Guest blog: why care about the Students’ Union elections?

This post was written by Ana Gabriela Popa, Sheffield Students’ Union International Officer.

(Spoiler alert: fun music lyrics randomly inserted in text)

Democracy can sometimes be frustrating.

(Oh no not I, I will survive! Oh as long as I know how to vote, I know I’ll stay alive!)

Unexercised right to vote? That’s infuriatingly frustrating.

Picture a victorious Trump elected by a small margin of only 60% of the population (90 million eligible voters did not vote) and the Brexit vote that impacts so much on the young population (out of which only 36% voted). How would democracy look now if people would have exercised their right to vote? Would Trump have won? Would we have voted Brexit?

(I see people voting, I watch them vote, they vote much more than I’ll ever know, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!)

Voting in an election is of paramount importance generally, because it means that:

  • You have a right to express your opinion on who should represent you.
  • You have a voice that matters in the grand scheme of things – your vote can make the difference between winning and losing.
  • You give legitimacy and credibility to candidates, whilst also keeping them accountable.

(Somewhere over the rainbow, people vote, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.)

Voting in the SU elections today is of relevant importance, because:

  • In the same way as being involved in a society, committee, volunteering project or student group feels good, voting feels good too! You actually make a difference (Underneath your votes/ There’s an endless story/ There’s the Officers I chose/ There’s my democratic territory)
  • Whatever candidate wins, their policies win too and when they get to implement them, it will probably affect you directly – not to mention how important and impactful the referenda questions are.
  • Your vote matters on every single preference! We’re using the alternative vote system which means we take into account your second preferences as well in every round, so we really care about who you think should win (Cause if you liked it then you should have put a vote on it! If you liked it then you should have put a vote on it! Oh-oh-oh…)
  • If by any chance you disagree with all the candidates and you think they definitely do not represent you and shouldn’t be the student leaders of the organisation, you can always vote for RON. No, not the Harry Potter RON, the Re-Open Nominations RON. No one votes for him usually. (My loneliness is killin’ me, I must confess I still believe, when I’m not with you I lose my mind, give me a sign, vote me baby one more time).

So vote here now!

And if you feel that you would like to talk to the candidates and ask them questions, before making a decision, feel free to message, contact, or find them on campus.

(Girl, you know I want your vote, your vote was handmade for somebody like me, Come on now, follow my lead, I may be crazy, but still vote for me!)

Happy voting!

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