Superficiality of elections should not inform the vote
As candidates enter the second week of campaigning, students are being increasingly exposed to platforms, issues, personalities and marketing techniques, all in hopes of gaining votes.
With over two-dozen candidates running for a variety of positions, including the president and CEO of the Students’ Union, the sheer number of posters alone can be overwhelming. Differentiating between candidates and identifying whether they understand their prospective role can be very challenging.
It is important that students make an effort to seek out valid and accurate information and consult candidate platforms before making a choice. Gimmicks and marketing play a role in every election but should not be a deciding factor come election day.
Candidates are supposed to focus on the issues and earn support based on their qualifications and potential in the job. However, the responsibility does not lie with candidates alone but is shared with voters. If students do not do their research, there is no way to ensure that candidates are doing theirs.
With effective marketing, a likeable personality and some loyal friends, someone could walk into the Students’ Union presidency without any real knowledge of the organization or what students are looking for from their Union. When marketing, fashion choices, and other superficial details decide elections, the students and the Union are disadvantaged greatly. Students don’t get well represented and the organization loses face with the students they are trying to build a stronger relationship with.
Students are the vetting process. We make sure not just anyone can represent our interests within the Students’ Union and the university. We make sure that candidates fear not knowing the issues and insist their platform and understanding of the role are pre-requisites for the job.
Personality and marketing are necessary and important compliments of a foundational grasp on issues and a well-researched platform, but students should not allow them to stand alone.
For the presidential candidates, these are the best odds (1 in 3.5) they will ever get at $50,000. Let’s make them work for it.