All entries for Friday 26 November 2004

November 26, 2004

Dan's Guide to Voting in the Union

Writing about web page http://www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/portal/voting/

I voted in the union elections and referenda yesterday. Don't believe them when they tell you that it's sexy. It's not. It's not even fun…unless you turn it into a little game, like what I did.

My approach to voting was based upon a number of factors: my democratic principles, pragmatism and superficiality.

First of all, I had to read the terms and conditions. Or, at least, I had to tick a box saying I agreed to them. The fun part to this was that there were a couple of other boxes that you could tick if you want to define yourself as a female and black. Needless to say, as I type this, I am, in the Union's democratic eyes, a black woman. You can call it making a mockery of the system; I call it upholding my democratic principles – I'm just exercising my rights albeit for the sake of a cheap laugh.

Next came the referenda. There are two motions: the one about reforming democracy, and another about banning racists and fascists. To be honest, I couldn't give a flying monkey's about either one, but as they want to be quorate I thought I'd be nice and vote in them. Without any personal preference, I was going to base my judgement on the strength of the two cases for each. There was a problem in that no one opposing the motion had submitted a case against. Obviously, to vote based on the strength of the cases, my vote should have gone for the motions, but surely I needed to make an informed decision? What were the cons of the motion? I felt betrayed as a voter by the Union. So I expressed my 'boo's to the Union in the form of Abstain.

Lastly were the elections. My strategy here was simple: first, I wouldn't vote for anyone without a manifesto. Second, I would vote for anyone who was running alone (no matter if they're a psycho – surely it would be way more fun if they were?). Third, I would vote for people I knew and vaguely liked. Fourth, for the postions I was still stuck on, I voted for the candidate who conveyed some sense of humour in their manifesto.

There you go: my guide to voting. Perhaps a little politics-geeky for some tastes, I admit. Now go and vote! Vote like the wind!

A message to Union hacks: if this contravenes your democratic code of conduct, let me know in the form of a comment and I'll take it off. Only to put it back on after voting has ended. Ta!


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