Volume 93, Issue 71

Friday, February 4, 2000


Jackasses aplenty on prez campaign

Random notes from the trial

Random notes from the trial

Even Jerry Springer periodically presents a worthwhile idea. After all the swearing, hair-pulling and bitch slaps, Jerry steps aside to give us his "final thought." And every once in awhile he actually points out something worth mentioning. The University Students' Circus presidential elections are much the same.

Amidst all the B.S. and fluff, there are a few events and comments that merit attention. During my first up-close and personal look at a presidential campaign, I have come across many of these moments.

First, I have realized that the "average Joe" student, many times, has more intelligent questions to ask than the big wigs who inhabit the third floor. While the questions presented by the USC councillors, VPs, et al, during Wednesday night's presidential forum were, for the most part, intriguing and probing, some seemed completely without reason.

For instance, one of the initial questions, posed by VP-campus issues Perry Monaco, asked candidates to state Monaco's position and what his job entails. This lead to nine nearly identical responses, which mostly lauded the necessity of the position.

This along with various other softballs lobbed early in the USC forum, paled in comparison to some of the questions which befuddled candidates at the Saugeen-Maitland Hall forum the night before.

My second realization is that a woman's presence in this campaign would have been beneficial. The extreme lack of estrogen is discouraging to say the least and something which must be dealt with by the next president.

I also wonder about the phrase "I plan to be a fiscally responsible president." Used by most, if not all candidates, it has become the "buzz-phrase" of the campaign. The claim to fiscal responsibility is on par with claiming you don't plan to murder anyone while in office. Careful upkeep of finances is expected, if not required. No one plans to be a fiscally irresponsible candidate – if you're not going to be responsible with such things, you shouldn't be running in the first place. Save us the empty statements, guys.

Finally, I am both impressed and uneasy about the amazing chameleon acts candidates perform over the course of a two-week campaign. The uncivil and angry become cordial and subdued and vice versa. Ideas get changed, platforms altered and ideas borrowed. Candidates begin to resemble, if not imitate one another. This lack of ability to "stick to your guns" is really quite nauseating.

Glimmers of controversy and intrigue float throughout any campaign. They're what makes student politics almost interesting, for at least two weeks a year. It is these moments, which should lead us to get informed and in turn, vote.

Sadly, it may be easier to find profound meaning in the last episode of Springer, than convince the student body to care about a presidential election.

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