It was surprisingly short, I just went inside my designated hall, register my matric card, obtained my password, went to the ballot stand, clicked on the necessary button (it was a computer), and clicked on random pictures, oh shit…those pictures are there for me to vote is it…ooohhh. Now I know…well, I just clicked on the good looking girls only…then when all the pretty girls ran out…I just clicked the pictures closest to where my mouse cursor is at. When you finished…you were greeted by a celebratory sound from the computer congratulating you. So high-tech nowadays. And it all took 5 minutes max for me.
This is the part I get very critical. All the candidates are not allowed to openly campaign. Well, I’m not sure about that but I do not hear any manifestos, any pamphlets (legal ones anyway), no speeches or posters. Of course there are people campaigning through alternative channels like blogs and friendster. At most you can see your faculty candidates wearing formal and greeting you. The problem with this, without all the things I mentioned above, it is not much of an election in the first place. Campaign candidates need to learn how to campaign, and voters need to learn how is the democratic process is done. (If you can call this election democracy la…lol) So by not allowing candidates not to campaign you are defeating one purpose of having a student election.
The second thing is I don’t think that there is much transparency is the system especially when you vote you need to insert your matric card. I see no purpose doing this at the polling station. This creates doubts among the students and also decreases the students trust in the system. The students already don’t care about the student politics, and now you’re scaring them, well actually I think students just click not thinking of the consequences. Even if they did try their best to pick good candidates, it will be based on insufficient or inaccurate data.
I saw in the newspapers about how UM was won by Pro-Mahasiswa, and UPM a.k.a opposition was won by Pro-university a.k.a government but as far as I know I was voting for my faculty and also calon bebas only. In the display, there was no mentioning of such alignments. Are we supposed to find that by ourselves? Minimizing campaigning efforts does not help us in any way. Or is it Pro-M and Pro-U is irrelevant to us ‘ignorant’ students of UPM. If it is so, why newspapers or anyone for that matter, bother that Pro-U have won UPM.
Do the voters know how the candidates will represent us? Or know what the candidates are voted for? Do the candidates themselves know what their job description will be? Will they be in a senate or parliament and would be on equal grounds with administrators to debate issues, or they are only to “memupuk semangat hidup sebagai suatu perbadanan di kalangan pelajar Universiti” or “menjalankan apa-apa aktiviti lain sebagaimana yang ditetapkan oleh Lembaga dari semasa ke semasa.” This is taken from AUKU 2006, tak tau la still have or not. I personally feel that we are not viewed as mature, responsible although young, adults. And we have people asking why uni students are dumb, no critical thinking abilities and etc.
Are we really serious about all this election fiasco? Do we want a democracy, or we just want to show that we have a democracy? I think student politics have really lost its relevance with students. Students will survive and universities will go on without the election a sad but true statement. I see this event as mistrust towards us students. If students are not given the trust to help in the administration of the organization or if you don’t value our perspectives, then why go through the hassle. If you don’t want us to help you, and then fine, just say so and don’t force us to do things we would rather replace with other much more productive things. The only people who care are the candidates. Itupun, mereka tak dapat mengalami suasana pilihanraya sebenar.
I do believe there are other avenues for students to develop themselves but as far as I’m concern of student politics, it’s as sucky as real politics, is this the culture you want to teach future leaders? heh