Comment Videos YUSU Elections 2018

Perpetuating the popularity contest

Candidate profiles from YUSU Elections 2009

Archive This article is from our archive and might not display correctly. Download PDF
The race for the position of President raises the same question every year: how far are people voting for the inherent value of a candidate's experience, policies and integrity, rather than the extent of their campus status and 'fame'?

The question has become all the more potent this year, and it certainly wasn't far from the political agenda of last night's hustings. The necessity of a legion of fans came to appear crucial as every question answered by Ngwena or Langrish was unfailing followed by a roar of raucous support from the floor, whilst Bradley's support accumulated into a few contrived claps of indifference.

The climax of the evening, in the traditional quick-fire round reserved for Presidential candidates, presented those standing with a policy-free zone in which to amuse the crowd free from the trappings of pledges and promises.

But last night proved that this year's campaign has to be about so much more than vacuous campus image: policies have to be feasible; personality has to be likeable; and rhetoric has to be believable. It is undoubtable that Bradley ticked these boxes. Being first speaker may have seemed a daunting task, but Bradley took it in his stride: his public speaking skills proved to be clear, concise and comprehensive. His ability to ad lib proved effortless and striking. When asked the question of why a woman wasn't running for President, instead of brushing the issue aside and deeming it irrelevant as previous candidates did, he was first to admit that it was shame. He admits to running for President because it's something he genuinely wants to do for the student body, as it would mean walking away from a job that already pays more money and postponing his degree for a year. For someone whose essential campaign policy is to advertise himself as a novice, he capitalises on the image of underdog and uses it to give him a distinct edge over the other candidates.

Another candidate to glaringly segregate himself from the YUSU 'clique' was Bushby, who didn't hesitate to criticise the leadership and policies of YUSU over the last year. Perhaps his presentation would have been more candid if his speech didn't lack so much spontaneity, as he chose to read from notes and avoid eye contact with his crowd.

Timing was of the essence, as Bushby's speech was also ultimately undermined by the undeniable personality of the night: Langrish. To some extent, the plethora of Langrish's experience and obvious allegiance to the Union damages his campaign: he can appear aloof from the average student. But his speech was punctuated with passion and enthusiasm. His policies are proving to be much more than empty promises; he showed that they are overfilled with dedication and commitment.

The speeches climaxed in Tim's surprisingly quiet presentation, made all the more obvious when following Langrish's fervent gusto. He advertises himself as a 'natural leader', something easily shown in his instinctive charm and ability to communicate with the crowd. He demonstrated his social dynamic and '100% spirit' with ease and finesse, despite forgetting a few questions from the floor and seeming slightly nervous at first. But surely nerves and humanity never hurt anyone. After all, Bradley emphasises the imperative role of YUSU President as a people person, a true representative of the student body. As Ngwena's lexis amounted to a soulful speech, one couldn't help thinking that he had that essential attribute to carry him through.

With the unexpected addition of Bradley to the potential position of YUSU President, last night showed that there is no clear winner. Hustings shocked me: who would have thought that a few speeches and a bit of ad lib could really broaden a candidate's viability?

You Might Also Like...

3 Comment

Grant Bradley Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

As I've said all along, the main issue I've had from the offset is the fact I'm coming out of nowhere and very few people had any idea who I was. This is slowly changing, as one individual said last night "on paper you're not the one I'd choose, but seeing you in the flesh seriously complicates things".

I'm still hoping that I can reach out to as many students as possible prior to thier vote, over the next week (starting tomorrow) I'm going to try to spend as much time on campus, either in bars or the JCRCs so that anyone can come and meet me face to face... I'll post information of that elswhere as not to breach any publicity rules from YUSU.

I hope that as we lead into final stretch of campaigning, people won't be afraid to speak to me on my campaign or challenge me on the issues that matter to them, I'm here for all of you.

Grant

Reply

Election Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Vote Graham!

Reply

DJ Kic Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

yeah I've voted for Graham. cast your vote now at http://www.yusu.org/vote

Reply

Leave a comment

Disclaimer: this page is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.