As the upcoming presidential election approaches, a rumor has started that many students will be voting no confidence. Voting no confidence is when voters (in this case Woodstock students) indicate that they do not support a proposed candidate or system of government. Often, people vote no confidence when they do not support any of the ideas of candidates or when they believe that a candidate is not capable of performing their duties.
To get a teacher’s perspective on the impacts of voting no confidence, Mr. Will was interviewed, and described how there is a place for voting no confidence in the political system when there isn’t a representative and qualified candidate, such as in some radical political parties and governmental systems. However, he also explains that at Woodstock he doesn’t see the appeal of voting no confidence because the presidential nominees “are trying to make a difference and we should consider the effort they are putting in before throwing it away.” Another argument he made was that by voting no confidence “you’re actually giving away your vote, I would recommend to any students voting in this election to vote for the candidate whose policies they most agree with.”
Historically, no confidence gaining the majority of the vote has been very dependent on the governmental and voting system. Therefore, the value of a no confidence vote can depend on the geographic context. In India, 27 no confidence votes have won the majority over the past 100 years. So, in India, it is possible to make your opinion heard by voting no confidence. In the past 100 years in the UK there has only been one successful no confidence vote in parliament (Callaghan ministry 1979) and prime minister elections. For civilians in the US, there is not an option to vote no confidence in both state and nation wide elections, however voters can vote by a write-in, stating a preferred candidate that is not listed. That being said, a write-in candidate has never won an election.
However, that does not mean that your vote doesn’t matter. In the case of the last presidential vote in the US the democratic party won by 1.4 % in Wisconsin, 1.2% in Pennsylvania, 0.4% in Arizona and 0.2% in Georgia. These are very slim margins of winning that reiterate the significance of the individual vote.
Ultimately, in order to make your vote count, consider what the outcome you are looking for. Will a no confidence vote create change in our Student Council, or is it better to compromise and find a candidate who most closely aligns with your values? Whatever you decide, remember that, in the words of Mr. Will, “it is a privilege, a civil right and a civil liberty to have the ability to vote as a student.” Whether you vote no confidence or not, it is imperative that you vote to make a change.
Selma is a staff reporter.
Edited by Asha.