Sunday, February 28, 2010

My election predictions

First, an overview of the candidates in the race for Student Council President:

Colin Hood: current StudCo Vice President of Organizations.
Endorsed by: University Democrats, the Cavalier Daily, QUAA, Brothers United Celebrating Knowledge and Success, Catholic Student Ministry, Transfer Student Society, Inter-Fraternity Council/Inter-Sorority Council, Minority Rights Coalition, PURSUIT Conference

Dan Morrison: Second Year Class President.
Endorsed by: Habitat for Humanity, Campaign to Save Honor

Steve Norum: Me. Endorsed by: Swashbuckling Club, Campaign to Save Honor

My predictions:
Turnout will be around 6,500 students, roughly the same as last year. The voting uses a ranked ballot and an instant runoff system. Thus, even if your first pick comes in last, your vote is still heard between the other two candidates. Ignoring Arrow's Paradox, it's a pretty good system of voting.
As for the actual votes, it'll be a landslide.  I'll get knocked out after the first round, as the totals will be roughly 1000 or a bit fewer for myself, 2000 for Dan Morrison, and 3500 for Colin Hood. Following my elimination, it'll become about 4000 to 2500 in favor of Colin.  The number and reputation of his endorsements will be a big help, in addition to the fact that he's far more experienced with Student Council than Dan.  Dan's platform is very heavy on things along the lines of "make Student Council work better for you."  It's a good idea, for sure, but people want to see actual plans, which he has but for whatever reason hasn't publicized.  Colin has actual plans, good plans, and students will realize this.  In addition, during the run-up to the week of elections, Colin's been campaigning much more strongly than Dan.

Personally, I cast my vote for myself, although if I had been a stronger presence in the election and it had looked close I'd have voted for Colin.  I think out of the three candidates he'll make by far the best overall Student Council President, and even if I think he won't much address issues I consider important (working with Student Financial Services, restoring privileges that have been taken away from Echols Scholars lately, and curbing certain showy but misguided Student Council initiatives), he'll do more to help the general student body than Dan would (largely due to greater experience, not because of any flaw of Dan's).

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