November 26, 2005

Union referenda results

Writing about web page http://www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/portal/Default.asp?url=ARTICLE&article_id=532

Just to let people know, the results of the three Union referenda are now in and are as follows:

Freshers' Period
Votes for – 1965 – 67.20%
Votes against – 739 – 25.27%
Abstentions – 220 – 7.52%
Total votes – 2924

Motion carried

Banning Smoking in the Students' Union

Votes for – 1734 – 57.76%
Votes against – 1129 – 37.61%
Abstentions – 139 – 4.63%
Total votes – 3002

Motion carried

This Union will take No Stance on the issue of abortion
Votes for – 1425 – 50.09%
Votes against – 969 – 34.06%
Abstentions – 451 – 15.85%
Total votes – 2845

Motion carried

An amazing turn-out there. I am slightly perplexed, though, about how people could abstain on whether we should have a no stance policy on abortion.


- 5 comments by 1 or more people

  1. Luke, it seems to me abstention is used in some cases to signify apathy towards an issue. I would suspect many of those who voted passionately for or against one of the motions may have abstained from one or both of the others (including no stance on abortion) simply from lack of interest.

    26 Nov 2005, 18:26

  2. Luke, it seems to me abstention is used in some cases to signify apathy towards an issue. I would suspect many of those who voted passionately for or against one of the motions may have abstained from one or both of the others (including no stance on abortion) simply from lack of interest.

    Possibly; although were that the case I'd expect a similar level of abstention in all three referenda.

    26 Nov 2005, 18:35

  3. The difference between the abortion and the other two motions was that the first two dealt with things that directly impact students, the third is a general issue that many people feel is of little consequence – it might be a big talking point but the result of that vote will not effect 99% of students. The other two effect the entire student body and everyone who goes to the union respectively.
    A lot of people feel as I do, that the union shouldn't be concerning itself with issues like abortion, Israel or the Iraq war – it should be about providing for the students of the university – thier resources should be put into lobbying the university to increase library funding, not the government to stop the war.
    And yes, I'm aware there's a welfare issue involved with abortion – but the number of students who will have to make such a decision in thier university life is small, and the amount that consult the union for advice on that decision even smaller. Hence the limited interest and the increased amount of abstentions.

    27 Nov 2005, 04:28

  4. i have strong views on what i feel is right with abortion and how i beleive that society should treat abortion.

    yet when reading the for and against arguments, they seemed to have the same reasons why you should vote for each and they just seemed argumentative to each other without me being able to work out what was going on. They seemed to be contradicting each other especially about what the policy was that already in place and how theres changed it.

    Because i couldn't work out exactly what either case was trying to vote for, i abstained from voting.

    11 Dec 2005, 18:23

  5. Some may have abstained from the abortion vote because they thought the issue had no place in student politics.

    13 Dec 2005, 00:03


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