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Letter to the editor... Taking ‘cool' to the polls

Denis Vidmar | Opinion | March 30th, 2009

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Outraged, I have to be. As the president of Student Action Movement (group dedicated to raising political awareness on campus) I am shocked to hear the outcome of the FSU Elections.

I used to be a strong advocate for the ideology of “I do not care who you vote for, I only care that you vote.” That phrase, today, was proven wrong in more ways than one. I spoke to a good friend of all of us that works for the FSU minutes after the results were announced and his comment to my phrase was “ Denis, we should care who votes, because only those that vote in true reason should be allowed to vote....”

His argument today to me proves more right than wrong, but then implements the same idea and same frustration I have with our Federal Elections. Why do those who have this precious right to have their voice heard, to state a valid opinion, to make a difference — take our election process as a joke?

After having spoken to numerous individuals around campus, in the back garden of the Out Back Shack, the Oasis and in front of F block while having a smoke, I started to realize what our Student Union Elections meant to the majority of the student voting body — popularity.

This outcome was not only a shocker to myself. I am pleased to be in touch with a lot of individuals at Fanshawe who strive every day to make a difference and improve student lives in more ways than one, and they are all shocked in their own ways. While chatting with a few students I got various reasons into why someone voted for somebody. The answers though were mainly focused around “...oh she/he is cool”.

Now please do not get me wrong, I have no disrespect for any of the candidates that have won or that were running. They did a good job, because they all fought for their right to express their opinions/wants/needs whatever more, and that is part of what it means to live in a democratic society such as Canada. My opinionated article has to do with how our student body does not seem to understand the importance of voting, of what it means to have the RIGHT TO VOTE.

Going back to the FSU Election process. Did you guys know that Fanshawe College is one of the rare institutions in Canada that allows voting for those student union positions among the student body? So here we are as one of the rare institutions that have this Democratic right to practice our voting skills while in school, and yet again — we take it for granted.

So what's going on I ask myself. I wonder how many of you actually spoke to the candidates in regards to their platforms, or went online and researched on what should be done and what shouldn't in regards to our student way of life. I guess I wonder too much, since it doesn't matter what we do or what we want to achieve in life — what matters is that we are cool!
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