Exercise your vote

Gossipers and critics beware: with the appointment of Emma Kennedy as the new Vice President of the Student Government Association, the institution’s week-after-week presence on the front page of The Cynic might finally draw to a close.Everyone has their own opinions regarding the impeachment-slash-resignation saga of former VP Josh Miller, but I much prefer to recline in reality than recite ridiculous rumors.Fact: Last spring, Miller was the only candidate for the office of vice president. He ran unopposed.Fact: Despite the ability to write in candidates on the ballot – prime opportunity to elect someone who hadn’t turned their paperwork in on time – no major or minor write-in campaigns came even close to success. Fact: Roughly 700 students – that’s only 7.4 percent of the undergraduate student body – voted in the SGA presidential and vice presidential elections.Fact: I am a SGA Senator. But before the charges of my supposed conflict of interest and allegations that I’m personally attacking a former SGA-er, consider my final fact:Fact: Some students might not care who fills the roles of president and vice president of SGA, just like some Americans don’t care who fills the roles of U.S. president and vice president. But for all democracies to function effectively and remain up to the standards of the people they govern, whether they’re the SGA or the USA, the masses must educate themselves and make their preferences heard. The clichés – “your vote is your voice,” “vote or die,” “rock the vote” – are more numerous and maybe more irritating than ever before. But that doesn’t mean their messages are any less important. In an ideal democracy, a number of viable candidates participate in lengthy and issue-centered debates. Then on election day, those who’ve remained silent during all of the debates and discussions, finally get to speak. We don’t live in an ideal democracy and the candidates in November’s presidential race are neither numerous nor perfect, but these two facts will never discount the third: We, the people of the United States and the students of the University of Vermont, have the power to choose.The problems that have plagued the SGA aren’t 100 percent the fault of the former VP and probably didn’t stem directly from the fact that he ran unopposed in an election with one of the lowest voter turnouts in anyone’s collective memory. But that’s not a fact.Just think about it.