Feed the beast

By Matt Stambaugh

Over 2000 years ago oligarchies in Greek city-states started an experiment we casually call democracy. Although the percentage of total population given the right to vote was small, the experiment allowed for leadership candidates to put their ideas and character to the test of their peers, providing a vessel through which responsible government could emerge.

Where do we find ourselves now? 2003, and in a university where only 10-20% of the students vote in their general election. For better or worse, the Students’ Union is the primary communications vehicle through which you are represented. The people elected (or increasingly acclaimed) into office are given the license to speak on your behalf, whether you voted or not! The experiment of democracy is in danger at the University of Calgary, as apathy slowly erodes the effectiveness of our student government.

Voting is a cornerstone of becoming a responsible citizen in our parliamentary-democracy. So why not start your education in democracy by voting in the upcoming Students’ Union general election? You can now vote online between Feb. 12-14 at any internet capable station, and candidate platforms are online at www.su.ucalgary.ca. Fifteen minutes of your time is all it takes to choose the people that are speaking on your behalf, now is the time for your voice to be heard. Feed the beast of democracy, vote.

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