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THE ELECTION EXPERIENCE

By Dylan Hopcroft, Media/Law III

THE CANDIDATES YOU WILL ENCOUNTER

1) The hollow tree

These candidates fear that they only peaked in high school. They will do anything to keep their legacy of success going. This means getting a cabinet position in lawsoc. Don’t be fooled, their smiles, perfect policies and ‘care for law students’ is cover for their lifelong ambition for power. Cue Frank Underwood table knocking.

2) The person that doesn’t know what they’re getting into

This is a first time election runner. They didn’t realise that running a campaign and finishing a law midsem doesn’t go hand in hand. Expect this candidate to not get any sleep during election week.

3) The Facebook Addict

This candidate doesn’t want to travel into uni to campaign, so they’ll just ask for your vote over facebook. A message from this candidate will usually come unexpectedly seeing as you haven’t spoken to them in months. They open with, ‘hey :)’, and then try to persuade you once you take the bait. Sometimes, the candidate will just straight out ask you to vote for them. Students usually respond with 1 of 4 responses.

a) Sure, I’ll vote for you because I like you and I don’t know anyone else.

b) Hey, I’ve already voted, and I voted for you!

c) Hey, thanks for the message I’ll consider your policies ( code for ‘I didn’t vote for you’)

d) I really don’t care leave me alone.

4) The true of heart

This campaigner actually genuinely cares about what they are doing. People tend to like them because they have a reputation for being an all-round good person. You can’t detect any power ambitions in them.

Note to self: the ‘true of heart’ campaigner may actually be a ‘hollow tree’ campaigner using ‘true of heart’ campaigning as a ploy to get you to vote for them.

5) The amazing campaigner

This candidate actually knows what they’re doing. They have an amazing campaign across social media, they give away goodie bags, they persuade people to their cause in the corridor. These candidates would probably do a really good job if they were elected.

Note to self: this campaigner may also have traits from category 1 or 4.

THE STUDENTS YOU WILL ENCOUNTER

1) The students that don’t care

These students are just done. Don’t even try get their vote. They are over the facebook events and the posters. They make up the 1876 people out of 2573 that don’t vote in lawsoc elections.

2) The students that will vote as your friends

These students will vote for you because they know you. Who’s that other guy on the ballot? They don’t care, you’re their friend and that’s all that matters.

3) The students that care

These students will actually read the candidate statements, they will go through your policies, and ask questions on the lawsoc forum. These people wonder if you really will add benefit to lawsoc. The students from category 1 hold this category with contempt.

WHAT ELECTIONS ARE REALLY LIKE

IT’S HARD

Elections involve exposing yourself to the masses. Hundreds of people read your candidate statement, read through your policies, look at your photos, and then come to a value judgement about whether you are good enough to be elected. Yep, an election is most definitely going to amplify any insecurities you have.

Combine all this with trying to finish one or two law midsems and you’re going to be in for one very long week.

IS IT A POPULARITY CONTEST?

Lawsoc elections aren’t like federal elections. You don’t have massive policy debates, and there isn’t a media storm following you around. Does this mean that the policies don’t really matter and it just comes down to how many people know you? To some extent, I think the answer is yes, but there will still be those people who will vote for you based on your policies and candidate statements. This is especially so if the voters don’t know who the candidates are.

IT’S HUMBLING

Having people vote for you is a rewarding experience. It affirms your sense of purpose in wanting to run for a cabinet position in the first place.

AT THE END OF THE DAY

When all is said and done, you really do want the best person for the job being elected. They will have an impact upon hundreds of students for an entire year. Invariably different types of people will run for different purposes, you just have to hope that they really have their heart in it.

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