Friday, August 22, 2008

So what happened with the Regents results...

So, why didn't I say more about what happened this morning? Because I needed some time to calm down. I was pretty pissed off this morning. And it had more to do than just losing the Regents election.

It all started with an email from a Telegram reporter wanting to know about the Regents election and its impact on the presidential search at MUN. I responded that until the results were known on Monday it didn't make much sense to talk about it.

That's when he sent me the link to the press release announcing who the winners were.

To put this in some perspective, when I ran and lost in 2005 I did get an email essentially thanking me for running, but that unfortunately I didn't get enough votes to be one of the six representatives on the Regents. This came out before the results were known to the general public

In 2008, I find out I lost by a reporter emailing me a link to a day old press release.

So yeah, I was upset at losing. Because I thought I ran a decent campaign and lots of people were telling me they voted for me and that I stood a real chance. And like anybody who has ever run for anything, you start listening to these people and ignoring your more cynical instincts. You begin to think you have a chance. And then you lose and it really sucks. And this was just for Board of Regents at MUN. If nothing else I have a greater empathy for people like Simon and others who throw their hat into the ring for elected office.

But, you know, they don't find out they've lost through a press release.

So I was very pissed off that happened. So I then did two things. One I'm glad I did, one I strongly suspect I might regret.

The first was that I emailed both Alumni Affairs and MUN communications and expressed by extreme displeasure that this is the way that I, and other candidates, were finding out the results of the election. And that it was pretty unprofessional.

To their credit, they got back to me pretty quick. MUN communications emailed and said they understood why I was mad. The director of Alumni Affairs called me both at work and at home to apologize and explain what happened. Basically, it was a communications glitch on their part. That shouldn't have happened and they were taking steps to make sure it didn't happen again in 2011. An email should have been sent out yesterday to people who didn't get enough votes.

That's fine. Trust me, I understand communications glitches. I accepted the apology. But yeah, if I had put up a post this morning, the blog would still be smoldering I was that mad.

Which brings us to the other thing I did this morning that might have been a mistake...I spoke to the reporter. You don't speak to reporters when you're that mad, I know that. Because you will say something stupid that you will regret. Or you don't make your point as coherently as you might like. But I did it anyway and God only knows what is going to show up in the paper tomorrow. Hopefully nothing too stupid, but I wouldn't count on it. And if it's really stupid, I'll just have to deal with it.

One other curious thing about the election...I know my results and I'll say what they are. I finished 21st out of 39 people running. I got 169 votes. Which, I admit, is a touch disappointing. I was hoping for a bit better. But when I asked for the complete results, they're not giving them out right now. Why? Well, let me quote from the email I received this afternoon.

In the interest of transparency and accountability, we would very much like to publish the results of the election (name of candidates and number of votes) on the Alumni Affairs and Development Website. However, privacy legislation dictates that we need the permission of all candidates involved in order to do so. Therefore, we are requesting that you please notify us no later than Tuesday, August 26th if you are willing to allow us to publish your results.

Is that, or is that not, the strangest bloody thing? You need the permission of all the candidates to put up the results? I mean, if you're running you would think it's a given that the results will be published. I don't understand what privacy legislation has to do with this.

The sad thing is, I almost guarantee you they will not get unanimous consent. Someone will object. The person who finished last. Maybe a politician embarrassed by their numbers. Someone will have a problem. Which is too bad. The results should be published. If you don't want people to know how many votes you got, you shouldn't have run in the first place.

I really hope they will be. But don't be surprised when they're not.

Last Five
1. Now and always - David Gray
2. Trampled rose - Robert Plant and Allison Krauss
3. There goes God (live) - Crowded House*
4. Bleed like me - Garbage
5. Sand in my shoes - Dido


WJM said...

Wow. MUN sounds like it's taking Openness and Transparency lessons from Our Dear Premier — or is it Our Great Premier? — now.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad. Good for you for running, though.

Simon said...

write them back and ask them what chapter, section and verse they are hiding behind.

A vote count for a public institution is not a matter of personal information.

Anonymous said...

The reporter did you no harm. You were quoted in moderation and fit nicely into the story. The Board of Regents is now officially politicized like it or not. So much for the credibility it once had.