Here we go again – it’s time to go to the polls.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a misplaced editorial from last week. Tomorrow, students will cast their ballots for Temple Student Government’s executive board – again.
A provision in the group’s new constitution mandates that the winning slate must receive more than 50 percent of the ballots cast. Despite the fact that Owl V.O.I.C.E.S. was the overwhelming victor, they must still face off against Temple Reloaded in a runoff this week.
This conundrum makes for an interesting political dynamic. The third slate in the election, Owl Opportunity, has thrown its support behind Temple Reloaded in an effort to form a coalition against Owl V.O.I.C.E.S.
But the question remains – do students care?
Last week, just more than 2,000 ballots were cast in the TSG election. With all the publicity and coverage that went into that vote, it’s hard to imagine that those results can be repeated.
TSG’s elections board knew full well before the election that it would probably lead to a run-off. It’s difficult to attract a simple majority in a two-person election, let alone one with three distinct parties involved.
All three slates participated in the drafting of the new TSG Constitution earlier this year. While a 50 percent provision is understandable in an election between two parties, it’s problematic in a system like this one.
If students were more civically involved, this could have made for a thrilling run-off. A coalition slate trying to take down the frontrunner – it’s a form of government we don’t see in often our two-party system but is common worldwide.
In most parliamentary systems, a myriad of parties align under one leader in order to overcome centralized power. It’s obvious that Owl Opportunity and Temple Reloaded are comprised of adept political thinkers. This could have been an up-down election, with Owl V.O.I.C.E.S. presumably taking a large majority of the votes.
If only students cared as much as their leaders did.