POLL ANALYSIS ON STUDENTS' UNION ELECTIONS, CAMPAIGN AND SIMILAR MATTERS

INTRODUCTION

As student politics on campus draws closer and closer to a transition period, concerns have been raised about the methods we have come to regard as convention. And as we all know, we cannot do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Facts Count once again dived into the waters of public opinion to fish for the perception of the majority on certain contentions regarding Students’ Union elections, campaigns and other related matters.

We asked about what attracts students in campaigns, whether coloured banners and posters are a necessity, how crucial money is to electioneering, assets declaration among many issues. With what is perhaps our most filled poll yet, below is our discovery.

MOST ATTRACTIVE FEATURE OF A CAMPAIGN

 

To the question, “What do you look for most when supporting a candidate’s campaign?” a whopping 75% of respondents chose the candidate’s agenda. 20% said it is the candidate’s level of experience, 3.3% said it is the candidate’s level of popularity, and a meagre 1.7% chose money and connections. However, whether this is true reflection of voters’ decisions is arguable considering the crucial role played by factors such as endorsements, departmental and residential affiliations during election periods. In the options too were the candidate’s physiques and the candidate’s jingle and banner but no respondent picked any of these.

 

PRINITNG COLOURED POSTERS AND BANNERS

The responses to whether it is necessary for candidates to print coloured posters and banners are almost evenly distributed. 43.3% of respondents think it is necessary, 33.3% think otherwise while 23.3% were indifferent. This shows that a policy seeking the restriction of coloured posters and banners, or their outright ban, is likely to receive neither widespread approval nor disapproval. The weight of supporting arguments for either side is critical to the success or failure of such a move

 

IMPORTANCE OF MONEY TO POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS

We also tried to gauge public opinion on how important money is considered to be to political candidacy on campus. In other words, should aspirants have to be rich to an extent before they can succeed? 26.7% of respondents think, yes, money is very important to political aspirations, 51.7% said it is fairly important, 16.7% said it is not important, while 5% were indifferent on the issue.

EFFECT OF LEVEL OF FUNDS SPENT ON VOTERS

We asked students of the university if their decision to vote for a particularly candidate is affected by the level of funds spent towards his or her campaign. A whopping 85% of respondents said it does not have any effect on their voting decision, 8.3% said it makes them like and support the candidate, while 6.7% said it in fact makes them dislike the candidate (i.e. where money spent is considered too much).

 

ASSETS DECLARATION BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER TENURE

Facts Count also asked the following: What’s your opinion about Students’ Union political office holders declaring their assets before, during and after holding office? On the reactions to this, majority were in support. 60% said it is good (i.e. a welcome development), 31.7% maintain that it is not necessary, while 8.3% stood on the fence of indifference.

 

MAXIMUM BENCHMARK FOR CAMPAIGN FUNDING

Furthermore, on the similar question on whether there should be a legal ceiling on the amount of funds a candidate can spend for his or her campaign, the majority of respondents pitched their tent on the side of unorthodoxy. Still, it is a very close call. 48.3% think there should be a benchmark, 41.7% assert otherwise, while10% of respondents were indifferent.

                                                                                        

PUBLIC STATEMENT OF SOURCES OF CAMPAIGN FUNDING

On whether political aspirants should publicly state the source(s) of the funding for their campaigns, the majority similarly sided with change by replying in the affirmative. 43.3% agree that political aspirants should state the sources of their funding, 38.3% disagree, while 18.3% of respondents were indifferent.

ON ENDORSEMENT BY HALLS OF RESIDENCE

Finally, Facts Count probed into whether the tradition of endorsement of candidates by various halls of residence should be sustained. 48.3% of respondents said yes, halls of residence should always endorse candidates vying for posts at the Students’ Union level, 40% think not, while 11.7% were indifferent.

CONCLUSION

Just about two weeks back, the Students’ Representative Council made certain controversial recommendations to the substantive electoral commission: that the printing of posters and stickers, jingles, t-shirts, caps and souvenirs should be banned, that presentation of manifestoes should be decentralised and that endorsements should be replaced by grading to be done by press organisations.

Though these recommendations may appear extreme, the poll we have conducted shows a good number of Uites actually support the cutting down of expenses which go into electioneering. How soon policy changes will be effected to bring the intention of the students into manifestation is a question which rests patiently within the murky womb of time.

 

 

Comments

emmyrhyms_268's picture

i like this..

It's cool

Very good

emmyrhyms_268's picture

it's very cool.

I think it will be wise of any aspirant to state his/her source of funds, but definitely not publicly. Thank you

Coloured posters is the best thing that will attract the mind of the students and ofcorse including your agenda on it.

I love this

also colored papers are the best

Really nice

Cool

Great!

Cool

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