The Chronicle’s View: Farewell, Ben Yang! May your legacy live on

We’re not calling the elections against the members of the None of the Above Party, but we’d like to bid them a bon farewell because this is their last year campaigning whether they succeed or not.

This was their fourth year as candidates. First was the Apathy Party, next came ASUU Sucks, last year’s the Space Monkey Mafia and this year’s None of the Above.

Every year their platform is the same: Ben Yang promises to do things dramatically different from how things are done now.

This may or may not be a good idea, but bless him for standing up and being different.

All four times that he has run, Ben Yang has criticized the big money spent on campaigns and vowed to run with less.

Last year, he spent only $60 on signs and was only 70 votes short of making it past the primaries.

In a dollar-spent-per-vote-received ratio, he is a magnificent champion. He has made a powerful statement on the ability to be recognized, heard and respected (by some at least) for an extremely low amount of money.

Most of his ideas have been extremely controversial and not always well informed. During his second year, running as the ASUU Sucks Party, it became clear that he had very little understanding of what ASUU did and what their powers were.

For example, he vowed to destroy The Chronicle as student body president-without realizing ASUU has no influence over the paper.

But the validity of his ideas is not what he should be judged on. He should be remembered as a social critic. Like Ralph Nader, he stood up to the big-money parties and said for all to hear: “You don’t represent my interests and I want something radically different from what you offer.”

He, unlike all the presidential candidates from the past several years, does not come from ASUU. He, like most students, is an outsider.

By using parodies in song and on his Web sites (all four parties are still available on the Web), he provided a voice for all U students who dislike the current system of choosing ASUU officials.

Maybe he was dead wrong. Maybe the current system IS the best way to do things and changing it would only reap disaster. But the status quo will never change that much. The purpose of social criticism is not to enact change, but to force society to question itself. If change happens because of the introspection, that’s just icing on the cake.

Hopefully, someone else will pick up the baton and continue forcing the U to question the current electoral process.