Opening Statement



Friday, 11 May 2012

TSU Election Sleeper

Zzzzzzz. So far our TSU election has been a real sleeper. A snoozefest. Totally under most everyone's radar. I don't have anyone running against me. There's been a slight flurry of flyers hitting your school mailboxes towards the end of the week. Business cards are being used again this year by some candidates. There are school visits to press the flesh. I'm not sure how successful they will be, but as long as they aren't carried on during the school day that's allowed by our election committee too.

Next week should be more interesting. Wednesday at our Unit Annual General Meeting [UAGM] there will be candidate speeches and an audience Q and A. You should find most all the candidates there to meet. Attendance was real low last year when it was scheduled after the election. In year's past when it was held before the election, maybe 100 members would stay for the speeches.A lot, if not most, had made up their mind all ready and were pretty much there to cheer on their favourites. The mood of the audience often did not reflect the actual election results.

I doubt if the election results have rarely been strongly swayed by the debates, IMHO, but they can maybe swing a few voters this way or that. A candidate really would not want to perform poorly but otherwise? Perhaps insignificant in swaying large numbers of voter, some of our elections have been won by a handful of votes. I was tied once. Others have won by one vote! They can make a small but significant difference if a candidate gains a few extra votes. Every vote counts!

Sleeper elections can tend to favour the incumbents. The mood so far comes as quite a surprise. During the past four elections at TSU the positions have often been hotly contested by two opposing factions. This time? So far we seem mercifully short on mudslinging. What a big relief! Personal attacks or dirty politics can turn voters off from voting or even turn them against the belligerent party. We hope as teachers we are above it, but politics can be a blood sport. Like with hockey games lots of the spectators will want a little excitement,  some fighting and so on, truth be told. Long term however, this can create a very toxic union work environment long after the election is over. It can hurt the effort to provide good service for our members. One hopes the current sense of detente will continue to set the tone of this year's TSU executive election race.

Often, in the final analysis, the election winners are the ones who can get the most number of their voters out to vote. This is true federally, provincially, municipally and even at TSU, where elections can sometimes be won with but a handful of votes. It will be interesting if more members vote this year, our first election by phone voting. I'm not sure they will. You need 2 security numbers, for very good reason, but then it also becomes a hassle. It only takes 2 or 3 minutes to vote by phone and will be like using SEMs. The challenge won't be about convenience and security but in making sure members are prepared and actually vote!

Whether this remains a sleeper election or not the results and analysis afterwards should prove very interesting indeed! Please stick around for more coverage and please don't forget to vote on May 23rd!

Our operators will be waiting to help if you have trouble voting!

1 comment:

Bill Doyle said...

Altough I retired from the TCDSB 1 November 2007, I still try to follow "what's happening at TSU". On the positive side: I am happy to see elections are happening. I appreciate the efforts the Executive to get members to vote for their next Executive. I hope members take advantage to PHONE vote.
On the negative side: I am disappointed to see the incumbant President is running for a third term. I believe in his first campaign he stated he would stand for two terms. In his first campaign, he campaigned against the the incumbant President clung to the position for several terms. Eventually, members voted for change in leadership _ Rene was elected..
Because I am not an active TSU member I am in no position to praise or criticize the incumbant President. Were I in a position to vote, I would question the incumbant President going for a third term.

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