Time to look at election process
The Students’ Association, annually plagued with an irrepressible lack of enthusiasm for elections, is trying to reach students with a cheeky campaign for voting. “Vote Naked” is the slogan, featuring outgoing SAMRU executive members relaxing in the nude with laptops. We’re all for encouraging political participation, but here’s the thing:
Campaigning, according to SAMRU guidelines, began Jan. 31. Voting also began that day. We spend all day in an institution that promotes critical thinking — who thought it was wise to open voting and campaigning at the same time, without giving students a chance to get informed? In the 2010 municipal election, candidates were able to talk to voters well ahead of election day, and they had a month to campaign after filing nomination papers.
Anyone who knows MRU’s student body knows that placing stacks of papers — such as SAMRU’s voters guide — around the school isn’t going to result in much knowledge being disseminated. Further hindering the education, candidates didn’t have a chance to debate each other until the third day of voting.
While SAMRU has been advocating all year for more student involvement, they’re simultaneously tripping over themselves to control how campaigning works. Posters can’t exceed 11 by 17 inches in Wyckham House and there are very specific spots where they can be posted.
One candidate was all set to campaign using those televisions around campus, but was shot down at the last minute, after being told if he used the screens, then everyone should get to use the screens.
Because we wouldn’t want any one candidate’s campaign to stand out from the pack.
To their credit, the Students’ Association runs voting for six days online and another three days in person, but maybe that’s too much time for students to put off the task — a group well known for procrastination and busy schedules.
The results will roll in: it’s time for election reform.