Volume 94, Issue 77

Thursday, February 8, 2001


Editorial Board 2000-2001

Would two terms be better?

Editorial Cartoon

Would two terms be better?

Generally, a second chance in politics is hard to find. So finding a two-term USC president poses an even greater difficulty.

What would serve the students of Western in a greater capacity? Experience or a fresh face?

This year, USC president Dave Braun has made the rare decision to run for re-election. It is a bold move that has prompted both applause and criticism from across the Western campus. History has shown that the USC president's 12-month contract makes enough time for the USC to survive. But Braun's decision to seek re-election now raises the issue of whether surviving marks the pinnacle of USC existence, or perhaps two-terms would allow it to thrive.

Some suggest the learning curve a president must undergo upon election is a key argument in favour of a two-year term. Each year, student councils, along with their presidents, go through an extended period of time in which they learn the capacities of their positions. Many Board members would say that by the time they've learned the ropes, they're out of a job.

A re-elected president would presumably have developed a solid working relationship with Western's administration, as well as the various politicians and businesses in the London community. If given an opportunity to stay in office the network of communication would not have to be re-built from scratch.

Another argument in favour of such a political move is the issue of continuity. A second-year president would also be given more time to implement their plans. They would have hypothetically learned from their mistakes and have the chance to fully complete their vision for council.

But there another side to the issue. For starters, some would say that turnover provides vitality and fresh blood on a council which is often in need of new direction.

Moreover, a two-year term would mean the president would not have been a student for two years and may be out of touch with student's wants and needs.

What kind of president deserves a second mandate? Is it the opportunity for a visionary president to continue his or her mandate, in order to ensure the best future for Western's students? The definitive answer would be the latter.

If a voter truly believes a president seeking a renewed mandate is deserving of the position, then they should endorse them with a vote of confidence. Western has seen many USC president's who have overcome the "learning curve" and made a deep impact during their term in office.

Any newly elected candidate may be one of those stars who is waiting for his or her chance to shine.

A lot can be said for experience, but just as much can also be said for a new vision.

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