It’s that time of year again when campus is plastered with posters telling us to ‘Vote for X’ or ‘Get down with Y’ and our Twitter feeds are taken over by the union trying desperately to break last year’s participation record. While it may seem like this year’s election has nothing new to offer us, LSi looks at what’s defining this year’s election campaigns.
Of course there’s nothing new about this. It’s a tradition dating back to ancient Greece itself to make use of a convenient name to win elections – though admittedly this was harder with names like Themistocles. This year has seen the return of some old favourites along with the addition of some new and equally cringe-worthy efforts. Slogans like ‘All That Jazz’ might bring a smirk to your face as you rush from Roger Stevens to the Baines Wing but just why you’d choose to base your campaign around ‘Evan Almighty’ – the clearly inferior sequel to ‘Bruce Almighty’ – is beyond me. It just goes to show though that if you’re running for the exec and you don’t have a name that lends itself to an outdated cultural reference, you may as well throw in the hat now.
Which brings me to this example from Max Bruges. Surely I’m not alone in thinking that Mr Bruges has missed a trick here by not playing upon ‘Max Power’. If there’s one thing that is sure to get students on your side it’s classic Simpsons references. Instead his campaign team have gone with a poster design inspired by either the propaganda of the Soviet Union or a Franz Ferdinand album and it’s hard to decide which is worse.
If you’ve been convinced by some chalk scribbling in Hyde Park or the cardboard signs telling you to ‘Vote George’ then I congratulate you on being a democratic purist but we may need to have words. With his beaming smile it’s clear that Frank’s a cheeky chappy and his posters have some of the best production values we’ve seen in recent years.
Frank’s definitely gone for style over substance. His commitment to vague buzzwords like ‘passion, determination and dream’ means it’s hard to tell exactly what Frank stands for but it’s this inability to pin him down to any promises – and an apparent wealthy backer – that proves Frank has a bright future in politics.
Return of the Fro
While a number of the current exec are running again, there’s one campaign in particular that really catches the eye. Bradley’s campaign has all the garishness of an early noughties children’s TV show and the man himself looks like he could do a fine job as a CBBC presenter. Of course it’s the ‘Fro’ itself that really steals the show. If Bradley doesn’t end up winning this year then perhaps the fro should consider going solo and booking a few gigs with Butlins. Bradley may even make a decent sidekick.
If you thought that student elections were a dignified and respectable example of democracy then you must be living under a rock. However, this year the decision to seemingly forego the usual election system for an X-Factor style sing-off seems to have seen us sunk even lower into the quagmire of degradation. It has to be said that some of the videos are impressive and getting yourself on Radio One for being just that awful deserves some recognition. But if I have to listen to one more awful cover of Macklemore, Drake or Beyoncé I will R.O.N you all. It doesn’t matter how cleverly you insert your politics into these songs if we can’t hear them over the sound of your voice cracking as you try to hit that illusive high note. Besides we all know there’s only one way to really get the public vote and that’s to lead with a good sob story like Frank’s done. Bright future that kid.
Do remember that voting is open for both the Union Exec and the Leeds Student Editor until 4:00pm on Thursday. Please do remember to vote. Well done to everyone running for some fantastic campaigns and good luck to you all.