The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO)- and in I suppose in French too- recently had their executive elections for the next school year. Below are my thoughts on the election, the SFUO and student in voting general.
Dear SFUO electoral candidates, it's not me...it's you.
I know it's not me, because I love voting. I've voted for the federal elections, my high school student council, hell...I've even voted for the school board elections in a neighborhood that I haven't even lived in for a full year. I know it's not me, because I love to vote...but typically when something is only worth voting for.
I know it's you because in order for me to feel that it's worth voting for, I need to be inspired. You did not inspire me to vote for you. Not with your cliche electoral-ad poster, not with your grandau-speeches about how you intend to change the world as VP finance, and certainly not with your original ideas...but to be fair I can only assume that you didn't inspire me with your original ideas, as I don't recall ever hearing any.
It's not me. It's you. You settled for mediocracy when the stars were in your reach. You sat down, instead of rising up. You even blissfully biased your opinion on the issues that matter most to students, while we were starring at you waiting to tell you what they are. Some of you even promised to ignite school spirit by making sports events free, yet you failed to realize that they already are.
SFUO electoral candidates, the list goes on. There are so many things you did 'textbook' right...you gave great speeches, had posters everywhere, and promoted yourself everywhere you went...yet you didn't take the time to explain who you are, or HOW you are different from the others. This campaign lacked emotion, competition, and passion which is simply reflected in the less than 10% voter turnout.
And so your moment of zen. My advice. It's not difficult. The next time you are in the running for VP whatever (I've jokingly forgotten what you were even running for at this point...), I would like to hear who you are (not just your name and your slogan), what your previous experiences are and what you bring to the table, how you can use these experiences to prosper in the position, your weak competencies or skills and how you have taken steps to address these weaknesses, and how and why you can work as a member of a team with equally passionate, involved, opinionated, and strong-minded people- not to mention how you intend to cope the day you find out that one of these people is more passionate, involved, opinionated or strong-minded than you. Finish off with 3 reasons why YOU are the person for the job, and not anyone else (yes, anyone else, not just the other candidates- no straw men arguments) and you have my vote.
SFUO electoral candidates, it's not me...it's you.
The other ~30 000 students who you failed to inspire to vote for you.