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[personal profile] garran
I voted (via the handy web service) in the UBC AMS elections yesterday; I might probably have not organized myself to do so, except that an acquaintance of mine is running to be a senator, so I had to actively decide whether or not to vote for him, which required looking up his platform and his online rhetoric and those of his opponents, and once I'd done that, I was interested, and there are online profiles with links to campaign sites for all the races right there by the place where you vote, so it wasn't at all out of my way to vote for the other offices, too. Since doing that, I've been wondering about the campaign posters up on bulletin boards all around the school. Mostly they all say, "Vote for Tony Glunton!" or what-have-you, without any reference to Mr. Glunton's positions on the issues*, so I'm not sure what good they're supposed to be doing. The candidates may have the idea of making their names stick in our heads when we come to the polls, but I keep hearing reports to the effect that there's woefully little participation in the elections, and so I rather suspect that most people who vote are either doing so because they're already affiliated with one of the candidates or else because they are a nerd about democratic participation (or in my case, both) -- and under the first circumstance, they're already decided, and under the second, they'll poke around enough for those subliminal impressions to be swamped by others more relevant.

(* With the exception, I should acknowledge, of the girl whose campaign for student president is based around the argument that students should stand up for ourselves against the deplorable "war on fun" being conducted by the university, where 'fun' is apparently synonymous with 'alcohol'.)

Another possibility, since it's a first-past-the-post election, is that they want to be seen to be advertising because then those of us who might be inclined to vote for them will feel as though they stand a chance of having sufficiently many other people vote for them as well. But this seems to fall over for similar reasons: since just about everybody running has information right there on the voting site, it's not like being low profile elsewhere means that nobody will consider you, and -- perhaps again because so many people apparently don't vote -- I certainly haven't got any sense of the zeitgeist favouring or ignoring any particular candidate so as to influence me tactically either way. So I guess that either I or they must be confused about the realities of this election; since I only just started paying attention, I admit that it's probably me.

Meanwhile, I want to complain about the candidate (for 'VP External') who has the phrase "Put A Free Man In Office" all over all his promotional materials, because I think that that slogan is really stupid. It doesn't mean anything. I mean, okay, it's a play on his given name -- 'Freeman' -- but it seems to me that a pun really ought to have at least two meanings, at least if it's going to be released repeatedly into the public with a job in marketing, and actually there are no slaves running this year that I'm aware of. (His opponent, whom I voted for based on her interesting pitch rather than on the fact that this dude annoys me, is not a 'free man' only by an accident of modern english grammar.)
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Andy H.

February 2013

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