On April 5, originally-elected candidate Ismaeel El-Hakim fell short by 86 votes behind his months-long political rival, Jakob Cardinal in a by-election for the VP External of SAMU. In March, El-Hakim finished with a whopping 875 votes, and was named unofficial Vice-President External. After Cardinal appealed El-Hakim’s win, no one was really sure what was going to happen. A few days later, following the initial election, a by-election was called. More information about the discrepancy found in the policy, as well as the candidates’ original struggles can be read here.
The whole situation played out like your classic political cartoon: someone on one side saying, “elect me, elect me!” and another across from them saying, “no, it’s my turn!” But there’s only so much that can be done with such a small voting window — the by-election voting took place in one day compared to the original two in March. With even less voter turnout than the original election — at only 7% — the votes from the by-election rounded up to a total of 1008. The low turnout was likely due to classes ending during the by-election campaigning and voting periods.
Over the past 5 weeks, the flip-flop between the two candidates was nothing short of confusing and exhausting. Both nominees spent their last week of classes campaigning, reaching out to students, revamping their platforms, and fighting to the very end for their spot as VP External. Their hard work paid off, just at different times.
El-Hakim’s appealed win may have been what set the confusion in motion, but it’s what happens from here on out that will affect MacEwan’s student body. Cardinal will take on the executive committee role, while El-Hakim faces the harsh reality of a false-win.
With the turn of events that occurred this year, all we can hope for is a smooth academic year next fall. So, I guess all that’s left to say now is good luck, Ismaeel. Oops — I mean Jakob; I knew this by-election would get confusing!