in politics? That’s like complaining about fights in hockey: it’s the best damn part of the game!

Sitting next to iRod was the other ‘serious’ candidate, Tim Chu. Tim spent the entire debate whining about equity issues. Next to iRod’s macho jackassery, he came off like a Care-Bear. I half expected Tiny Tim to use “God bless us, every one!” as his closing statement. Exacerbating his wimpy image were Tim’s numerous and obvious audience plants who kept hitting him softball questions. Tim, darling, you really just need to be firm with iRod. Next time that mean ol’ bully tries to take your lunch money, you just tell him “Bullies are only mean because they’re upset their fathers don’t love them” and then go and find an adult. Find the adult as quickly as possible though, because iRod apparently knows Judo and Facebook contains pictures of him with a hunting rifle.

Unfortunately, the supposed joke candidates were no where near as funny as the serious candidates. They did, however, each have their moment of genius. Fire made the obligatory “save me” crack and the Kingshead gave voice to the inner monologue of everyone in the crowd. “I have no idea what I’m doing here,” she said, “What’s Democracy?”

The issue of equity kept reoccurring in this debate, mostly thanks to Tim, who is apparently running as a single issue candidate. When iRod pointed out that equity is something of a running joke among political insiders at UBC, Tim grew indignant. “I don’t know why people take it as a joke,” he said, “it’s not a joke”. Tim, the reason people take equity as a joke is, specifically, because people take equity as a joke. It’s a matter of public opinion purely and, despite the wishes of hacks everywhere, government (especially student government) has no right to tell the masses how they should think.

Debate Highlights

Tim Chu: “Women and Minorities are grossly under-represented [in council] and this needs to change… there are only two Chinese councillers.”
Crowd: “Two and a half!”

Devil’s Advocate editor Aaron Palm daring all candidates to take a shot of tequila without making a face. As far as I saw, they all managed it, though none of them were tough enough to do it without a salt lick and a lime.

iRod being mean to hippies. “The AMS is broken and protest politics has broken it.” Later in the debate, Steph Ratjen points out that protest politics have been really helpful in creating change. iRod’s comeback: “If the point is to be loud, then they have succeeded… They’ve embarrassed students.” I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’m brave enough to say that to Steph Ratjen’s face. I’d be afraid she’d light my house on fire and then block the fire crews as they came to save me.

Tim Chu pretending that this election is in some way meaningful to the student body. “People care about student issues”. This is absolutely true, if by people you mean the five to ten percent of students who vote and if by student issues, you mean beer.

iRod being mean to some hack. I’m afraid I didn’t get a good look at the person asking the question, but it was something along the lines of “who am I and what do I do?” Now, I didn’t actually get to write down iRod’s response, (mostly because I was to busy snapping my fingers and yelling “DAAAYYYY-UUMMM”) but I seem to recall it being something along the lines of ‘you’re a member of the established order and you’re part of the problem.’ Tim’s response was, of course, much nicer: “you’re a student who cares about AMS politics and you shouldn’t be treated like that.” Raging Dickhead versus Ineffective Wimp. It’s like the American election of 2000 all over again.

After the debate, Rory Green, Tim Chu’s campaign manager, tried to hand out Tim Chu supporter buttons to the DA staff. Our fearless leader declined saying “why would I want one of these”. Rory’s response: “If you put it under your pillow while you sleep, it’ll turn into a Tim Chu in the morning.”

Frightening, yet erotic…



The opening statements can be characterized thusly:

Blake is has a heart of gold, but unrealistically expects tuition fees to be lowered to… zero. It’s good to have dreams Blake. Hey! Maybe that’s what we can use to pay professors and other staff if this policy is enacted. Every pay check will get you a pat on the back and a pocket full of dreams.
Mike Duncan offers us more of the same and expects us to like it.
Tristan Markle is basically the same candidate as Duncan, going as far as to complain that Mike has ‘stolen’ his issues. He goes on to differentiate himself by claiming to be “the one student who can’t be lied to or blown off”
Bijan reminds us all that he is incumbent and points to his previous record in the BOG: he’s successfully managed to bend over for the administration every time they asked him to. Yay! He’s got my vote!

This debate was somewhat exciting (I use the term loosely) in that the candidates actually picked opposing view points to represent. Now, of course, they all want nearly the same things, but the order of priority differed between them. Oooo! Drama! Tristan Duncan and Mike Markle both pledged to put SUB Renewal at the top of their lists. Bijan mentioned student housing (which was odd, because his main priority seems to be sucking up to The Man) and Blake continued to try and convince the audience that free post-secondary education was a feasible plan.

Debate Highlights

The Devil’s Advocate posed a hypothetical question to the candidates: if a foreign military were to occupy UBC, would you collaborate or lead the resistance? Both Blake and Mike took the predicable approach and claimed they would lead the resistance. Tristan however, outlined a surprisingly detailed plan about how he would set up a communications network to over throw the oppressors. He’s obviously spent some time thinking about this. Bijan spent his allotted time talking about how he thinks that collaboration is the more moral route before ending by saying “I don’t know what I’d pick”. Great. Not only is he a Judas, he’s also an indecisive flip-flopper.

Someone asks a question which takes a pointed shot at Bijan’s personal relationship with Professor Toope, namely his position as Toope’s research assistant. The other candidates claim that they would not have taken the job, while Bijan Arnold defended his betrayal of students by claiming that he has “a relationship with [professor Toope] that helps me exert pressure”. Whatever, Benedict Ahmadian. Networking is for traitors. Bijan “Et Tu, Brute?” Ahmadian went on to cite his role in creating the Police Advisory Committee, stating that the committee is a way for “the police and the community to work together against the problem.” Which is true, if you define having fun as a problem.

Tristan Markle rambling on for ages during his closing statement as the debate moderator tried to cut him off. “I just want to keep the momentum going… that would be amazing.”

Blake railing against the War on Fun. “I’m really tired of seeing this university bully students,” he said. “It shows a disrespect and a misunderstanding of [us]” Truer words were never spoken Blake. Rock on.

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22 January, 2009

Which Presidential Candidate is most like Obama?

The Devil's Advocate is pleased to bring you the second in the series of articles on the AMS Presidential candidates. With respect to the recent assumption of B-Rock Obama to the Presidency, and in view that his campaign inspired millions of fed up Americans and world citizens to have a new hope, we ask the question: Which AMS Presidential Candidate is most like Barack Obama?

Blake Frederick

Blake, like Obama, is trying to signal a radical break from the old administration. He claims his Presidency, unlike Mikey Duncan's, will "not let student's interests go unheard any longer." In true left wing style he will singlehandedly lower tuition fees, bring more affordable housing to campus, save the UBC Farm, and increase transit service! Uh-huh...

Blake has also followed a similar path to Obama - indeed, he was a Senator before running for president; however, unlike Barack, in this election Blake is actually not the outside candidate coming in to reform politics, but the person with the most AMS experience rising to the job. He has certainly worked toward his stated goals as AVP Academic and University Affairs and AVP External, however I do not share the confidence of many of his supporters that President Blake is the silver bullet for the woes of the AMS. (From the elections issue of the Knoll Index: "Estimated av
erage student tuition fees a year after Blake Frederick is President: $0").

Despite coming from the inside, Blake has worked to style his campaign after Obama. He speaks with conviction despite mostly speaking in debate sound-bytes, and his poster (pictured above) reminds me of one I've seen somewhere...

Obama Score: 6.5/10

Alex Monegro

Obama is coloured, Alex is coloured. Obama is from Hawaii, Alex is from the Dominican Republic. This alone should be enough for Alex to claim the Obama-mantle in this election. (See Obama-inspired campaign photo below.)

Despite the suggestions made to me that Alex's campaign slogan be "Yes We Can", Alex has so fair avoided making the appeal to Obama. Rather than arguing strongly for change, Alex in the debates has generally focussed on his leadership experience and ... well, his leadership experience.

The language in Alex's platform is also not-so-Obama - let's compare it to Blake's assured verbiage. Where Blake would "pressure", Alex would "work with"; where Blake would "ensure", Alex would "pursue" or "explore". I feel this is a more realistic view of what can be done in a year of campus politics, but perhaps we do need stronger stances on issues.

Obama score: 4/10

Paul Korczyk

Paul is the John McCain of this race. As he frequently points out, he an outsider - a maverick, so to speak, with the intent of reforming the AMS to eliminate pork-barrel spending and provide... greater communication to students. His top-listed platform points are "Communication" and "Student Engagement" - which I must point out are good ideas, though often-repeated in student politics. I wonder if Paul's grasp of the AMS - like John McCain's grasp of the fundamentals of the American economy - is thorough enough to make him president.

Paul is also a Polish but not polished speaker (unlike Obama, who is polished but not Polish). Part of the job of President is to be the media face of the AMS, and if Paul wants to fulfil that role, he needs to get rid of his habit of smiling awkwardly, repeating himself and trailing off at the end of every deabte response. My challenge to Paul - show us at the next debate that you have a good grasp of the things your opponents are talking about (tuition rates, childcare, student services and advocacy, etc.) and that you can talk about them confidently. You're risking disendorsement around here...

Obama Score: 1/10

In other news...

I have to give a shout out to Gossip Guy for this post about the Presidential candidates' websites. The line I wish I'd thought of, about Blake's website: "If the Faculties of Science and Arts were brother and sister, and had a child, I believe it would look something like this abomination." Update like this more often, GG, and you'll have a following of more than just me.

Also, rumour has it that the D.A. editorial team is cooking up our first round of disendorsements of the election. Which unlucky candidates will feel the burn?

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21 January, 2009

Breaking Scandal: Kommander Keg and Water Fountain have Lovechild!

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VP External Election: PC vs Mac

If you're savvy (in the technology way, not the Jack Sparrow way), you'll have noticed the reference made by candidate Iggy Rodruiguez in his campaign:

We at the Devil's Advocate are not so easily tricked. This is our take on the race:

A close follow-up to this image was a two-headed Rory Green/Tim Chu monster fighting a giant portable music player labelled iRod...

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20 January, 2009


Politics, at its core, is simply the art of competitive ego-masturbation turned into a spectator sport. Naturally, it’s one of my favourite things to watch. And here we are at the start of a fresh new season with the games already in progress!

I arrived at the debates slightly before they started. Already, the hacks were jockeying for position. Naylor sat relatively center forward, laptop atop his… lap… joyously live-blogging away. Lougheed circled the spectators pit warily, handing out buzzword bingo to all those with a free hand. Michael Duncan stood at the periphery, tired, yet proud, like an elephant that knows it is time to die, but is not yet ready to leave the herd. The candidates, of course, were there in force. With their assorted entourages, they swarmed over the area like Sarcophagidae flies on the corpse of democracy. Truly, it was a glorious day for student politics.

But enough of that crap. Let’s get down to the actual debates:

VP Academic

I’ll be honest with you: at best, I have a tenuous grasp of what the VP Academic does. If Johannes Rebane is to be believed, the chief goal of the office should be to “create a positive academic environment” but that sounds like pansy talk to me. Regardless of what the actual limitations upon the office are, each candidate took time to pimp their respective ideas about what could be done.

Sonia Purewal championed a policy which would allow students that failed prerequisite course to retake them, so as to increase the amount of students who would have a chance at getting into law or med school. This of course raises the question “who wants a failure for a doctor?” but none the less, her policy is sure to be popular with both try-hards and slackers, thus cornering a nice slice of voter pie. Also, she’s apparently the only VP Academic candidate who’s been to more than three AMS meetings so… you know… that’s nice.

Jeremy Wood stood out in the debates quite nicely, waving his knoll flag proudly. He argued with a passion that impressed even my jaded heart, yelling and waving his fist like some kind of Equity Mussolini. “We need more support structures for Queers! More support for Women! AND THE TRAINS MUST RUN ON TIME!” Okay, so I made that last one up, but still: somebody might want to tell this guy that this is student politics. Some at the DA have compared watching Jeremy Wood’s speech to watching a proud father trying to argue with the ref at a little league game: embarrassing for all involved. I for one was simply happy to see someone impassioned. Faceless, apathetic hacks may appeal to faceless, apathetic masses, but (personally) I’ll take a radical wing-nut just about any day of the week. Especially if that radical wing nut can make the buses run on time.

David Nogas made a distinctive mark in the debate having reoccurring audio problems and mumbling. At one point I heard that his policy would be “revenue neutral”. Rock On, David. Rock On.

Johannes Rebane tried to advance a policy against commercial development on campus. Unfortunately for him, he was neatly shut down by Jeremy Wood, who simply asked “Where’ve you been in this fight?” I’m sure Johannes would have had a witty come-back, but he failed to think of it before Mitch Wright, the debate moderator, cut the brief excitement of real argumentation off, thus making him look very silly. Although it could be argued that everyone who watched, heard, or spoke in this debate lost in someway, I’d like to make a pitch for Johannes losing extra hard.

VP Admin

I think this race will be my favourite this year because it so neatly emphasizes the divide between the radical and the mainstream votes at UBC. There were four candidates, two serious and two joke. Crystal Hon and a Water Fountain spoke (or at least claimed to speak) on behalf of the silent, non-political majorities. Tristan Markle and the RBF Keg were both in representation of the proletariat. Normally, this would mean that all four candidates would be populist, but this is UBC. Political rules don’t apply here.

Tristan came out swinging, throwing around fancy, high-falutin’ phrases like “I’ve been trying to turn around the direction on campus” and “All things are possible”. All things are possible? Seriously? Who the hell do you think you are? Barack Obama? Crystal Hon, on the other hand, came out… quietly. Although her ideas were sensible, they somehow seemed lost against Tristan’s ridiculous rhetoric. And so, in this way, we have embodied the fundamental divide in student politics. On one side, the left, so gripped in the fever of revolution that they forget to do things like, oh I don’t know, talk about their policies in debates. On the other side, we have the center (this is UBC. There is no right wing) which is full of pragmatic and intelligent individuals who are authentically trying to make life better for the students. Unfortunately, because the center is almost completely unable to excite their voter base, student life basically just carries on.

I grant you these are generalizations. The left occasionally pulls their heads out of their asses long enough to get something done, and the center occasionally gets students to pay attention for more that three seconds. Or so I hear. I’ve never actually seen it myself, but we must have gotten the UPass somehow…

So, in this battle where there can be no winner, we are left wondering who will win?!? I think the issue was dealt with most clearly when I asked the joke candidates what they thought about the divide which separates the candidates. The Water Fountain responded clearly saying “Water is fundamental to life. Student Services are important, I agree, but water must come first.” Contained within this seemingly innocuous statement is the key to the center’s position. Crystal Hon’s ideas about student services, while intelligent, will not win her this race. As water is fundamental to life, so are voters fundamental to democracy. Without the fluid attention of the masses, the Hon campaign will die of dehydration before it ever leaves the starting gates.

Kommander Keg, on the other hand, characterized the radical position as follows: “Beer is 95% water, so not only is Kommander Keg mostly water, he is also 5% other stuff”. Semi-unfortunately (or really fortunately if you like to follow student politics) that extra 5% other stuff is alcohol. Alcohol, that perfect liquid that makes everything stupider and more flammable. 95% of what the Knollies want gels perfectly with the rest of campus's needs. Unfortunately, the additional five percent is prone to doing stupid flammable things like lighting fires on the knoll. Tristan Markle has a big sure vote coming out of the Knoll, but it is also a limited vote. Crystal Hon can win any vote on this campus. All the Knoll has is . . . well, hippies. Everyone drinks water, but beer drinkers are much more eager to come out en mass to vote for what they love.

Fundamentally, what this race comes down to is whether or not Crystal can engage enough apathetic students. It won’t be easy to break the Knoll vote, but underdog stories make for interesting politics. As Crystal's opponent says “all things are possible”

VP Finance

And now, for the comic interlude. Allow me to summarize the debate for you:
Ale Coates: “Several student problems involve money. I hope to fix that.”

Tom Dvorak: blah blah blah “Ethical hiring policy” blah blah

Ale Coates: “Sponsorship is a good way to make money”

Tom Dvorak: blah blah *vague indication of fiscal sense* blah blah


I’m really not sure what my commentary on this is supposed to be. Tom Dvorak is clearly the qualified candidate, while Ale Coates seems destined to become this year’s Yian. “Several student problems involve money”? Really? No way! Why didn’t any one tell the electorate this before? If I’d only know this sooner! Hey, I know! Maybe we can get some sponsors. I hear that’s a good way to make money. Maybe we can rename the SUB the Lululemon Student Space.

I’m sorry Ale, I don’t mean to mock you too hard. I’m just really happy that there’s a joke candidate in this election other than Kommander Keg who can give me belly laughs.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut this section short. I’m sure Ale said many other things worth chuckling over and Tom probably did something stupid as well, but I was distracted by Maria Cirstea. Throughout this debate, she continually turned around to face me and muttered “I’ve stolen your woman”. I found this somewhat confusing, as I no longer own any women since immigrating to Canada. You can blame her for the lack of coverage.


That’s right. It’s time for the main event. Before I jump into presidential coverage I’d like to note that I feel very silly for tacking this onto the bottom of an article that’s already way too long. I suppose you can consider this section your reward for slogging through that other crap. That’s the way the debates worked. Instead of having a presidential debate, we all sat through about an hours worth of bullshit to get to see ~15 minutes of presidential debate. Yay? At least with this article you could skip to the end.

Anyways, we’ve got three candidates for president: Alex Monegro, Paul Korczyk, and Blake Frederick. Or as I like to call them B1, B2, and B52.*

*See what I did there? I implied that both Paul and Alex were similar to the nearly identical (and somewhat feckless) protagonists of the hit tv-show “Bananas in Pajamas” while simultaneously implying that Blake, although similar enough to his opponents to merit a B-# name, blew his competition out of the water, not unlike a B52 bomber plane. God, I’m clever. Okay, maybe I’m an idiot. I can’t really tell anymore.

Anyways, getting back to the point, the debate started with opening statements. “It is not the role of the President to tell people what to do,” said Blake, “but to guide them with leadership.” Nicely put. Paul Korczyk went on to say that student voices are important in student government. “I believe I will bring them,” he cried, “I –will- bring them.” Bold words from a Bold Pole. Alex Monegro spoke next, saying, “You need to know how to turn ideas into actions.” Nicely put Alex. So often I find myself having ideas like Tuition Prices should be lower but being unable to make the cognitive leap to solutions like Cutting Spending or Finding New Sources of Revenue. Thank God you’re here, Alex.

Although the debate started in vague, meaningless rhetoric, it quickly progressed into vaguer, less meaningful rhetoric. Paul indicated that he “believe[s] in taking baby steps” and that “it’s important to use word of mouth as a tool”. Paul, sweetheart, I know it’s hard to understand at your age, but taking baby steps tends to move people baby distances. Grow up and stride into the future boldly, as befits a leader. Also, word of mouth is not a tool. A hammer is a tool. A cordless drill is a tool. Seventy percent of the people running in this election are tools. Word of mouth is a sociological phenomenon. If you really want people to hear what you’re saying, you should probably tell them, instead of trying to get them to tell each other. Alex Monegro, not to be outdone, mentioned that “If we empower students, they will make it [undefined positive change] happen.” Alex, buddy, if you empower students, they will throw a kegger. That’s what being a student is all about. Student government, on the other hand, is all about making positive change. If elected president, do not expect the students to do your job for you. The students don’t give a shit. You will be on your own, fighting to save a world that hates you.

The AMS actually has a lot in common with the X-Men, when you think about it.

Questions from the floor elicited some interesting information from the candidates. Since none of the candidates had yet bothered to take a stand on a concrete issue, several were suggested. For example, should the AMS support provincial adaptation of STV?

Paul said yes.

Alex said yes.

Blake said yes.

Alright! Finally, some differing opinions and debate! Whoo! Next issue: Should UBC join the NCAA?

Paul said no.

Alex said no.

Blake said no.

At this point, I grew impatient with the debate and decided to ask what was on my mind point blank: “You all seem like a good candidate for president. Unfortunately, you all seem like the same candidate for president. Are there any real issues in this campaign and, if so, what are your stances on them?”

Paul responded by blustering about how offended he was to be compared to the other candidates. Then, realizing that he’d said something mildly intriguing, he immediately back pedaled, calling his opponents “great guys”. Although he totally failed to indicate what his positions were, he did mention that his “different perspective will be significant”. Sweet! If only you’d told me how your perspective is at all different and explained the ways in which it will be significant. Does your different perspective stem from being a werewolf? Are you secretly a baby-eating cannibal? Will this be significant because UBC will no longer have a daycare shortage? If only Mitch had given you longer than 20 seconds to respond, the world could know.

Alex responded much better. He indicated that he had connections and support networks all over campus. This will allow his to “take strong stances on issues”. Thanks. That’s good to know. If only I had any idea what kind of strong stances you’ll be taking. Oh well.

Blake, of course, provided the only semi-rational answer. No, he didn’t take a stance on anything (this is still the AMS we’re talking about) but he at least made a reasonable attempt to excuse himself from doing so. “It’s difficult to articulate positions on issues in this time frame.” Right you are champ. Right you are.

So, in conclusion, it doesn’t really matter who you vote for because no one has any positions on any issues. Yay democracy. Since none of the candidates really displayed any sort of identity, I’ve decided to arbitrarily assign them traits based on which of the three stooges they most remind me of. Blake will be the intelligent yet cruel one, constantly threatening to murder his underlings, the Moe. Paul will be Curly Joe, seemingly inept, but possibly the most talented of the trio, always making excuses and whooping sounds. Alex can be Larry, the one no cared about.

Listen, let me give you all some advice. People, especially people in our generation, have the attention spans of apathetic college students with ADD. They have neither the time nor the inclination to understand your platforms. This is what you need to do win their votes. Stand up and say “I stand for (insert cool issue). My opponent stands for (insert lame issue). Vote for me if you want (insert cool issue).” Use Soundbyte tactics to create unreasonable dichotomies in the minds of voters. Look, here’s an example:

George Bush: “I stand for America!. My opponent loves Terrorism. If you like ¡America! and hate Terrorism, vote for me.”

And that’s how a chimp in a suit wins two US elections in a row.

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19 January, 2009

What you didn't see at today's "debate"

Here's the D.A.'s take on today's "debate." If you want to find out what happened at said event, please find yourself a more responsible news media outlet. Perhaps one that features AMS hacks posting every two minutes about minutae that will have little influence on anyone's mind.

Things not seen today:

(1) Cleavage. We're all dissapointed. Well, except myself really, but that's a personal issue involving rainbows and leather.

(2) An independent moderator. Noted AMS hack Mitch Wright moderating AMS hackbate*. Way to go guys! What happened to pandering to your favourite VFM (that's us folks) by getting UBC debate moderators. Apparently reaching out to clubs is again a buzzword, not a reality.

* hackbate = "hack + debate". Or masturbating with an axe. Which, as APalm points out, would hurt.

(3) Debate. I'm not sure who to blame on this one, so let's spread the love around.

A. The candidates? Though they seemed to know their platforms decently and were excellent in repeating them, for the most part they didn't have the guts to call out other candidates on how the platforms were insufficient or bad. Case in point: Paul Korczyk, after our correspondent Austin implied the three presidential candidates were very similar: "I'm offended to hear that implication... wait, I mean... these guys are great!"

This despite the fact that some of the platforms are legitimately different! From what I can gather, some candidates strongly oppose market housing (ideological), some want to work with the university to bring students benefit from any development (pragmatic). Wait, this did inspire some heat, between Sonia, Johannes and Jeremy in the VP Academic and University Affairs! Which brings me to...

B. The elections committee/the "debate" format? Though he'd probably prefer the suffix "lady-", I'm going to go ahead and call him Mitch Wright, debatekiller. The only time things started to get interesting (Johannes was making an anti-market housing rebuttal to Sonia's more equivocal stance, and Jeremy pointedly asked "Where have you been in the fight against this?"), Mitch - on the direction of the elections administrator - shut off the microphones and moved us back to another, much more boring, round of questions.

For Gods' sakes! Heaven forbid the candidates actually debate about something, and the audience actually get excited! When asked afterward why he stopped that, Mitch claimed that the format was designed to get all the debate fit into an hour - an admirable goal, but one that justifies keeping the event blasé and fairly useless?

(4) Joke candidates. Thanks to Kommander Keg and Water Fountain for keeping us awake during the VP Admin debate. We are saddened by the Japanization of Fyre Hydrant and wish that, if we can't have reasonable debate, we could at least have funny and insighful "serious" candidates.

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18 January, 2009

AMS Elections: Let the circlejerk begin!

Last Friday I awoke from my bourbon induced hibernation and headed on to campus. As I was walking though the SUB, my furry ears noticed a ruckus in the Conversation Pit. What was this madness? It was nothing other than an AMS debate! Well colour me surprised! I had a hot date with my favorite furry friends so I could not stay and watch, but not wanting to miss the next debate I looked around for a poster advertising the debates. I couldn't find one. [read more of Commodore Cuddle's Epic Adventure behind the jump]

Then I went to the UBC website to look for election information. The UBC site had a nice picture of a man being mind raped, but nothing about the AMS. Next, I checked the AMS site. Nothing there, either. I scratched my furry head, went to the Google, and finally found the actual AMS elections site. Still no mention of debate times or locations. By now, I am doubting that I actually witnessed a debate. Perhaps I just stumbled into some perverted circle jerk and the tequila made me think it was a debate to spare my mind the horror of what it actually saw.

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16 January, 2009

Presidential Candidates: an analysis

We're back with totally superficial, scandalous, and potentially slanderous coverage of the 2009 AMS elections! We here at the Devil's Advocate are crossing our fingers that this election will be just as fun as the last one... and we're doing all we can to make it so.

With that in mind, allow us to present an analysis of the Presidential candidates. This is no common analysis, however. Instead, we have done a scientific survey of the candidates using the data from the "related groups" of their facebook election group. Results behind the jump.

Paul Korczyk:

It is a well known fact that Polish Paul is, in fact, Polish (have you read his last name!), so we'll assume from the last group that Paul has the Polish swing vote on campus. Paul also has the vote of:

  • people who think they're connected to the Vancouver Canucks... wait, apparently hockey fans in general. We at the Devil's Advocate know that he'll need to throw more than a hip-czyk* to get elected.
  • students who read Wikipedia at 4am (knowing students, this could turn into a landslide election!)
  • most intriguingly, that large group of voters affected by solar winds! I quote from this group description: "If solar wind were a person, (s)he would be really angry, and ready to fuck you up." While I credit the gender balance here, I really have to call into question Paul's supporter's links to this pseudo-science.
*last I czyked, this was Polish for hip-check

Let's move on, with Alex Monegro:

Alex again has an ethnic vote - anyone other than me want to see the stats on Polish vs. Dominican Republic voters on campus? - reflected in his groups. And come to think of it, "inexpensive and unforgettable" could be a decent slogan. (The D.A. calls shotty.) Alex also has the vote of:
  • Anyone who thinks the line "Be my queen and mate me with your knight moves" might actually work. That is ... oh, wait, nobody. Also... imagine President Alex calling up President Toope with lines like "If my right leg was Christmas and my left was Easter, would you like to spend some time between the holidays?" Doesn't work for me.
  • The drunk vote. Now this is something we at the Devil's Advocate can really get behind.
Finally, Blake Frederick:

As far as I can tell, Blake doesn't have a facebook group yet... which means he gets one line at the bottom of this pseudo-story, rather than a bunch somewhere in the middle. Better luck next time, BF! On a somewhat related note, shouldn't his campaign slogan be "Put your BFF in office?" And any suggestions what the second F should stand for?


Well, there's a candidates debate in 10 minutes, so perhaps I'll go watch that and contribute something real to this discussion. (Who am I kidding - perhaps I'll go watch it to better mock and berate the candidates!) Until next time, my three readers.

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