Disagreements in the Get More camp manifested in vice-presidential (external) candidate, Chantal Shivanna Ramraj leaving the slate to run independently.
Ramraj stated that she decided to run independently because she could not agree on key issues with her former slate. She said she feels that working with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) has been, and will continue to be, successful, while her former slate is intent on serving as CGS watchdogs if elected.
“My slate informed me that they shared similar beliefs with me, yet would not let me put these supposed shared beliefs on my poster. From this disallowance I could only gather that we really did not agree, and that I was simply being humoured,” explained Ramraj.
“I feel as though there was control over my poster, which I could not accept if I was running to be an executive on UMSU. I had to be better than that.”
Ramraj said that initially her slate was upset with her decision, but feels that Get More bounced back fine.
“I think their mentality is to keep the eye on the ‘prize.’ Let’s just say I lost a couple of Facebook friends,” said Ramraj.
Ramraj feels that though her platform is still similar to what it was when she was with Get More, it has become “no holds barred.”
“The poster I created used language that would definitely make some members of [Get More] very uncomfortable,” said Ramraj.
“My poster is very straightforward. I believe that UMSU has the power to affect positive social change. [ . . . ] I believe that all students at the [University of Manitoba] are aware and empowered; they just want someone to run for UMSU that cares about that and not just about getting the position.”
Ramraj doesn’t care what running independently does to her chances of winning.
“If the students do not agree with my platform, then I shouldn’t win. But at least I am going to [present] my platform honestly,” explained Ramraj.
Delaney Coelho, presidential candidate from the Get More slate, said she felt that, “although [Get More] regrets Chantal’s decision to leave, we believe we are all stronger for it.”
“Our slate is committed to evaluating the role of CFS within our university and providing the students a platform from which their voices [are] heard. Chantal’s views about CFS were one of many clashing points [ . . . ],” stated Coelho.
Coelho went on to say that her former slate-mate “seemed reluctant to make meaningful compromises and began making unfound accusations before abruptly leaving [their] slate prior to the beginning of the campaign period.”
Coelho thinks that her slate is now able to provide consistency and that becoming a four-person slate improved Get More’s team dynamic.
“We have become a very tight, cohesive unit, and if anything, her leaving has solidified our platform.”
Chief returning officer Jason van Rooy explained to the Manitoban that four-person slates are allowed, since an individual is nominated and runs for a position; the election rules allow candidates with similar ideas and values to choose to run together as a slate.
This means that if voters choose, they can vote for different candidates from different slates, and the elected slate can be a mix of all the different slates. This also allows candidates to leave their slate and run independently without repercussions.