We know. You probably aren’t voting. And the last thing this paper can do to convince you that you should vote is to say we do not endorse any candidate-not because we don’t want to, but because the two candidates with actual Student Government experience have nearly identical platforms, and the “third party” candidate is so anti-establishment that he has NO platform. We were disappointed that none of the candidates blew us away. Yet, based on The Hurricane’s interviews with the candidates, here’s why you should still vote.
First, there is no innate desire among the candidates to actually be the same. As if Denis Brown’s “Defeat the Greeks” ticket was not enough, this want for separation became overwhelmingly clear after “Make Life Easier”, the campaign spearheaded by SG Senate veteran Mike Levine, submitted a secondary platform to The Hurricane, citing similarities between his campaign and Annette Ponnock’s “Putting You First” ticket. The platform calls for, among other things, syllabi to be posted online, hurricanes days to be set into the schedule and honors credits to be available to students taking study abroad programs. Ponnock, who most recently served as Chief Justice of the school’s Supreme Court, has a few platform goals that vary from Levine’s ticket, namely the increase of food court and library hours, which Hurricane research shows to be very doable.
Another reason to vote? “Putting You First” and “Make Life Easier” have both pushed for improved advising, as well as a longer Fall Break. As both candidates explained, and as The Hurricane has concluded, both measures are feasible.
As is standard among campaigns, several of the platform ideas are not as legitimate as others. Ponnock and Levine both have called for increased Ibis Ride service (implausible due to UM’s budget, lack of interest from the administration, and the fact that it would be considered promotion of alcohol), and both are pushing for measures (Levine-Metro Rail passes for nursing students, Ponnock-pickup laundry service) that are unlikely at best. So, your third reason to vote? The empty canvas that is Hurricane sports writer Brown’s campaign: Submit your complaints and suggestions to a box, and Brown claims he will push for legislation. Well-researched it is not, but open-minded it certainly is.
It is no easy task to choose “the best” candidate when the pool consists of a half-joking candidate and two SG juggernauts whose similarities are important to note: Both named Bill Clinton as the speaker and the Rolling Stones as the band they’d most like to see on campus, respectively. Well, the two candidates do share a birth date (Feb. 13, 1984, no joke).
The point is, rarely in modern politics is there a chance for voters to choose from the better of goods, not the lesser of evils. With an opportunity to forge the path of the student body for the next year-and more-why wouldn’t you take just a minute of your time to vote?