Guild Elections: Everyone just chill the f#ck out
by Madura McCormack
Student election season has gone into hyperdrive, with voting now open and the stupollies going hard and fast on Bush Court.
I’d first like to acknowledge that METIOR remains impartial, especially in the wake of contributor and outgoing EVP Roland Belford’s endorsement of the ACTION ticket. Roland recently analysed both TMNT’s and ACTION’s policies. He ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014 and the analysis must be read with that bias in mind.
Tensions have escalated since Monday October 2 when a formal complaint was lodged by ACTION against the TMNT ticket for an alleged breach of election rules. That friendly political animosity/ atmosphere seems to be on the verge of breaking out into some kind of political faction stabbing session.
Now, let’s talk about this election thing and what’s been going on in simple english.
There are two frontrunning tickets, ACTION and TMNT because lets be honest, the independent candidates don’t appear to have enough support or ground presence to be elected into office.
The ACTION team, lead by Troy Treeby is openly a left-leaning party. They can do this because Murdoch University is traditionally leftist, and the student body generally accepts this political idealogy.
Troy is a member of the WA Greens, and has supported Senator Scott Ludlam on his campaign trail. Also a member of the Murdoch University Sustainability Team and organizer of World Student Environment Network [WSEN] 2015, Troy is as green as they come. His autobiography will be titled ’50 Shades of Kale’.
His running partner Gavin Scolaro [General Secretary], is affiliated with the Socialist Alliance, a registered political party that “advocates for a democratic society run by and for working people, not the greedy, destructive capitalist elite that now rules”, according to its website. Scolaro refers to his external pol party as the ‘friendly socialists’, because the other guys, Socialist Alternative are considered slightly… unhinged.
METIOR understands no one else in the ACTION ticket is part of a political party.
Over at The Murdoch Now Team, Guild president candidate Guy McDonald noted during yesterday’s presidential debate that he is a registered member of the WA Greens. Guy, who seems more comfortable working behind the scenes, can be seen here and here with the Greens.
Now to what has been making the online Murdoch community lose its collective shit and initiated the unsavoury mud-slinging that’s going on.
It has become apparent that the ‘Liberal’ brand at Murdoch University is highly toxic. Any mention of the word is met with dirty looks, a frenzied dash for rotten tomatoes and pitchforks.
The Murdoch Now Team has been copping flak for having at least two candidates who are affiliated with the WA Young Liberals. They are Dean Wicken, running for EVP and Darian Whyte, running for Clubs Officer. The general consensus online is that TMNT is a Liberal ticket running under the camouflage of a Green president.
Guy McDonald considers his ticket ‘centrist’. Dean Wicken has come out to defend the ticket, calling TMNT ‘diverse’ and was shutdown about half a second later.
Admittedly, the TMNT Guild Executive is a boys club, something the Guild hasn’t seen in recent memory. In a female majority university where the Guild was helmed by a woman in 2012, 2013 and 2015, this has come back to bite the ticket.
But the bigger question here is, has debate been stiffled at Murdoch because of its long leftist tradition?
This appears to be so, judging from the exchanges happening online and the (arguable) reluctance of Dean and Darian to openly admit that they are members of the WA Young Liberals.
For a previous article on the Women’s Collective fiasco, I sat down to speak with former Women’s rep Bianca Talbot and current candidate for Sports Officer with TMNT. She noted that there is no room for debate at Murdoch, and while she is welcome to her views being challenged, there is no constructive opportunity to do this. Whether this is true is itself up for debate.
I urge all Guild candidates and voters to remember that we are all people and to act in an honourable fashion. Throwing knives at each other is a lot less productive than mature discussion.
Voting remains open until midnight on Thursday, and I implore all students to read ACTION‘s and TMNT‘s policy and vote for whichever candidate you believe will best represent your needs. Thankfully it already looks like the voter turnout will surpass the weak showing of 2014.