[Council] ERTF Update

Chris Lolas crlolas at uwaterloo.ca
Mon Jul 13 09:49:17 EDT 2015

Hello Council,

We spoke a bit about the Elections Review Task Force's work yesterday, but I'll send a more thorough list now. The following are areas of concern we've identified and that don't have an obvious solution. If you have any feedback on these, please send them to me. Also, I'll be adding an ERTF discussion to next Council agenda, so you can start preparing for that. Please bear in mind, nothing below is decided, it is just the result of brainstorming.

1. Campaigning on voting days
Currently not allowed, but this often stifles turnout. Some ideas we had were
a. Have a neutral script that encourages people to vote (just not for a specific person) that all candidates are permitted to repeat
b. Same as above, but don't allow the candidates themselves to repeat it (just their volunteers)
c. Just allow full campaigning

2. Penalty system
Currently you lose 15% of your budget for each infraction
a. Move to a demerit system completely separate from the budget. Infractions earn you points, you go over the limit, you're disqualified

3. Expense limits
We're torn on this one. Currently, Exec have $300 (either for an individual or shared amongst the team)
a. Keep it the same (removing the penalties from 2 effectively increases the budget by around $90-150 for Exec elections)
b. Increase it significantly (Western, for example has $750)
c. Have a sliding scale for teams.
                Ex. 1 person has $300, 2 people share $500, 3 share $600, 4 share $650
d. Introduce a loan system where Feds can front some of the cost so people don't need to come up with hundreds of dollars (only to get reimbursed anyway)

4. Length of campaign period
Some concerns about it being too short (current 2 weeks)
a. Overlap with nominations (so expand to 3 or 4 weeks)

5. Incumbents
They take a leave of absence. We just need to figure out if there should be similar rules for candidates serving in other positions (Councillors, Directors, committee members, etc.)

6. Nominations
Concern about how simple it is to get 100 online nominations
a. If nomination period is overlapped with campaigning, it would be much easier to only have paper nominations
b. If online continues, the number should be increased
c. Perhaps you are only permitted online nominations if you live outside Waterloo region

These were the big ones we discussed yesterday. I'm currently compiling a comparison to other student associations.

Again, please send along any feedback you have on the above, or any other area you feel the ERTF should cover.

Chris Lolas
President | Federation of Students | University of Waterloo
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To Serve, Empower and Represent the Undergraduate Students of the University of Waterloo

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