It's the time of year when a young Carleton student's student council ambitions turn to nominations.
All over campus, these fresh faced and nerdy young go getters are pounding the pavement. They have to get a certain number of nominations to get their name on the ballot. I think. I haven't actually researched this, because I don't care about CUSA bureaucracy, not even enough to spend five seconds googling it.
But these kids care enough to want to involve themselves in it. And they either don't have enough friends to get the required number of nominations out of people they know, or the threshold is set pretty high. So they stand in the hallways and cafeteria lines, harassing strangers to sign their nomination form.
I have a great ready made excuse for not signing petitions or political forms of any kind. I'm a journalism student. Sorry, random student. What if I were called to report on some future CUSA scandal and needed to use you as a source? I can't affiliate myself with you, or anyone else, politically.
Usually this throws people off enough to give up. But not these people. "It's not an endorsement!" they persist. "It's just a nomination. All you're doing is giving me a chance to run."
See, here's the thing though. Let's imagine that the KKK decides it's going to run a slate in the CUSA elections. One of their representatives taps you on the shoulder while you're waiting in line for a bagel. He asks you to sign his nomination form - after all, it's not an endorsement, and why would you stand in anyone's way who wants to participate in the democratic process?
For all I know, these people could be members of the KKK. They could be planning to run on a platform of requiring all students to pledge allegiance to Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il every morning. They could be planning to ban student groups whose views and activities they don't like - which actually happened at York, with some pro-life groups.
Do I support these fictional people's right to run in a student election? Of course. Do I want to put my signature down nominating them? Hell no.
You can tell me it's not an endorsement until you're blue in the face. Even if I wasn't on a strict non-political journalist's diet, I still wouldn't help anyone out with my signature who isn't prepared to give me some vague idea of what they're going to use it for.
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