Election needs anti-vote

I look at the list of the Minnesota Student Association presidential candidates and suddenly have a realization:
This is why nobody votes. Five pairs of candidates, 10 names in all. Nobody I’ve ever heard of, or really care to hear of in any other setting.
Three or four of the candidates boast the same old platform: a new bus route, the U-Pass, something about freeing the Gardenburger and banning Mumia.
Then there’s another candidate who was sitting around a coffee table, brew in hand, in his buddy’s smoke-filled dorm room and thought it would be clever to run, even though his leadership experience is limited to deciding whether to get a 12-er or a bottle of “some hard stuff.”
So needless to say, I’m pretty indifferent on who will take the reigns of our three-wheeled, paper machÇ chuck wagon of a student government. As long as it isn’t that one candidate who just makes me want to vomit.
There’s always one candidate who pisses me right off. He or she always has something stupid to say; rhetoric as empty as Hugh Hefner’s seminal vesicles. The candidate is endorsed by a bunch of idiots, because you know what? They are idiots. The candidate is no different from your fraternity boy neighbors who play basketball — very unskillfully I might add — until 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday or that girl who trips on her Rollerblades when cruising through Northrop Mall. Idiots. All of them.
But, it’s not like you have just two candidates to vote for. If you did, you could log right on to that Internet thingy or march right on down to the voting booth. You could grab that little mouse or that punch card and simply make sure not to check that person’s name, knowing your vote went directly against them, having no doubt you did your part.
If this were the case, you could walk away knowing you’ve done your bit of social justice for the season, hopefully squandering some idiots’ stupid dreams in the process.
But with five candidates, your conniving ways are extremely watered down.
First of all, the other four candidates are about as easily decipherable as four fake-blondes in tight black pants catching a cab to Sparky’s for ladies’ night.
You and I, with our simple caveman tactics and logic, cannot tell the average MSA candidate from a clerk at Filene’s Basement.
On top of that, it’s tough to choose for whom to vote when really all you want to do is not vote for some one person. If we all did that, our votes get divvied up between the others, and all the idiots will still back their idiot candidate. In the end, the idiots win.
So, I propose we institute a new voting-day policy: anti-votes.
Instead of casting your vote in favor of a candidate, cast an anti-vote. The anti-vote would count as a negative vote in the candidate’s total.
If, in a race of five people, one idiot so disgusts you to the point of visible irritation or intestinal discomfort, cast that anti-vote.
You’ll know you’ve done your part to make sure this person doesn’t see the light of day as the executive officer of MSA, and contentment with the other four means you can’t lose.
It’s a simple solution to an age-old campus problem. Combat apathy with the right to voice your utter disgust.
These anti-votes should be released to the public, as part of the voting numbers.
Candidate 1: 1,224 votes, 549 anti-votes. Total votes: 775. Shove those numbers in the idiot’s face, too.
“Hey idiot,” the appointed messenger would bellow. “These are how many people you incite to vomit.”
And let’s say, hypothetically speaking of course, that you are wandering your way innocently through the Superblock and a candidate attempts to bribe your vote by placing him or herself directly in front of a voting terminal with free pizza to anyone who votes: Anti-vote this person because of their ethics.
And if a fellow idiot is running around in a chicken suit on the same Superblock, also enticing you to vote, anti-vote the candidate for whom this fool is “campaigning.”
The reason students don’t vote in MSA elections is either they don’t care or they aren’t informed. But the only reason they don’t care is because they are uninformed.
They are uninformed because they are confused. They can’t tell one candidate from another — which is really nobody’s fault. But they do know if one person really pisses them off. Yet, as current parliamentary procedures have it, they do not have an outlet for this discomfort. That’s why we need the anti-vote.
So if somebody in a chicken suit offers you a piece of pizza to vote, don’t do it just for the free pizza. Cast an anti-vote because they look ridiculous.

Andrew Donohue is a Daily associate editor. He welcomes comments at [email protected]