By: Morin Mawhinney
As many of you (hopefully) know, the Student Union Election Debate was held last night at the Wave. Many of you are also probably wondering where the formal coverage of said debate is, and I promise it’s coming. First, though, this journalist would like to draw some informal attention to the atmosphere of last night’s debate. (FYI, “informal” that means I can swear)
Frankly, the atmosphere was pretty brutal. It’s possible the location contributed to the general rowdiness of the crowd, not because The Wave itself promotes childish behavior, but because after a few drinks in a crowded room, it’s easy to be swept along in the stream of conversation that was drowning out the candidates, who were taking time out of their undoubtedly busy schedules to prove to the student body that they care.
There was a disappointing amount of noisy chatter and haranguing when candidates were singled out on stage or talked over as they tried to answer questions. One attendee stood up to point out that the men and women who are running for executive positions are entering the field of politics. It may be a small, mini version of the government, but they are politicians all the same, and therefore should be ready, or even used to, taking heat from the masses.
This is absolutely true, and the amount of insightful and thoughtful questions from students displayed an encouraging amount of interest in the future of the SU. Unfortunately, nearing the end of the night, the atmosphere leaned less to the “political banter” side of things and went more for a “cows-being-led-to-the-slaughter-in-corrals-so-they-can’t-escape” feel. To the candidates’ credit, they handled it like champs.
This entire election season has been enlightening, though. I’ve learned many things. For example, I don’t like elections… or at least, I don’t like people during elections. It’s a magical time when the inner-asshole you didn’t even know you had, comes out to play with everyone else’s. All of a sudden, it’s OK to rip a person to shreds, because the crowd loves the sight of blood on the campaign trail. From their platform to their personality, any fault is up for discussion.
This just proves that the more you put yourself out there, the more people love to make you regret it. It’s completely brutal, it’s intellectual Hunger Games, it’s political gladiating where each candidate’s platform and good intentions are smeared all over their face like blood! The worst part is that no one is immune to this political, asshole disease.
If this was the Walking Dead, the candidates would be the survivors, and the rest of us would’ve gotten infected in the first episode. I wish I could say that I’ve remained unaffected by the election time virus, but the inner asshole is strong with me as well, and I apologize to the people that are affected.
In conclusion, all of this year’s candidates have proved, in one way or another, that they are committed and determined people. Yes, a critical eye is necessary throughout the election process to determine the most suitable candidate for each position, but please remember that these people are going out on a limb to try and help UPEI students.
This isn’t just an election, it’s a job interview, and if it were me, I wouldn’t think any job is worth the grilling these candidates go through; yet there they are…still running! So please, I beg of you, be insightful, be skeptical, be smart, but most importantly, be kind. It’s the only known cure for the inner-asshole disease.