Editorial: Missing at the polls: students

There was an election in Massachusetts yesterday, and as usual, it appears it mattered to only a few students. Which is too bad, because we really could have changed things in this election.

Judging by the pre-election day communications between candidates, can anyone blame us? It isn’t that students don’t care about voting, it’s just that the candidates gave students very little to actually care about. And until we start voting in larger numbers, that isn’t going to change.

Democratic candidate Deval Patrick was emotional in his rhetoric, especially with his trademark line, “Together We Can.” It gave others hope and the idea that Patrick could change Massachusetts.

But what does that mean for the student looking for a reason to stick around Mass. after graduation? Zilch.

Patrick’s ability to be uplifting is the only true identity we know of him. He hasn’t been labeled as a tax cutter, a person who will lower the cost of housing or a man to provide safe streets. What we do know of Patrick, and this is for certain, is that he can win over a crowd with his zeal and aura.

On the other hand Healey was just as vague, if not more so than Patrick. We do know that she is the Lt. governor under Romney, and is married to a millionaire. However, this information was not easy to find, considering the majority of her commercials were aimed at weakening Patrick’s character.

The only thing that will be remembered from this election, if anything, is that Patrick was once a defense lawyer who may have defended a convicted rapist. We still don’t know why that wouldn’t make him a good governor, nor does it give us reason to vote for Healey. So she is the candidate who can’t say that she once stood up for something she believed in? We’re not exactly sprinting to the polls. We’ll remember Healey as the candidate who wasn’t afraid to tell everyone this, even with the creepiest of methods, including political commercials containing vivid imagery of a lone woman walking in a parking garage.

So, what’s the deal? Why are political candidates always either vague about themselves through negative political advertisement or vague because of unknown policies or their past? Candidates from both parties always follow the same playbook – and it’s getting stale.

While both candidates promised change in one way or another, both waged campaigns typical of politicians. Patrick promised change, but wouldn’t say how, and Healey attacked, but never showed she cared about anything else. Forget engaging students. We just want them to tell someone who they are.

But we can’t only blame the candidates. Going to the polls is the easiest and best method to express your opinion. The reason politicians remain unattractive to students is because we haven’t held up our end of the bargain – voting. Our voting bloc continues to vote at low levels, and until we decide to get our act together, politicians will continue to ignore us.

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