Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Catastrophe that is SA campaigning in front of Kogan

What's the first thing that comes to mind when I say: SA elections? I'm willing to bet that for most of you it was images of cars parked outside Kogan Plaza blasting cheap rap songs and hoards of students wearing colorful T-shirts plastered with their candidate's name/campaign slogan passing out candy and fliers.

That's what I first think of. If you're like me, you've probably found ways to adapt to the onslaught--especially if you pass by the Marvin Center more than four or five times a day as I do.

My coping technique is as follows:

T-shirt wearing supporter with candy: Hi have you voted?

Me: Yes, thank you.

TWSWC: Oh, great to hear.

That's all you have to say, even if you haven't voted. Here's the thing, what's the point of the whole scene in front of Kogan? Is it really an effective campaign strategy? I mean, you have a dozen campaigns all smooshed together fighting for the attention of students rushing off to class, work, etc. There must be a better way.

Living in the city means being stopped on every corner by Greenpeace, the homeless, street vendors and performers, the weird hippy commune guys from Stop Bitching Start a Revolution, signs asking if you want to help children dying of cancer (of course I do what kind of question is that?). After encountering all this, why would you want to stop in front of Kogan? Maybe I'm cynical, but I just think this isn't the best way to reach out to voters--instead I find it annoying.

I prefer candidates who reach out online and through debate. While I understand the value of "taking to the streets," I just think there has to be a better way to do this than congregating in one place and overwhelming potential voters every time they walk by.

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