"I think Progress has a great image in the eyes of the Student Body. They've also been endorsed twice and received twice the vote of OB in the fall.
I think, if there is a merger, it should be under Progress
I think there are probably some clear ideological differences. Tomorrow's debate on the Zionism Bill should demonstrate that
But I am sort of out of the loop.
Yanuck also voted No on workers rights."
Fmr. Sen. Ben Dictor
SBP Runner-Up (PROGRESS)
Facebook is crap. I had all these great quotes that I'm hoping I can get at some later point. In any event, let me actually give an opinon on the whole matter. Give me that I'm graduated as of almost four years and that I've been away from the ville for almost two years.
For starters I want to re-introduce some key terms from the movement.
Independent - a member of a party that doesn't serve FBK/Greek interests; also known generally as 'Indies'; Indies can be Greek-affiliated. (examples: Ricky Caplin (PIKE), Becca Guerra, Kevin Bacon (Lambda Chi), Thomas Jardon,Adam Roberts (ZBT), Andre Samuels Kappa Alpha Psi), Andrew Hoffman, Alan Yanuck (O&B), etc.
GDI - the G*d Damn Independents - these are the ultra-Indies; usually found in very indealistic, usually dead-end parties (see Student Alliance, Pants, Voice, Progress['09]. These guys/gals are often "on the fringes" and while they usually are kept out of Indie Party exec.'s, they are often consulted and used for everything from intell to recruiting to fundraising to canvassing to endorsements in second round elections. Heavyweights here include: James Argento, Kenneth Kerns, Dan Fitzpatrick, Peter Gruskin (FIJI), Ryan Nelson (UNITE), Frank Bracco (O&B), Travis Marsh (KEG), etc).
Hardline GDI - this is a new classification that's truly warranted. These are your GDI up a few knotches. (see Christian Duque (FIJI), Justin Wooten (Progress), Joe Trimboli (O&B), Sam Miorelli (O&B), Ben Dictor, etc
I want to see a real Independent party that's going to work like Orange & Blue does in chambers - that's not going to cozy up to 'the Machine' through proxies like Eric Conrad, but that's also going to have the sense not to slate turncoat bozos like Eric White turned out being. On the other hand, I want an Indie party that acts like Progress outside of the mundane world of the third floor and has the ability to have a SOCIAL CONSCIENCE - a party that chastizes its members for voting AGAINST migrant worker rights, a party that's in the trenches with student leaders from other universities when it comes to the sweatshop movement, fair trade products on campus, sustainability programs, standing up to Washington and now allowing Universities to churn out cannon fodder for the military (get the recuiters off campus and away from college events --- like they've done in Berkeley!!); I want an Indie party that's going to be out there with the Andrew Meyer's and the families of slain victims of police brutality in Gainesville/Alachua County. People always talk about our carbon print on earth, well I want UF SG's indie party to leave a footprint on the system.
I don't think Dave Schneider is a sell out and I don't think Wooten really does either, but both parties have done great things - in different directions. The ideal party would have O&B's standoffish-partisan qualities legislatively speaking and Progress well-rounded/informed world view and commitment to social causes insofar as off-election/off-season efforts to keep the campaign staff and manpower occupied as opposed to dormant except for essentially four weeks out of the year. The Indie soldiers should be like the men of the U.S. Navy on vessels around the world -- every single day is war, the discipline on a ship is sky-high, the men and women are always ready, it's the being ready part that's the real challenge, war for them (is just icing on the cake).
The System has piss-poor campaign people, most of which are comprised of pledges working against their will for the first phases, followed by a second phase consisting 1st and 2nd year house members house members, followed by a thrid phase consisting of ethnic minorities that have sold out for a few more dollars in the A&S budget, and finished by a fourth phase that includes the top party brass and candidates. Orange & Blue gave that machine a severe fat lip and set of black eyes not too long ago. Reuniting the movement - UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES could be just what the doctor ordered.
I want Justin Wooten at the table. He's a nut - this is true. I'm a nut too - if he's a walnut, I'm a chestnut. But who gives a shit. I want Justin Wooten at the table, I want him to have a say in any talk of a merger. Otherwise, any meeting you have, will have the air of 12/11 -- please don't leave the blue-collar Progress or O&B people out... have the hardliners from both sides at that table Wooten & Yanuck and let them both be content with the outcome...otherwise... if it's just Trimboli & Schneider (for example), both guys represent a huge chunk of the movement and both guys want victory in Spring, but it's repeating the ages old injustice of the moderates shaking while the often exploited and fanatically-loyal hardliners get shafted in the wings.
Let's say Yanuck was a Zionist... let's just say he was, that's fine. Let's say Wooten (like myself or PG) would scream and holler for the '67 borders and for Palestinian rights. Let's say there's merger talks and these are there and fight it out for a while before talking peace between the two parties - SO FUCKIN WHAT?! The indie leaders are so scared to have it out, to fight, to argue, that that very fear is what's going to keep the two sides from reuniting.
There's some issues that need closure. The GMG Emails are bullshit - Progress needs to let go and quit demanding an apology --- was there wrongdoing? sure, SG Happens, at least the lights didn't go out. The 12/11 meeting... O&B needs to admit those were a sham - or stay silent. As far as party names go... have a convention... Progress got more votes, but a NAME shouldn't make or break UNITY. Though I will say.. O&B is a pretty FBK/Greek sounding name, but then again... just like Dems can push for Family Values just like the GOP (Republicans don't OWN family values), so too the Greeks don't own SCHOOL PRIDE, so it's really not fair that the Indies can't be proud Independents and proud Gators, too.
Just some things to think about.
FYI: the pastey white dude's name is not "Ramon,"
it's Armando's middlename