The election race is stalled from the starting blocks
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.