How low is too low? - Macleans.ca

How low is too low?

What kind of mandate does a student union president have when only five per cent of students supported them?

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Last week, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa held their annual elections. Voter turn-out was just over 10 per cent. The head of student elections told La Rotonde, U of O’s French-language student newspaper, that he was pleased with the turn-out, despite the fact that it dropped by almost 50 per cent from the year before, because he’d expected it to be even lower. He blamed the decline on a return to paper ballots and ending online voting.

The 11.5 per cent turnout is on the low side when compared to other universities but it’s not the lowest.

This was a close election; the president-elect won by less than one percentage point. And that’s what really gets me, one of the main jobs of student unions is representing students but can someone really represent a group when 95 per cent of the members didn’t vote for them?