If there are two things that can be guaranteed every election season, without fail, they are scandals involving the breaching of campaign rules and policy theft. And bang on cue, with the rumours drying up as candidates retire to darkened rooms filled with smoke and mirrors to draw up their winning schemes, the bitching and finger-pointing has reared its ugly, but wonderfully entertaining head.
At the centre of a brewing storm is Democracy and Services candidate-to-be Chris Etheridge, who has got fellow candidates effing and blinding over what is generally being perceived as s cheeky head-start. OTR was sent the below by an anonymous tipster, but I reckon many of the readers of this blog will have had a similar invitation:
OTR has learned that with Taskmaster Bretts still unwell, annoyed candidates and general election sleuths have fired accusatory emails to YUSU Staff members, current Sabbs and the media. However, OTR has obtained an email that shows when Nouse got in touch with the staff member currently deputising for Bretts, the reporter was told that it is “allowed in the run up to the announcement of candidates and part of the process of ‘preparing for campaigning'”. Whatever that means.
Indeed, when OTR got in touch with Etheridge’s campaign Tsar Peter Campbell, he said that they “spoke with YUSU prior to the invitations” and that the invitations were “all above board”. Apparently, the YUSU line is that if it’s a secret group, unsolicited invitations are totally kosher. I’d reckon that all those people who are complaining now will quickly jump on that loophole bandwagon.
Perhaps more intriguing is a juicy little piece of gossip that OTR heard today regarding policy selling. “Policy selling?” I hear you cry. Yes. If getting people to stick to them wasn’t enough, now they’re being traded.
Allegedly, an as yet unknown member of a Student Activities candidate’s campaign team went rogue and the mercenary little tyke approached a rival candidate with the offer of a certain number of their candidate’s finest policies, for a fee.
What does a decent policy go for nowadays on the black market? Who was this devious little double-crosser? Answers on a postcard please. All OTR knows is that the well-meaning candidate turned down the offer. Good on them. Unless, of course, the policy was crap.
Campaigning starts in exactly seven days time. Nominations close Friday.
Lots of election gossip and intrigue in tomorrow’s Nouse. Look out for it on campus from 11AM.
Gossip and rumours to [email protected]
The opinions expressed above are not representative of either those of Nouse, or of YUSU. They are the speculations and personal views of the author who is not a member of the editorial team, and should be treated as such.