I have been cautioned by the Elections committee (EC) for mentioning other candidates’ names on my website.
The rule referred to is as follows: “Referring to your opponents/other candidates is also banned except in certain contexts. You cannot make allegations about your opponents or other candidates in the elections in any of your published material, whether physical or online. You can, however, refer to them in forums where the Elections Committee thinks they have a fair opportunity to respond directly.”
They’re anything but open to interpretation and were definitely not written by lawyers. For example:
- What are the certain contexts in which referring to opponents is allowed?
- What are the forums in which EC thinks that candidates have a fair opportunity to respond directly? They could have commented on my website. Is that not enough?
The EC will clarify this particular section of the rules soon.
If anyone wants to have a look at the whole damn set of rules – I don’t recommend it – click here. Beware, sometimes the rules mean the opposite of what’s written down in the document. You are, for instance, allowed to advertise endorsement (as long as you don’t mention the surname or role of the endorser) despite the rule document stating clearly in bold: “You may not advertise their endorsement and support of your campaign”.
Right from scripture itself
Here’s the change of rules
On a different note, I think that the Election rules are really quite archaic and prevent proper scrutiny of candidates. We can’t publish objective information about all the candidates.
Also, the best way to engage with audiences on Facebook is to create a page. However, pages are banned, only events are allowed. This leads to annoying numbers of event invitations. In addition, whatever is posted in an event will only be shown to people attending the event. Other than that, one can use one’s own profile and have friends endorse one. That means, it’s all about how many friends you have rather than whether people actually like your candidacy.
If elected President, I will review the election rules and make sure they’re up to date with respect to social media and don’t stifle proper scrutiny of candidates by each other.
I’ve received unprecedented praise from the Tab, what has happened?
Read more about my candidacy from more or less unbiased student newspapers in interviews by The Tab and Varsity.
Read the Varsity interview here
Read the Tab interview here
So, the debate we’ve had at 3pm today is finally out in full quality. Have a look at it here. It looks like the beginning was chopped off. What a shame, I’m in touch with elections committee to find out whether this might be fixable.
Someone really ought to make a 2min summary of the highlights, like for the US primary debates. I can’t imagine anyone spending more than 2 min of this apart from the candidates themselves and the Tab.
This is a direct call to anyone with video talent and journalistic ambitions!
The video is available here.
Update on 29/2/16 at 6pm
As everyone following the CUSU presidential elections will know, the Tab’s liveblog is THE public forum for election coverage, completely unparalleled (if there’s another commentary, please, please tell me!). It’s got its flaws for sure, but hey, it’s definitely better than nothing and means at least someone reads this website.
I thought it’d be interesting to compare how often the four candidates were mentioned on the page, including the comments. Lo and behold, here are the results (Tab, feel free to quote):
- Cornelius Roemer (36 mentions)
- Another candidate (20 mentions)
- Another candidate (14 mentions)
- Another candidate (13 mentions)
Let’s see whether the saying “Any publicity is good publicity”holds true in this case. The result will be out by Thursday 7pm.
Edit 29/2/16 4.20pm: Elections Committee (EC) ruled that my mentioning of other candidates’ names is against election rules. I have thus deleted the names and replaced them with “other candidate”, this was cleared with EC. You can find the names out by simply doing Ctrl+f and entering the names: Angus, Amatey and John.
The Tab has recently realised that I’m German. I don’t see how that should matter, just as it shouldn’t matter which gender, skin colour or sexual orientation you have.
If one wanted to make an exception of this like TCS has done recently with the article “Too many men, too few candidates”, one might be inclined to point out that at least in the past three years, possibly more, there have been no international sabbs, let alone non-native speakers representing students at a University with 40% internationals.
Thanks, Tab for reminding me I’m German.
Oh, and by the way, maybe the Tab should listen to its own advice.
Is the timing a coincidence? Or does someone have moral scruples?
Appendix: 40% of full-time students have non-UK citizenship (source here)
The presidential race has clearly inspired the public
I will release a full statement on the recent allegations in the student press in due course.
The composition of the old TCSU committee was as follows:
President: Cornelius Roemer
Vice President: Kshitij Sabnis
Secretary: Harriet Gordon
Treasurer: Charlotte Grace
Ents: Michael Askins
Access: Caitlin de Jode
Female Welfare: Lauren Brown
Male Welfare: Jack Harding
Overseas Welfare: Xavier Bisits (Editor of the Tab, Lent 2016)
Junior Steward: Marios Michael
Computing: Martin Freimueller (current TCSU President)
Environmental & Domestic: Nicholas Wong
LGBT: Mimi Trevelyan-Davis
BME: Sarah Lusack (supporter of another candidate’s campaign team)
Women’s: Beth Cloughton
Mental Health & Disabilities: Mary Harvey
Edit 29/2/16 4.20pm: Elections Committee (EC) ruled that my mentioning of a candidates name in this context is against the rules. I have thus deleted the explicit mention of the name.