I am a member of the fun-loving Rules and Judiciary Committee in Student Congress. Last night we again looked at a bill put forward to change the way that students vote in student body elections. Students would rank candidates according to their preference instead of casting one vote.
I apologize for boring you with a short history, but one is necessary:
When I first read this plan three weeks ago, I was confused. The wording confused me, the idea seemed silly, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around why someone would propose such a thing. And so, my instinct was to pass the bill on to congress without prejudice, meaning that our committee would neither recommend the bill for passage nor recommend that congress fail the bill. I figured that a lively discussion, unbiased by our recommendation, would be worthwhile.
The idea , however, was not popular among the members present at the committee meeting three weeks ago. Instead, a motion to pass the bill favorably was proposed, and the majority of members consented.
In full congress members voted to send the bill back to our committee — again. There, last night, after voting to pass the thing unfavorably, we voted (nearly the next second, certainly the next minute) to reconsider the bill and ended up (after forty-five minutes or more of wasted time) passing the thing without prejudice — what I tried to do three weeks ago.
I voted against passing the bill favorably three weeks ago and I voted against passing it without prejudice last night. The latter resulted from three weeks spent thinking about it. I realized that preferential balloting takes away the ability of students to know for whom they actually end up voting. This is due to the fact that if your vote is not final. Honestly, I don’t even think I’ve wrapped my head around it.
Needless to say, it is a confusing plan with little merit. I think it would be confusing to students and I don’t think it would be worth the money that they say it will save because I think the headaches to be wrought by incompetent student government officials is, as of yet, unimaginable.
If congress wants to save money and time, congress ought to consider dissolving the self-aggrandizing institution of student congress.