Its that time of the year again, OYL AGM time, the time when my blog gets a lot of traffic from University dorms and libraries. Let me begin my story with this. This morning I received an email from David Valentin, the outgoing OYL student Director. Here it is in its full context.
Here is David's Letter.
I want to make you aware of a very serious situation. Last night, cheating was discovered that appears to support the OYL Forward candidate for Eastern Region at the AGM this weekend in Richmond Hill.
A fake email address was created to impersonate a Riding Association President. It was used to appoint 3 delegates by sending an email to the AGM's Chief Returning Officer. The Association President has confirmed that this is not his email address, and that he did not appoint these delegates. Like all of us, he is not pleased with how easily and carelessly the people responsible misrepresented themselves using his identity. If this happened once, how many other delegates were appointed fraudulently?
We may all be shocked, but we cannot allow ourselves to be shocked into silence. We as an organization cannot ignore proof of cheating. We must stand up. We deserve better and we can do better.
If you agree with me, please make your voices heard to ensure the integrity of the results of the AGM this weekend.
Furthermore, we ask that the AGM Returning Officer Brian Whitmore (email@example.com) re-verify all riding association appointees by scan or fax that includes the Riding Association President's selection, signature, and photocopy of ID.
Voice your desire for a fair, open, and accountable Annual General Meeting this weekend.
As Young Liberals in the political system, we learn responsibility quickly, and this is an unfortunate juncture in learning that.
Cheating cannot be tolerated within our commission. Join the fight for a fair, open and transparent Annual General Meeting.
Thank you –
OYL Student Director
Now, lets take a look at the alleged email sent by the Leeds Grenville Riding president.
So, there you have it, a gmail account, with numbers used to add delegates. It doesn't look like the email of a riding president who is a lawyer in the Brockville area. In fact, I have been told that this particular person has his secretary do his emailing for him. Here is an email sent by the riding president to the CRO for OYL 2010.
From: Janet Pepper [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: March 11, 2010 11:19 AM
Subject: Ontario Young Liberals - AGM
I have had a chance to review the email allegedly sent by me. It is not my email and was not sent by me.
Gregory O. Best
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.436 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2734 - Release Date: 03/11/10 07:33:00
Now, this email checks out. So by now, you are wondering, does Jamie know deepthroat, lets say that I have my sources, and that some youth seem to enjoy sending me stuff. They appreciate my discretion, and I get a good scoop. So you ask now, who are these people and who are they connected too.
Well, deepthroat, lets call her Deepthroat (any reference to Watergate is purely for ironic purposes) my source, happens to be facebook friends with members of the OYL forward slate, and all 3 of these people are non-political friends of the guy running for policy chair. So There you have it, the connection, from the slate to this gong show.
For me this is another reason why we should abolish the slate system in youth politics, it creates a hyper competitive environment where youth scheme up ways to screw over fellow young liberals. People should run on the power of their own campaign rather than as a team. If these teams don't play fair they should be kicked out of the league. Maybe some type of constitutional amendment may be in order, but till then I can complain from my soapbox.
PS: As of 8pm tonight, those 3 delegates have been disqualified.
The system only works if there are people there to make it accountable.