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Nap Time!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006
Hey, that's mean

The Daily Cal has things to say about the SADQ. I'll start with the editorial.

The summary is "Yeah, they lied their asses off. Yeah, they deserved to be punished. But this was too harsh!" Skim to the bottom for my big political philosophy whining.

Too bad [the Judicial Council] drew a blank on the spirit of the law - to take appropriate action to ensure a fair campaign.

Too bad the Daily Cal drew a blank on the role of the Judicial Council. There's more to the Judicial Council than elections violations. It's also in charge of making sure that officials follow the rules when elections are not going on. More on this later.

Responding to "one-day chalk" with party disqualification? A little excessive, to say the least.

How about responding to straight lying to the body in charge of making sure rules are followed?

The Judicial Council serves as an arbiter of election disputes. If a candidate or party egregiously violates campaign laws, the council should hold the party accountable to uphold a fair election.

But in this case the council seemed more concerned with the party's disrespect of the council than the party's campaign violations.

That is what this case was about. The campaign violations had already been dealt with.

Now, for those at the Daily Cal and others, please keep in mind that "disrespecting the Judicial Council" is "disrespecting the apparatus by which our government officials are bound to the rules." What the candidates were disqualified for was no less than spitting in the face of the rules, declaring "We can do whatever we want, and no Constitution or By-laws can stop us." If you're interested in the dictatorship approach to government, this is fine, but the democratic-minded among us don't like this approach. We want our officials to be hobbled by rules, so they don't abuse their power.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 6/19/2006 02:34:00 PM #
Comments (6)
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Beetle, agreed... plus my own rant:

If the Council ruled based on the editorial's reasoning, they would be nothing more than an empty symbolic face of a judiciary. What the hell is the point of a judiciary if it cannot issue tangible sanctions for violations of the rules? It's already bad enough that the Council's only tangible deterrent is to issue disqualifications -- you can't take that away!

If the DailyCal disagrees with some legal conclusion of their ruling, then fine. What they are suggesting is to arbitrate from the bench -- something I guarantee they would later complain about when convenient. Obviously they missed the target on this one.
Also, to build on Beetle's last point, I would even argue that upholding the sanctity of the judiciary is even more important than any one election cycle -- the Council's authority and credibility is at stake, and that will affect the ASUC for years to come. Mike Davis could attest to how long it took us to rebuild the judiciary from the sad state he found it in.
Roughly three and a half years. And its still not entirely up to where I'd like it to be.
Student Action lied about those WMDs in Iraq and now we're at war!
Student Action lied about those WMDs in Iraq and now we're at war!
I still can't believe the J-Council finally showed some teeth. (Huzzah!)

During the last few years, it seemed like the J-Council would issue tortured decisions, which produced just enough sanctions to warn people, but not enough to bring about mass disqualifications. So of course, the parties figured that meant the rules would never be enforced to their full measure. Maybe in the future, the parties will stick to the rules a bit more.
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