Look out for election fever

By and

It’s that time of year again. We may not like it, but there is no way to avoid ASUU campaign season.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be bombarded with party propaganda consisting of unoriginal posters, fliers and stale refreshments. There will also be flocks of people walking around trying to win our vote, to which we’ll just have to smile and nod.

I remember a couple of years ago I talked with one of those people trying to win my vote–Ali Hasnain, former presidential candidate of the Students First Party.

I asked him why I should vote for his party, and he discussed with me his party’s platform and how much the party would stick to its name and try to put students first in its decisions. I wondered how party members could really know what the students want, and he explained that, if elected, they would continue to roam campus throughout the year to try to understand what the students’ needs were.

Stunned, I asked him to clarify that his party would spend time talking to students sporadically even after campaign season, and he said they would.

Time passed, the Students First Party won, and I never saw another campaign member walking around finding out what the general student body wanted. I wasn’t particularly surprised, because politicians rarely keep all their promises.

I’m sure Hasnain probably wanted to keep that promise but became a lot busier than he anticipated. Maybe he never intended to do what he said, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

As the year went on, I realized I didn’t care anymore who was in ASUU and that the entire February craze was just a big show. But this year, unlike the last couple of years, we have four serious contenders, rather than two, competing for your vote.

That means twice as many posters, cookies, people and fliers littering the campus over the next couple weeks. That means twice as many promises from candidates that they may not keep.

So how do you choose the right candidate? Here’s what I’ve noticed parties doing to win your vote over the last three campaign years:

1. The party with the most T-shirts has a big advantage. If the candidates have hundreds of people (especially good-looking people) wearing their T-shirt, they think that will get you to vote for them. And maybe you should. I mean, a good shirt equals a savvy government official.

2. The party that gives out lots of food keeps people happy–but only momentarily. Cookies, doughnuts, hot chocolate and pancakes can only go so far, especially when they cut the food into eighths.

3. Posters. I am amazed every year at how the posters always look exactly the same. Does some company have a monopoly on U campaigns? I guess the party with the most normal looking people has the advantage.

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention platform, but that is because platforms are usually pretty much the same and the parties don’t have many big goals they plan to accomplish.

Perhaps if more than 12 percent of our campus voted it would matter. Maybe the candidates would have to do more than feed us and permeate the campus with advertising.

So as you walk to class and spend the next couple weeks fighting off campaigners, just know they’ll leave you alone when it’s over. Enjoy a chunk of a cookie and some watered-down hot chocolate in the process.

They just need it for their rsums.