Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Election fever hits Union

By My two-cents

Yes...it's that time of year again, when nominations open then close and people are offered sweets for their ever valuable vote!

With the elections for President and Deputy President due this Thursday (23rd Febrauary) tensions are high, particularly as the outgoing President, Ben Preston and his deputy,Peter Quinn are standing once again at the hustings this time seeking re-election.

Ben's election victory last year, as Union President brought tears of suprise to many within the University and beyond. Ben whom was relatively unknown at the time decided for some strange reason to throw his hat into the ring and try his chances at this Student politics thing against the might of Paddy Hughes, who was seen, perhaps more so by his followers to have victory 'in the bag'. Ben polled over 800 first preference votes with the help of a large election team spread out all over campus dressed up in funny suits trying their very best to get people to vote.

This year Ben Preston walks the almighty election path once again, hoping to walk into victory. Standing against him is Paddy Maguire, who has been at Queen's for as long as some can remember. Paddy stood last year polling relatively well, but not well enough to claim victory. His best friend is 'apathy' something that has shadowed Union elections for sometime now with turnout usually below 10 percent or less. Mr. Maguire, playing the ticket of voter apathy, is aiming to wake up and bring those ever so quiet voters out of their beds to vote for him.

Whilst apathy is a problem it didn't stop Ben being elected this time last year attracting cross-party support and stearing people away from the politics of 'Unionists' and 'Nationalists'. But the truth is do many students care? I think not. It is probably true to say that many students at Queen's as else where across the United Kingdom and Ireland even stay at home when it comes to the all important General Election's be it to Westminster, the Dail or your local council.

The main issues of these forthcoming elections within Queen's will no doubt be focused on the re-structuring/commercial services debate and the all important issue of the price of drink in the Union.

Peter Quinn, who scraped in on preferences the last time hopes to come home free in this round sailing into victory, however the problem is, is that this is also the hope of Greg McLarnon. Peter may hope that the work he has put into 'the Craic' (or 'Cr*p as it has become known in the Crown...I mean 'GOWN') will pay off. Greg asks the student body 'What is a Union without unity?' which poses a good question that I hope Peter can answer. Greg's drive for asking this comes from the idea that Student's are not united behind and around their Union like people were in the 1960s, man.

Students should make a wise and constructive choice of candidate in which may be a difficult year for the union and students in general as next year and the next few years could see many changes happen before their very eyes as me thinks that University life is all about to change!

Come Thursday it's up to the people! You should make your vote count and register your preference. Details below or available at http://www.qubsu.org

* The elections for President and Deputy President happen on Thursday 21st February with polls openig at 10 am and closing at 5 pm (except the Union which closes at 6 pm). There are two candidates for President: Paddy Maguire and Ben Preston and two for Deputy: Greg McLarnon and Peter Quinn. All elections are by PR - 1, 2, 3.

The elections for VP Education, Welfare and Clubs & Services happen the following week - Thursday 3rd March. For more info go to http://www.qubsu.org

- Tell 'the Gown' of your experiences at the polls - thegown@hotmail.com -


Anonymous David Cather said...

So whats the turn-out looking like? What's the Gown's analysis of the election at the mid-way point?

2/23/2006 1:08 pm  
Blogger Gown Team said...

I suspect that there will be a fairly low-turnout caused mainly by two factors: 1. There is always a low-turnout - caused by apathy and general disinterest - and 2. its cold and wet.

Another factor could be that an obstacle is created with the Students' Union building resembling a building site.

2/23/2006 2:24 pm  
Anonymous David Cather said...

The low number of candidates won't help either.

2/23/2006 3:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear the Preston and Quinn team are shaking in their boots.

2/23/2006 3:56 pm  
Anonymous Joe Mangel said...

Preston should be. Quinn has no need to. I reckon the Presidental count could well be interesting.

2/24/2006 12:06 am  
Anonymous David Cather said...

Preston could well be shaking in his boots. What time does the count start at? Anonymous comments irritate me, can't you at least come up with a clever pseudonym?

2/24/2006 9:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone know that Ben Preston seconded Chris Gaskin? Preston even trying to court the Sinn Fein vote now!

2/24/2006 10:44 am  
Anonymous David Cather said...

You're behind the times, we knew that a few days ago. I'll not repeat my remark about anonymous comments.

2/24/2006 11:15 am  
Blogger Chris Gaskin said...

I hate anonymous posters

Ben did indeed second me but it had nothing to do with courting the "Sinn Féin vote"

He did so in a personal capacity.

How very childish some of our student hacks are!

2/25/2006 2:11 am  

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