With elections just around the corner, Associated Students Legislative Council approved the ballot for the Spring 2001 General Elections last night at its first meeting of the quarter.
The new Elections Code changes the way this year’s election will be run, and one of the major changes under the new code is the inclusion of party affiliation next to a candidate’s name on this year’s ballot.
However, students are not allowed to run under common party affiliations such as Democrat or Republican, but are instead using names like Gauchoholics, Student Action Coalition (SAC) and People of Action.
Party affiliations were debated twice during Winter Quarter. The issue surfaced again Wednesday night after several students were apparently confused by the paperwork and forgot to put their party affiliation next to their name.
What began as a debate over meeting a deadline soon broadened into a discussion about whether party affiliation should be allowed on the ballot.
Off-Campus Rep Bill Flores has spoken out against party affiliations since the beginning. However, he is running for president – affiliated with SAC.
“I believe in coalitions; I am strongly for coalitions,” he said, “but this is not fair, and it limits the students. We should be looking at individuals and not parties. The way it is now helps me, but I’m doing what I feel is right for the students.”
Proponents of party affiliation argued it was a way to hold people accountable, and it was too late to change the ballot. Off-Campus Rep Jonathan Kalinski said the issue was only being brought up in order to help certain people in the upcoming elections.
“Parties are clashing 2 to 3 weeks before the elections,” he said. “They looked at the ballot, didn’t like the numbers and decided to make an amendment and blame it on confusion. Let’s not let them pull a fast one on us.”
Debate ended in a tie, leaving the final decision to Internal Vice President Alison Scheer After taking a five-minute recess to consider her decision, Scheer voted against the amendment, allowing party affiliations to stay on the ballot.
The motion to add SAC as the party affiliation next to the names of almost twenty people on the ballot also failed. However, the affiliations will be added if the candidates can prove they requested the change before the deadline.
Almost an hour and a half later, the ballot was approved with minor changes in the wording.
Leg Council also briefly discussed the creation of a Local Affairs organizing director – a new title for the chair of the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee (IVCRC).
Off-Campus Rep Bridget Saltzman said, “Basically, this bill would create a person who already exists. It would make the IVCRC chair work more closely with the external vice president of Local Affairs (EVPLA). The EVPLA is already spread so thin.”
Because it would be a By-Law change, the bill was automatically tabled.
In other news, Leg Council vetoed Off-Campus Rep Matt McMillan’s 12-page Legislative Reorganization Bill, which has been on the table since January.
McMillan said his bill would “address deficiencies that exist in this house.”
Off-Campus Rep Josh Baker said the bill would just be another set of rules for Leg Council to ignore.
“We have a hard time following rules we already have,” he said, “and since there are no important policy changes, I don’t think we should have more rules, which, in all honesty, we probably won’t follow.”