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Monday, June 07, 2004
More Election Analysis
First and foremost, I have lots of praise to give fellow CalStuff blogger Ben Narodick for his campaign.
The Squelch! Gang ran an intelligent show; slate a lot of people and a few strong candidates and then watch the transfer votes prop up their leaders. It worked like a charm.
I have a lot of criticisms directed at my own campaign. Namely, I did not effectively expand my own voting block beyond what I first came up with when I sat down and wrote out a voter list. Those 80-90 some odd votes I ended up with are probably to a person the first 80-90 people I wrote down on my voter list.
In hindsight, I lacked the confidence to be aggressive on the campaign trail. Most of the time I stood out there and just handed out flyers while holding up my sign. That is a recipe for a loss.
This leads me to my next point. Best campaign: Manuel Buenrostro of Student Action. He did what I should have done for two whole weeks. Namely, be aggressive and approach new voters over and over again. I saw him walk countless people to their class while giving them his pitch. Just on the strength of his skills on the trail he deserved to win.
Worst Campaign: Amaury Gallais of BCR. The once mighty Republicans on campus could elect two Senators to the ASUC. This year they got shut out. Why?
Well several reasons. One, their candidate did almost no campaigning. Rather than get a sign and campaign on Sproul for two weeks rallying fellow Republicans to his cause, Amaury, it seems, expected three hundred votes to come his way by virtue of being affiliated with BCR. His brief flirtation with campaigning came on the Monday before the first day of voting. He handed out cards for a few hours.
The Republican club has over five hundred members and they generally bloc vote for 1-2 candidates. Last year Paul Lafata and the BCR candidate generated 250 first place votes combined. This year Mr. Gallais netted around 120 in the first round.
Also there was a crucial strategic error that can be attributed to the clubs president. In past practice it had been BCR policy to send out a voting list with Senate voting preference (List their candidate first followed by other BCR members who were running). Instead both Hovannes (fellow Senate candidate and Berkeley blogger) and myself were removed from the e-mail for allegedly campaigning for votes within the club. In an election that’s based on transferable votes, having multiple candidates is beneficial to the cause. This was demonstrated by Squelch! They turnout their own voters and help the slate at the same time! In this case they put one name on the e-mail and only his voters turned out. I myself had no incentive to tell my friends to throw Amaury a preference after the removal from the list.
What Happened to the other Independents?
I think a lot of Independent type people went with Student Action. People like Manny who was going to run Independent if he didn’t get slated greatly helped SA’s cause.
There was also the disappearance of a number of strong Independent parties. Where did Goatmilk, Rice, Independent APPLE, Fresno and all the others go? By the wayside it seems or taken in by Student Action. The new parties that sought to replace them, did not perform.
Some Other Random tidbits:
Incorporating Independents was a smart bet on SA’s part. It worked out for both groups. SA got its power back, and Independents greatly increased their chances of winning by running on the SA brand. What remains to be seen is whether SA’s independent executives will remain Independent.
What of reform? BEARS-United signature issue did not catch on as we had hoped. Yet the ASUC’s general state of decay remains. Every year more autonomy is lost, budget crises’ happen annually, and the student stores don’t make any money. Will SA’s independent executives and senators make moves to correct this trend or will they revert to traditional Student Action types. That is, throw a $3,000 ASUC ball for the hundred and fifty SA party members, while trading away power to the Administration. Time will tell, but I have hopes for Mr. Leybovich and gang. Email This Post!
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