If good artists borrow and great artists steal, what do great MSU presidential candidates do?
Candidate Jacob Brodka’s “BRODKA 2013: Our Platform” campaign video series bears striking similarities to a video series posted by a former presidential candidate for Western’s University Students Council, Adam Fearnall.
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The Fearnall videos employ the same strategy of including three categories of platform points, presented in a series of videos that are all embedded as links at the end of the initial video. Parts of the script in the general platform videos are almost identical, as are the design elements and sequencing.
“In looking for ways that we could present our platform in a unique way that would actually engage our students, I turned my attention to Western because they’re known to innovate, in terms of campaigns … I did the design work for our whole campaign, used [Fearnall’s] format, tied our theme into it and brought that to McMaster,” said Brodka about the similarities.
“Is is similar? Yes, because it’s effective and engaging, and that’s the feedback we’ve been getting. I wish [students] would focus more on the ideas than the delivery.”
There were also similarities in the platform points. Fearnall’s platform included “merit-based pay” and Brodka’s includes “merit-based salary,” both of which suggested that the union president’s full salary be withheld pending a performance review. Fearnall’s “interest credit” and Brodka’s “freedom credit” proposed that students be allowed one out-of-program, pass/fail elective.
Brodka’s individual platform videos followed a similar pattern to Fearnall’s, presenting the platform point and then an “impact on students” segment.
“Platform points are always recycled throughout the years … a lot of how we could improve student life at the school and the student experience, especially for student union, is about looking at other schools,” said Brodka.
Fearnall, who ultimately won the election last year, had his video posted in February of 2012. Like Brodka, Fearnall had also posted a video that was lighter tone to compliment the platform video.
“No,” said Brodka about whether the similarities concerned him initially. “[Fearnall’s] video is a public video and he’s president of the USC. It’s inevitable that someone could stumble across that.”
The text of Brodka’s introductory video is below:
“Hi, I’m Jacob Brodka. Over the past few years, the McMaster community has done some incredible things. So what do we believe? We believe we can only go up from here. In order to do that, we must ask ourselves: Where does real change come from? Well, it all starts with you. What makes McMaster incredible is the people that go here. It is up to us as students to ask questions and voice concerns together. We know that it can be overwhelming to try and keep up with issues on campus and the work that is being done to resolve those issues. We want to make things simple. This is our platform.”
Text of Fearnall’s introduction:
“Hi, I’m Adam Fearnall. Why are we different? We’re not just about the USC; we’re about Western. Change doesn’t start from the top. It starts with you. Here’s what we believe. This is our platform.“