Volume 94, Issue 55

Wednesday, December 6, 2000


Editorial Board 2000-2001

A complete waste of time

Editorial Cartoon

A complete waste of time

A posted motion for tonight's University Students' Council meeting once again illustrates how ridiculous politics can get.

In a move that allegedly serves to better define the mechanism by which USC vice-presidents are voted in, the motion proposes to include a "none of the below" option on the ballot, whereby councillors can go down as having said they would prefer the position remain vacant.

Supposedly, this will afford members of council a means of indicating disapproval of candidates. But, councillors must still list, in order of preference, who they want to fill the spot, even if they choose to shun all the candidates and mark "none of the below" as their first choice.

The rationale behind the motion states that if passed, the amendment will improve the USC vice-presidential election process. What is more likely to happen is a redundancy in policy that will serve not to clarify the elections process, but likely prolong it unnecessarily.

Councillors already have the option of spoiling their ballot if they disapprove of all the candidates vying for the spot. Spoiling ballots, if done by enough voters, adequately serves to voice the council's collective disapproval with VP suitors.

By giving them the option of "none of the below" on the vice-presidential ballot, councillors are supposedly given the opportunity to register their displeasure with the candidates running for the spot. But an election should be less about expressing non-confidence than it should be about picking a winner. This proposed change seems unnecessary since councillors already have the means to indicate their disapproval – the spoiled ballot. The USC might as well make a motion to change its formal name to the University Students' Council of University Students.

It's one thing to spoil a ballot, but this motion would be counter-productive, as it would simply allow members of council to vindictively vote and vent on who they don't want for a selected vice-presidential spot. Spoiling a ballot to demarcate disapproval works fine as it is. There is no need to fix something that's not broken, as that would ironically spoil one of the things that council does well in the first place.

If passed, the motion would entail a huge waste of council's time, both in the amount of time spent tonight clamouring back and forth over its wording as well as time spent on its future implementation.

If an intention of this proposal is to minimize spoiled ballots, this is not the way to do it. Councillors should unanimously vote "none of the below" when they sit down tonight and discuss whether this motion has any merit, validity, or place within the USC bylaws.

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