All entries for Sunday 11 February 2007

February 11, 2007

No, I Don't Understand The Democracy Here Either

What the hell happened? Let this be a lesson to me… no money will always lead to unusual adventures.

How much of Union politics is decided on the basis of personality and friendship groups? How many sabbatical officers have risen to power purely because they could get their faces into as many minds as possible? It’s such a closed environment that it’s impossible to view our Union elections as anything vaguely like real life, real world elections… even the smallest council seat would be contested by a less enclosed electorate, even if they are smaller in numbers than the electorate at Warwick. Does Union politics and elections teach us anything about the real world? A slight appearance of competence and a good number of contacts should be enough to establish victory – hell, if that’s all it took I could have run and won.

No ego polishing here citizens, I don’t want to be told I should have run to put my money (which I have rather little of) where my mouth is. You didn’t see my essay last week.

I don’t know if the people who voted now for the winners will be the ones complaining about them vigourously in nine months time. Probably not, but possibly so, the massive hypocrisy of the complainer who didn’t do enough to check what they were getting. In amongst the myriad complaints about Kat Stark there were voices noting that she laid most of her cards on the table from the outset but people still hated some (or all) of what she did. Makes me feel a little freakish for having done my homework and knowing what she stood for.

But when faced with the limited repetoire of sabb issues, students just implode with indifference and vote for the face, slogan or friend of a friend who seemed like the quickest choice on the voting form. Some of these people had as few as three issues. Those voters are going to find themselves in trouble when faced with ‘real’ politics with its millions of policies and candidates. People don’t care enough, and we all know this but the problem is we don’t care enough to do anything about it. Or we can’t.

I don’t know what the answer is, I can’t even tell if there’s anything depressing about this. Large scale indifference mostly means that we are more vulnerable to extremists on all sides but most of the time these get batted aside when they stray too far from a cosy centre ground. Witness how Damian King (lefty) and Bill Rees (righty) didn’t get anywhere. Even by having a political allegiance they were dooming themselves to defeat. So for Warwick as for the real world where most people regard Nick Griffin and George Galloway with suspicion even as they seem to grow stronger. People need a shock to be motivated. And Warwick is too simplistic a system, too obvious a routine, too content to just drink purple, to ever have the shock which would generate full on thought in these elections. And that’s why they are a popularity contest.

Now why oh why did strange things happen every time I lost my coursemates? Oh this will make even less sense tomorrow…

February 2007

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