Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 8. Monday, July 1, 1963
If one fact has emerged from the recent Executive elections, it is that such elections do not seem to be wanted or even necessary.
Certainly this year's elections made the word "democratic" sound ridiculous. Only half the positions drew more than one candidate. Five others were "elected" unopposed, and one position, that of Treasurer, did not attract even a single candidate.
In the six positions where voting was necessary, the outcome was determined by a miserable 29 per cent of the total eligible voters. This produced some farcical results. An example: Capping Controller David Baird was elected with 354 votes, or 38 per cent of the total cast. Thus, of the whole student body, he gained the support of about 11 per cent.
The situation is not new; last year seven candidates were "elected" unopposed, voters were as apathetic as they were this year.
It is clear the whole election system is due for drastic revision. However, some would claim that the apathy of the many students who were not interested enough to vote, is no indictment of the present system; that if publicity were good and interest high, a satisfactory election would ensue.
But this attitude ignores the basic ill—that widespread apathy does exist and is unlikely to be reduced to an appreciable extent.
The complete abolition of elections could be justified on the grounds that 71 per cent of this year's students (an overwhelming majority) decided their democratic privilege was not worth exercising.—G.Q.