Ahh, the irony. We spent all of last semester immersed into the heart of democracy. We registered, we campaigned, we learned the issues, we debated. What a novel idea, a debate. That’s right, that whole idea that people should discuss the issues, that candidates should be asked questions about their positions, about their ideas, about themselves, that they should be given the chance to address the voters.
As if our school wasn’t apathetic enough, the Elections Commission has done a horrible job of advertising the fact that elections are this week. If it weren’t for the red and teal shirts and the constant barrage of flyers, few people would even know that elections were going on. It’s an issue of laziness on the part of the Elections Commission. It has a serious lack of organization that has prevented candidates from reaching out to their potential constituents, and vice versa.
Then it goes and cancels the debate. Sure, we all know that it isn’t really so much a debate as a Q&A session, but it still gives us a chance to see how the candidates are in action, to see how they think on their feet. Plus, it puts them to the test on their platforms; we learn more than just what they want to know, but also how they plan on actually doing it. Anyone can say (and in fact, both candidates do) that they want a 24-hour study area. But the key issue is how they are going to accomplish it. This is where the Elections Commission has cheated us by forcing us to judge the candidates on nothing more than a pretty picture and catchy motto on a four-by-six palm card. Martin Cruz-Mesa, Elections Commission chair, even said that by looking at these palm cards you can see the difference between the candidates, thus making them sufficient enough for students to base their votes on.
Fortunately, WVUM at least attempted to hold a “debate” on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Unfortunately, yet definitely predictably, few, if any students actually heard it. Forget about the fact that it was at 10 in the morning; there were also serious technical difficulties-malfunctioning microphones-and the fire alarm going off putting a quick end to the discussions.
A few questions were asked of the candidates, yet they were weak questions and didn’t really give much enlightenment into their strengths and abilities. Fortunately, the candidates have taken it upon themselves to visit organizations, fraternities and sororities, to campaign and ask questions. At least they understand the seriousness of the elections and the importance of educating the voters.