The Benefit of SG Hindsight
Tonight will see another terrible result for the independent movement at the University of Florida – as virtually all fall elections are. We average 31% of the vote in fall compared to 41% in the spring. And that’s without a split in the indie movement, as 2009 has seen.
Still, with hindsight from my own experiences, there’s a few tidbits of interesting news this week. (And no, none of them is that the Alligator backed Unite-Lite because of its moderate/realistic platform.)
1) The well-worn path of understating campaign finances remains in full effect. Each side does it. Now, it’s possible these numbers are accurate – I don’t know if anyone is paying for newspaper ads or anything big on the ground like that. But I have a hard time believing even Unite is spending less than $5,000 ($3k alone on t-shirts, then stickers, and glossy flyers – they all add up). And I certainly don’t believe the highest contribution to their coffers really is $125. Likewise, Progress and O&B clearly have comparable expenses. If my own Voice Party could spend $2000 on a meager campaign eight years ago, someone or all of them are fibbing about their expenses.
2) Of course, expense reports are nothing compared to the actual rap sheets some of the SG candidates and officials have racked up in Alachua County alone. The numbers are staggering, embarassing, and yet totally believable, too. And critics of the TV show “Greek” thought the prevalance of alcohol was unrealistic – sure it is, because there’s apparently not enough marijuana and public arrests of the Greeks.
3) High turnout from 2008 seems to be repeating itself somewhat in 2009, although I wouldn’t expect a repeat record high. Still, 5000 voters on day one isn’t a bad result. Maybe the indie parties will eke out a win or two. I won’t hold my breath, though, even for Unite-Lite, I mean Progress.
4) Lastly, Matthew Clark makes a good case for the virtue of the independent movement, although his examples of Unite Party campaigning are, alas, all-too-familiar.
Still, I bet one could write a television show that is just as full of drama about UF’s system of elections that is far superior to the soap opera stylings of the popular “Greek” show. After all, as some of us are so fond of pointing out, parties at Greek houses and love interests are not what define the college experience or even all the drama at college – it may not even define most of the drama found in the Greek system.