A Problem With Democracy

The+list+of+elected+candidates+of+grade+11

The list of elected candidates of grade 11

In a democracy people are supposed to vote on who they feel will best represent them. At St. George’s, however, students are concerned about how far their votes count towards electing a student council member.

Another pressing issue about voting in our school is the way our candidates are displayed to the voters. In grades 8-10, speeches are given to the entire grade, but a problem arises with this.  Even though this displays one’s public speaking skills, it sometimes becomes more of a comedic act than a serious platform speech. This system, even though flawed, allows students who are new to the school to have a fair chance. In grades 11-12 the presentation becomes a lot less animated. In the senior grades candidates must write a platform essay highlighting what they wish to do if elected. Major complaints on this system are that people who are not well known in the grade find it hard to get noticed.

A question many voters in all grades have ,excluding grade 12s, is “how much power do we have as a grade?” The answer is, sadly, not a lot. Grade 12s and staff are responsible for organizing junior and senior dances, so don’t buy into those speeches promising more dances or drastic changes in the way the school is run.  Another concern of voters is the fact that teachers have a say in the voting.  How much power do they hold?  Well, that is unknown.

A major problem with our elections is that there simply are not enough voters. Brendan S had this to say when asked why he didn’t vote.  “As a grade, we really don’t have that much say in what happens.  And if nothing memorable will happen, then why vote?”  When James G was asked what memorable experiences he has had  through his years at St. Georges (thanks to the efforts of student council) he replied, “I really can’t name many other than a bake sale in grade 8.”

Despite the flaws that come with any democratic system, hopefully this year’s council will make up for the problems students have had in the past, and prove that even though our voting system isn’t perfect, we can still produce great leaders.