Strong Indy Showing
Despite being shunned by angry leftists in the anti-Zionist camp, the Student Alliance won perhaps one of the best electoral showings for an independent party in modern UF history.
There are several statistics that tell the story. 20 senators elected ties 2002 for the best showing a party not endorsed by FBK has ever won (although that year’s contest was unique in many ways). 20 out of 50 seats also ties 1998’s Vision Party for the best share of the Senate an independent party has ever won. In absolute terms, it’s the highest number of senators ever elected for a purely independent party.
Of course, digging deeper, you begin to see that their 42% of the vote is actually much closer to the average for an independent, and other exec tickets in the past have done better. And their Senate victories (Grad, Engineering, Fine Arts, Architecture, most of CLAS) are fairly routine for the independents. Indeed, 8 of their 20 Senators would not have been won in 1997 – as Grad Senators didn’t exist at all back then, and were a paltry three seats from 1998 until 2002-3.
Still, whether it is due to a fairer reapportionment, a unified independent movement, or a strong campaign operation, the Student Alliance should be proud. As Cavataro noted, the opposition has gone from 1 senator in Fall 2008 to 23 senators in Spring 2010. It is a tremendous achievement.
And it should serve as a strong reminder that while there are some differences of opinion within the independent movement (radicals vs. mainstream, self-styled GDIs vs. the long-term veterans, etc.) – it never pays to divide the opposition when the enemy, FBK, remains united as ever before.
After all, if they can blindly ignore a majority of SG voters (including at least 1/4 of Unite’s own voters) when continuing to endorse a misguided new fee for the Reitz Union, our work remains unfinished. There is a lot left to do to ensure UF is a democratic campus.