By John Mather
Henry Kissinger once said: “University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.”
With that in mind, this editorial was going to start by arguing that your vote in the upcoming student union election wouldn’t matter. And The Eyeopener was going to encourage you not to vote, diminishing the legitimacy of what we saw as a pre-determined outcome.
But then the outcome became a little too pre-determined; the election became a little too undemocratic; and everything became surprisingly un-vicious.
This week’s announcement that only one slate — consisting of two current executives and two board members — is running for the RSU, sets a disturbing precedent in Ryerson student politics.
Apparently, no one else is interested in being the voice of students — perhaps because Kissinger’s words are true, or perhaps because the RSU has become irrelevant in the minds of students.
Either way, it’s unacceptable. And so, instead of preaching apathy and inaction, The Eyeopener is calling on all students to vote No.
On February 13, the election ballot will be set with two choices: Yes or No. Yes elects the running slate. No opens up another round of nominations. No will allow candidates such as Sanjid Anik, who was one signature shy from running for VP of Education, to have another chance.
I’m voting ‘No’ as a simple matter of choice: I will choose No, so I can then choose between different candidates with different slates. This sounds odd coming from a newspaper who a few paragraphs ago was about to tout voter apathy. Yet, like many good citizens, our civic circuits are charged out of necessity.
There is a need to prevent student politics from becoming more of a farce. The RSU hasn’t yet become irrelevant, but if no one opposes this one-slate state, then the result will signal a pathetic acceptance of Kissinger’s words.
To be clear, The Eyeopener has nothing against Nora Loreto, Chris Drew, Abe Snobar or Heather Kere. They are not responsible for the lack of opposition.
I do not question their intentions and I have not had the time to consider their platform, let alone hear it. As far as I know, they are the best people for the job.
But Loreto and Snobar both expressed disappointment about running unopposed. So let’s give them what they kind of want. “The greatest task of democracy, its ritual and feast — is choice,” said science fiction writer and noted socialist H.G. Wells.
The student body might not care about the RSU election, but hopefully they’re starting to get hungry.