This is it. After two long weeks of campaigning, USC elections are upon us. This presidential election campaign took some time to pick up steam at first, but after the first boring debate the candidates started to differentiate themselves. All have developed distinct campaign strategies and identities over the past two weeks, and now it’s time for you to decide who is the pest person for the job.
The new president/vice-president campaign style took some awkward first steps, but ultimately added a fresh new dynamic to the campaign. We’re not just judging single presidential candidates anymore, but PVP groups—how strong is each team as a whole? Does one weak link tarnish two strong ones? If a strong presidential candidate chooses weak running mates, do they ruin their chances of success? With no precedent at Western, it’s difficult to say.
There were an absurd number of debates during this campaign. Aside from the two main events hosted by the USC, there was a media forum, debates at King’s and Huron, a multi-faith panel discussion, and a few more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. Actual world leaders do not debate so much over so little—not that the USC is unimportant, but the platforms are only so broad. We’ve seen the same points and arguments re-hashed over and over and heard campaign slogans repeated ad nauseum. I can say with certainty that the candidates are just as sick of it as you are—but at the end of it all I still can’t call it.
This year’s campaign was largely unremarkable. There were no obvious frontrunners or joke candidates, no impossible platforms or catastrophic gaffes. Throw in the new dynamics created by a three-person slate and the outcome of this election is impossible to predict.
Here’s what I can say with certainty: Ashley McGuire, Patrick Whelan and Vivek Prabhu are all experienced and dedicated enough to make competent presidents. Most of their platform points are reasonably feasible. It’s unlikely any of them will cause any major damage to the USC next year, and they might even do some good. So it all comes down to ideology. What direction do you think the USC should take?
Read the platforms. Watch the interviews. Check out the analysis, and pick up the Gazette’s special elections issue tomorrow. And don’t forget constituency elections—there are many more candidates than just the nine PVPs in the running for next year’s council.
The polls open tomorrow at voteusc.ca, and the results will be announced on Wednesday night. Over the past two weeks, the candidates (and the media!) have sacrificed sleep and school work, trying to reach as many students as possible, because they care about the future of this institution. The USC has a budget of millions of dollars, entirely funded by you, the students. This is your money at stake. It’s in your best interest to ensure it is spent wisely—the least you can do is vote.