The Power Of Popularity In The Election Process
Throughout the four years of high school, every year a 2 week-long event known as the “co-prime” or co-priminister election lead by student leadership class would give students an opportunity to cast their vote for their preferred candidate. This election would consist of four to five grade eleven students running for the position of co-prime.
Co-prime is for the two students who win the campaign like one would do when running for office. Each day of the week a different student would run events promoting their campaign, for example in my grade twelve year, the grade elven students hosted a cafeteria event during lunch, the events would give other students the opportunity to get involved with a specific candidate by participating in karaoke, smashing an egg on the candidate’s head, participating in a kahoot or trying to beat the candidate in Mario kart. Although these events did not necessarily promote the candidate’s platform, it would help increase the voter outcome when it came to voting day. The running candidates would also make a party brand or slogan representing their campaign such as “need something done?
Hunter Tucker is the one” essentially helping some voters with this process. After the first week of entertaining cafeteria events occurred to integrate students, our running co-primes would host their campaign speeches. To imply strategy most candidates would set goals for the election based on problems or events that lack participation and how they would improve towards a better outcome as well as what new strategies they would bring to the plate to accommodate the student body’s wants and needs for the upcoming school year. No matter what race you are running, campaign fundamentals determine whether a party wins or loses. During the campaign and election process I felt that most candidates ran for co-prime just for the sake of running or achieving a higher status as a student in high school. When listening to the speeches most candidates had some contrast in their campaign but, almost repeating what past candidates promised to do if they are elected. That being said, one candidate had contrast in his speech and in his platform. He came up with various strategies to get students more involved at school and increase student satisfaction.
The co-prime election would allow students to change interests, because voters would be given the opportunity to show their support for the representatives. An important aspect to that came with voting was how biased everyone’s opinions seemed. When giving our reason as to why we voted for a specific candidate, majority of people had said it was because they were friends with a specific candidate or because their friends told them who to cast a vote for. It became increasingly obvious that the students did not care as to what the candidates had to offer if they are elected. It only mattered to students whether they were friends with the candidate or not. In fact, many Americans have come to agree that the large amounts of media bias during election campaigns have changed who they vote for. Between 1996 to 2000, Fox News covered the presidential election campaign and increased the republican vote by about 8% “The introduction of Fox News had a small but statistically significant effect on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000. ” Fox News proves that voter turnout whether it be for major presidential elections or small high school co-prime elections that some voters will shift the vote count strictly based on biased opinions. Similarly, high school co-prime election was based on the power of popularity, essentially the more friends along with the more students a candidate knew had a higher chance to gain more votes and win the election. This experience did change my perception on politics, specifically voting. The question I ask myself now is if students are bias at a young age for co-prime voting, how biased are they going to be as adults when is come to voting for a new priminister?
It is important to have a full grasp on different political parties when it comes time to vote. Having a deeper understanding of different topics such as foreign policy, economics, and immigration can help make a more educated vote based on what you want to see change. In the future if a situation similar to this was to occur, I would respond by asking whether this individual did enough research to have a proper reason to why they were voting for a specific party, although watching the news is a good starting point to begin thinking about what party to vote for, it does not give out accurate information and is generally biased towards a certain party.
This experience of the power of popularity can be linked to the 2016 American presidential campaign. Before Trump announced he is officially running for office, he gained popularity form being an important figure in New York city politics and constantly clashing against other New York politicians and his appearance in popular sit coms such as Spin City and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air giving himself initial power to connect with people who watch these television sit coms, thus creating a bias opinion for certain viewers. Some viewers would argue how he was a great actor and therefore would vote for him solely based on that.
Overall, something I drew from this topic is to not abuse the right to vote. In a world today where democracies give citizens the right to choose who leads their country, with multiple parties to choose from, voting should be taken seriously. By doing so, our high school, university and country can be represented and lead by well fit candidates. Making voting more readily available say online, it could significantly increase the amount of younger people who vote since they have always been the least likely to do so. Starting to vote in co-prime elections during high school is an important way to introduce the topic of voting to the younger generation and how to make a properly informed decision when it comes time to cast your vote. Although my experience was about the biased students, that could be a learning curve for many of those students and teach them how to avoid that situation in the future.
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