Democracy has always rested on two pillars: representation for
all and ethical leadership that abides by notifying constituents.
Both are being threatened by possibly your last fully elected
government. LSA Student Government teeters narrowly on the edge of
sleaze, moving toward replacing democracy with autocracy and
injustice. As such, the end of our democracy is unquestionably in
view. The lingering question, however, is not if our government
will crumble to democratic failure, but if you can save it.

LSA-SG recently passed a motion, voting 17-3 with no
abstentions, in favor of obliterating your right to true democracy.
If passed on the new ballot question this election, your right to
elect a president and vice president will vanish and transfer to
representatives, furthering closed backdoor politics.

The change allows your president and vice president to be
elected without ever considering the student body’s opinion
or receiving a vote from it. Currying to current representatives,
executive candidates will lose contact with their most important
part of communication: you. Furthermore, when “your new
president” meets with the president, regents and other
leaders of the University, they have no obligation or
accountability to uphold your interests, effectively undermining
the entire point of government. Underrepresented minorities will
have significantly more trouble making it to the top. Corruption
and political favors will take the place of true democracy.
Ultimately, the people who are supposedly represented, you, get
screwed.

As if disenfranchising you from the two highest positions on
government is bad enough, the situation intensifies severely.
Without receiving the input of a single constituent, the president
appoints the executive board, give voting members, granting him
full control over the fundamental parts of the government: the
rules at a meeting, communication, academic affairs and part of
budget allocations. With this power, the president holds a virtual
monopoly, appointing all his cronies to executive powers without
ever considering your issues, perpetually creating a “friends
help friends” spoils system (a.k.a. “good ‘ole
boys’ club”).

Even if you believe that your representatives can make more
informed decisions than you, it still won’t work. Pervasive
as they are, coalition politics will find their way inside and
destroy the effectiveness of the government, your government.
Amidst five president-appointed votes and two more indirect votes,
an effective voting bloc will form, holding more than 25 percent of
all votes in the assembly with 50 percent needed to pass most
motions. Thus, the problem that the amendment attempts to solve,
conniving politics, will be exacerbated to a new high concurrently
as full democratic representation is eradicated.

As representatives and members of this constituency, we will not
take this sitting down, and we implore you to do the same. In
possibly your last election for president, it has become most
imperative that you vote. On March 17 and 18, VOTE NO on the
proposed amendment in the LSA-SG election to steal your
representation out from under your nose. Send a clear message to
your government that has conspired secretly against you; VOTE NO on
the LSA-SG amendment.

As the only three representatives to vote against this change,
we stand as a minority in this struggle to ensure that your voice
continues to be heard. We hope that you take what we have stated
seriously and will act to destroy this treacherous threat to our
rapidly deteriorating democracy.

Wagner, Lakashman and Yahkind are representatives on LSA
student government.

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