The Yes to BDS Committee is saddened once again by recent news about the BDS referendum. Whether or not we win or lose, it is now clearer than ever that dishonest violations of elections procedures on the part of the No Committee have been treated with a light slap on the wrist, and the issue of serious human rights violations recognized by the United Nations is trivialized.
As per the recently released CEO’s sanction report, actions taken by the No Committee were in direct violation of several CSU Standing Regulations. These violations allowed an imbalanced campaigning playground: misinformation was used in various forms to dissuade the public from voting Yes to the BDS motion based on falsified information, as cited by the CEO. The No Committee used propaganda tactics restricting the Concordia undergraduate population from making an informed decision, in an attempt to shift the vote in their favor. The Yes to BDS Committee strongly condemns the insufficient reprimand on the part of the CEO against the No Committee, given the severity of the violations committed.
The sanction issued by the CEO for these violations is a fine totaling $150. Precedent has been set in previous election years, where candidates were given harsher sanctions, including disqualification for similar violations. As early as March 2014, the current CEO sanctioned an ENCS candidate for violating similar regulations such as the misrepresentation of facts, campaigning after the designated campaigning period, and intent to sabotage the election by not following the rules of fair play.[i] All of the above have been cited as direct violations undertaken by the No Committee.
While CSU regulations allow for disqualification of a candidate who violates an election regulation, the regulations lack in stating clear consequences for violations of referendum rules. At this point we have thus completely lost any remnant of faith in the CSU regulations.
The CEO’s report released December 4th outlines merely a few of the many regulations broken by the No Committee. The Yes Committee has compiled a comprehensive report of these and a myriad of other violations witnessed by its members, and will present it as part of the Judicial Board appeal for further investigation and sanctions.