Saturday, March 01, 2008

The election race is stalled from the starting blocks

The view of an anonymous first year student on our Students' Union Elections.

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches every year, the fact that Americans want to be more like the Irish is confirmed. As the Students' Union Elections 2008 approach however, it is glaringly obvious that the student candidates in Belfast are in no way taking a leaf from their American political counterparts' books.

To be more precise, consider the fact that American Presidential candidates work for years seeking party nomination, before they spend several intense months canvassing the nation to ensure votes. The Union elections of this year take place this week and I have yet to be approached by a Presidential candidate seeking my vote.

Alright, so it's nowhere near the scale of an election which offers control of the world's most powerful nation, but the objective is surely the same - to appeal to your electorate and achieve the largest number of votes.

Of course, the Union building itself is covered with posters of hopeful candidates; but they’re all black and white, they all have a picture, and they all embolden a name that means nothing to me. Basically, it seems that they’re all promising the same thing, using slightly different words.

We have only to look at the hotly contested category of Vice President of Communications and Campaigns to see the lethargy of this election campaign. Of the three candidates running for the post it seems to me that only one, James Murphy, has thought outside of the Union and placed posters around the Elms village - a prime target for votes. Isn't it a little ironic that the other candidates for COMMUNICATION are unwilling to take a step outside of their executive realm towards the influential first year electorate. Indeed, Elms itself is a breeding ground of support to these candidates, and the fact remains that the only other posters dotted around the student village are those running on the above candidate's ticket.

So forget about student activism, ignore voter apathy; the real issue at stake here is the unwillingness of the candidates themselves to adequately earn their votes. On that note, I can’t help but wonder if this is a sure sign of how (in)effective some of these candidates will be if they make it into Office.

15 Comments:

Anonymous SU Mag said...

What a laughable story - comparing the US presidential elections (with a budget of near 1 billion and 300 million people) to a students’ union election in Belfast (with budget of £60 and an electorate of 20, 000 - not to mention the fact that people running are still studying)

The university is bigger than Elms village and you can only expect so much from individuals. Really, i wouldn’t vote for any of them, but for issues of substance, not the kind of tripe that this story attempts to address.

Perhaps the Gown could give us something more substantial and organise a debate between candidates or something: be real journalists instead of poking from the sidelines.

Sarah McCaffery for president!

3/02/2008 5:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This student hasnt a clue! It should be more about good policy - not where the posters are put!

3/02/2008 7:34 pm  
Anonymous Lady Boy said...

"The view of an anonymous first year student on our Students' Union Elections"

Brilliant, thsi journalist won't even tell us who he/she is and yet has the cheeck to write an article complainting about not knowing who the candidates are?

3/02/2008 7:46 pm  
Anonymous James Gillespie said...

what? i'mm a first year living in halls and there are 7 posters in my hall.

Jonathan Crawford
Laura Hawethorn
Ciaran Helferty
James Murphey
Paul Courtney
Shane Brogan
Andrew Gordan

hat halls are you living in?

3/02/2008 8:07 pm  
Anonymous The Waiting Room said...

The unionist candidates have posters up on the Donegall Road and around ulsterville.

Helferty's team have the place well plastered.

3/02/2008 8:45 pm  
Anonymous Ciaran Brady said...

Maybe you should have stood yourself?

But considering how you wont even give us your name (some journalist?) i won't hold my breath.

3/02/2008 10:34 pm  
Anonymous Damian Coridan said...

This years exec have done nothing of any substance.........again.

Why will it be any different next year?

Why vote?

3/03/2008 2:51 am  
Anonymous aisling said...

people all over the world have fought for the right to vote. thus we should. even if we dont care. just listen to the people trying to get you to vote. pick the nicest person(s) anything. just dont waste it!

3/04/2008 7:43 pm  
Anonymous lawrence said...

OK you need to open your eyes, there is most definitely a big selection of posters in the Elms- Brogan, Gordon, Hawthorne. Maybe you could be more proactive and see yourself what the candidates have to offer rather than sitting back, sounding off like a moody child.

3/04/2008 8:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all the candidates are liberal lefty lily-livered losers. their policies are all identical and bland, give us leaders who will stand out and have backbone!

3/04/2008 11:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact is dispite most of the SU hating the unionists, they are the only ones who are different. The rest are a bunch of leftist Centre ground hug-a-hoodie hippies.

The fact is there is no point in voting because the only ones who are different don't have a chance of getting elected. So in the end whether you vote Helferty or Collins you get the same result.

RON for President

3/05/2008 12:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Helferty pro or anti-treaty?

3/05/2008 12:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, I agree with "SU Mag" How dare you liken the US Prez elections to this!!

If elected
- The Candidates in the US will deliver.
- The candidates in the US will work.
-The candidates in the US will have power.
- The candidates in the US are electable in a REAL election.
- The candidates in the US are likeable.
-The candidates in the US have policies that are related to their re-mit.
-The candidates in the US are less corrupt.
-The candidates in the US have decent propsals.
- The elections in the US will represent a majority of the electorate.

My goodness The Sabb elections this year are scraping the barrel!

Vote RON

3/05/2008 12:40 am  
Anonymous Abby said...

Considering the fact that all the candidates did Elms two nights before elections you're very wrong.

3/06/2008 8:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The waiting room - Phil Alister by any chance?!?!?!

3/07/2008 6:50 pm  

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