www.whyville.net Sep 4, 2005 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Just Face the Race

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In Wannagout's article, "The Controversy of the Senate Race," a few of the people he interviewed were complaining about how the senate race was "unfair" or "corrupt." As some of you may know, quite a few of them belonged to a group called the Whyville Pirates. Although some of the people interviewed in the article were all for the race, those who called it "unfair" puzzle me. Calling the Senate Race "unfair" is a rather poor argument. Exactly how is it unfair? Exactly how is it corrupt? Nobody hacks into the Whyville system and alters the final outcome of the election. Nobody gets blackmailed, or spied on. Although it is possible to create extra accounts and vote on them too, a few extra ballots really aren't going to stand up to the over one million registered Whyvillians (of which many will be voting). Besides, IP checking makes it very difficult to do so.

A few other arguments against the senate race have also been made. Citizens claim their ideas are "being stolen." A lot of ideas on the Senate and Petition boards are the same, but real politicians with the same goals tend to have similar ideas anyway. Isn't the point of being Senator to get things done, and to make Whyville better? If other people are posting your idea, isn't that really a good thing in a way? It means they agree with what you're saying, and hopefully the more people that agree, the more likely it will get done.

Many people are saying the senate race is too much like a "popularity contest." This is partly true -- a lot of people don't even bother to read the platforms, and just vote for who they think is prettiest or who has the better hair. To fix this, why don't (during the election) the top three or four candidate not have their faces shown? By this I mean when it's time to vote, you don't see their picture, just their name. The candidate could appear with their faces in the chatrooms, but when they are featured in the newspaper or when you select which one to vote for, their faces aren't shown. You would be able to see them at the debate, but those who attend the debate most likely aren't going to base their vote on looks. Hopefully more people will base their vote on platforms. At least that way the race won't be so superficial.

This quote came from someone interviewed in Wannagout's article: ". . .take a look at all the cheating and bribing." Eh? What? Cheating? You can cheat a little, but it really doesn't help you out that much, and not many people do it. Someone's always going to cheat, no matter what you do. Another thing -- bribing? Yes, some people have offered clams if you vote for them, etc., etc., but those people rarely get elected, and I believe you ought to just 911 report them.

The senate race is a great idea, though, I'm not exactly sure how much it gets done. It's still fun to express your ideas, earn votes, experience politics, and well, learn a little bit more about life. Because in life there are a few cheaters, and people do bribe and more than occasionally people are superficial. There are some things you've got to live with, and just because the Senate race isn't perfect doesn't mean you've got to be against it. It could use a few improvements, but overall it's expressive, competitive, and a fantastic way to learn -- and that's what Whyville's about isn't it?


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