Trouble in Paradise, and an old Commie Gag
Workers used to say in communist Russia, “they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work!” It is said by some that we share these illusions of productivity with the Russian peasantry.
The upcoming VCSA elections are small-scale and increase the discouraging feeling of voting’s bourgeois absurdity. Acts as simple as casting a vote, can feel like complicity in a show of make-believe:
You believe in the power of the vote and in its significance; executive members believe in their importance.
However, this, I take it, is the pessimistic view of rascally nihilists. A grounded and realistic understanding of the VCSA elections is a comprehension of the council’s power and its reach.
The Council, the Myth, the Legend
The executive council of the VCSA is a presence in the lives of students for their 2-3 year stay. We have already seen how they can engage this population politically, sponsor their projects, or provide for their most basic survival with breakfast programs.
The several hundreds of thousands that the VCSA handles, in the execution of these duties, is no more ignorable. These funds can be managed in clever and calculated ways. It can also be imagined – and, some would argue, more than just imagined – that these funds can be wasted and spent extravagantly.
Likewise, as representatives of the students, the VCSA can be active and productive or slothful and impotent.
When it comes to tackling the question of these proceedings, it is important to bear in mind the potential good one candidate can offer over another – even if you will be off backpacking in Europe by the time they see the light of day.
Getting at the Roots
Speaking to Eli Vlahos, a member of the committee charged with overseeing the election, he reminded me of the problems still needing to be addressed in the school’s electoral process (while also reminding me of a young Woody Allen – but forget about that).
At the moment students’ limited knowledge of the candidates’ platforms presents a challenge to honest and fruitful procedures. Ambiguities lead to random voting, or voting for the popular candidate. The platforms themselves need to face greater opportunities to be formed from a fluid conversation with students.
A good outcome in these circumstances will likely be the students who preserve our current council’s ambitions for social justice, yet, who also puts to rest student suspicions around spending. Hopefully, whoever is elected will help lay groundwork for fairer elections in the future.
When asked for his beliefs about the candidates he preferred, dear old Eli Vlahos kept things short and impartial:
“I think everyone is beautiful,” Eli said smiling and his eyes dreaming.
Campaign period for candidates ends on April 14th.
Voting days: April 15 & 16. More information can be found by visiting VCSA in C-214.
Written by: William F. F. Blake
(Certainly not Samuel Helguero!)