Now that AMS elections have come to a close, it is normal to feel a little lost. One day post AMS elections, I found myself itching to hear a campaign pitch from a peer. I missed the excitement of “Who did you vote for?” and I missed a Facebook feed full of endorsements.
Student politicians have been rolling into your lecture halls to make their pitch for weeks. What will you do now with the first four minutes of lecture? Campaign signs, which lined Main Mall and added some colour and excitement to your walk to class, have been removed. What will your walk to class be without them? We have enjoyed days and days of people urging us that they will work on our behalf and put us first. Where will we find support and validation now?
For, what is student life without democracy?
Fear not, UBC students, for you can still get your daily dose of democracy with a few simple efforts.
In a group project setting, settle everything with a vote, even if consensus comes naturally. This can extend the length of time you spend on a group project indefinitely, but you can sleep at night knowing decisions were equitable and fair.
Decide on a quorum. Decide on a voting procedure, be that first past the post or proportional representation. Whether you are two people, three people or ten, voting regularly with polls in Facebook messenger group chats is a simple way to inject democracy in your AMS election-less life. Delegating tasks? Deciding who prints? Debating font colour on the PowerPoint? Settle all this with the democratic process.
Next time you're in line at Blue Chip (whenever that will be), unable to make a decision between the Marbelous or the mysterious red velvet loaf, try eliciting the opinion from everyone in the space. From the milk bar and from table to table, ask your Blue Chip compatriots for their preference. After this 15-minutes exercise, you can rest assured that your decision was made democratically. After your first bite of baked good, while you may not feel that the democratic choice was the right one, at least it got a majority vote.
Finally, if you’re feeling particularly democratic, engage in free speech by giving unsolicited opinions. You can apply this tactic in line at grocery stores. You can announce your irrelevant ideas in tutorial — if you don’t already. You can even offer your opinion on things you know nothing about. This method is great for making small talk, but also infusing a little bit of democratic principle into the world around you.