AMS elections nostalgia

The Journal presents a snapshot of AMS elections of the past

Back in 1986, Conservative Brian Mulroney was prime minister, Canada was adopting sanctions to protest apartheid policies and the American space shuttle Challenger exploded moments after launching.

Meanwhile, in Kingston, three teams were running for AMS executive, pushing platforms that included more personal involvement between students and the AMS executive, and improvements in student housing and town-gown relations.

Even the issue of Homecoming was addressed, with each team pushing for a legalized street party.

Two of the teams were fairly spontaneous entries into the race, deciding less than 12 hours before the nomination deadline that they were going to run.

Teams CTT and LMW scrambled to secure the 500 undergraduate signatures necessary for nomination, joining team HEL in the ensuing two-week campaign. Teams HEL, led by Jim Hughes, Comm ’88, and CTT, led by Ron Carle, ArtSci ’88, had similar platforms, both of which addressed the hot topic of apartheid by proposing a boycott of South African products on campus.

One of the only areas of difference between teams CTT and HEL was prior experience in the AMS: whereas team HEL boasted a lengthy resume, CTT had limited prior involvement in the AMS.

Adding some flavour to the campaign trail was team LMW, led by Kent Lewis, ArtSci ’88. The team entered the race with the express purpose of showing that student apathy was high enough that a party with an absurd platform could get the five hundred signatures needed for nomination. Dubbing themselves “the home team,” team LMW held public skate-a-thons to meet with potential voters and tout their plans to have a “Queen’s Dome” built on campus to house the Toronto Maple Leafs, who would be renamed the Queen’s Maple Leafs.

Although they boycotted the candidate debates to protest not being taken seriously in the race, team LMW did acknowledge that they were fine being the “joke team” as long as they raised awareness about the election. When all the campaigning was done, the Queen’s student body voted in favour of the experienced team HEL.

Jim Hughes led his team to victory with 53 per cent of the student vote, followed by team CTT with 33 per cent, and team LMW with 12 per cent.

38 per cent of the student body, a total of 3,953 students, turned out at the polls to vote, a decrease from the previous year’s 43 per cent voter turnout.

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