Headspin rave

By Mark Counsell

Editors, the Gauntlet,

Re: "Student politicians capitalize on apathy," March 29, 2001

Rest assured, Ruth, careless spending of student money certainly does alarm some of us, and in my view, the problem with this legislation runs much deeper.

First, while elections are complete, the newly elected representatives do not take over until April 28. Therefore, while this measure may have passed unanimously, it was not passed by the people just elected. That means it was passed in a kind of twilight zone, a period after the elections but before the new representatives take over. We could call this period the "unaccountability zone" because the old reps are no longer accountable, and the new ones aren’t either (unless you happen to have been re-elected this time around, but you see how fuzzy this gets).

With no one to be held accountable, this is a great way for unscrupulous student politicians to slide potentially unpopular legislation in through the back door without any personal fallout, and to make sure it doesn’t become an election campaign issue like the U-Pass. That is wrong and constitutes a breach of trust with the electorate.

My feeling is that the timing of this legislation was not an accident. If it was, it was a remarkably suspicious one. There is another side to the story, however, one that argues that the legislation has been on the table for over six years and that, while the timing was bad, it needed to be passed.

Perhaps. But it should not have been passed like this.

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