“It’s moving toward autocracy.”

A ballot question which, if passed, would remove LSA President and Vice President from the ballot in future years has been added to the ballot for this week’s MSA election by a vote of 15 to 3 of the current LSA Student Government members.

The initiative seems to me a response to the upset victory of Monique Luse and Tim Whelan in Winter 2002. Luse and Whelan had not been involved in LSA-SG previous to their victory, and the existing members, mostly elected as Blue Party candidates, resented the discontinuity.

I strongly oppose this proposal. Although inexperienced presidents and vice presidents may be elected from time to time, the appropriate response is to work with them, not try to prevent it from happening again. Having a directly elected president and vice president makes the organization more responsive and democratic, which unfortunately trumps the selfish interests of the mostly apolitical, resume-stuffing members seeking to create a private club, insulated from the electorate.


> See this article in the Daily: “LSA-SG divided over proposed election changes”
> See a viewpoint written by LSA-SG Representatives Stuart Wagner, Janu Lakashman and Andrew Yahkind: “Let’s kill democracy!”
> Also, here’s the full text of the proposal, available on the voting website:

“In recent years, the LSA Student Government has not been as efficient as possible because executive officers were popularly elected, without prior government experience. A vote of YES to this constitutional amendment allows the LSA-SG President and Vice-President to be elected within the government by elected representatives. We, as your student government, feel this change will aid the student body by enabling LSA-SG to serve the students more productively. A vote for NO maintains the current election system. Please follow the link to view the amended section of the constitution.”

Also, the Daily editorial board reveals themselves to be increasingly elitist, editorializing in support of the proposal:

” … The main goal of this necessary reform is to ensure that executives are elected based on competence, not charisma. Under the party system, candidates are selected based on factors such as likability, not fitness for office. With an election system in which everyone is allowed to vote but few of the voters have any knowledge of the issues and candidates facing LSA, it is difficult for students to vote for candidates based on details such as experience, leadership philosophy and dedication.” … “

> From the editorial: “Reforming government: Proposal to modify LSA-SG elections should pass”

Author: Rob