The events of last Wednesday’s Associated Students Legislative Council meeting illustrate what I already knew but what many got their first lesson in: how to play hardball politics. What gets me is that people like to pretend that it doesn’t exist in A.S., and that everyone is doing what is best for the students. Nonsense! The deals made over the budget were deemed unfair and dishonest by some. Let me be the first to tell you that they were. Showing people the Doyle Amendment at the last minute was a shady tactic, but a smart move in the world of politics. I am tired when people say it’s not fair, it’s not fair … well, welcome to politics. If you don’t like the rules, don’t play the game.
Everyone was not consulted over the “new” budget because not everyone’s vote was important. The necessary votes were there to pass the budget, so no negotiating was needed. There were three categories: The first were those in the know, the second, those who had a hint of what was going on but didn’t have details, and the third were those whose votes were simply inconsequential. For the first time A.S. showed what I had hoped for when I first got involved, a microcosm of “real” politics. I commend both sides for sticking to their guns and not giving in. That is the way it works. It is called realpolitik.
Next year when my party is in the minority I suspect that the situation will be reversed. Good! I wouldn’t want it any other way.
A message to next year’s Gauchoholics: You will lose early, often and by a wide margin next year. Don’t get mad or feel bad because it is what you would have done had you won. I love the party system to this day and think it is good for A.S. I recognize that it is an all-or-nothing system, and I’ll wait for the next payday. This year proved that when you can get a significant amount of people working on the same page, you can accomplish your goals. This council will be remembered for years to come as one that brought fiscal responsibility to A.S. and actually cared how people spend money. For those who need money to accomplish their lofty social goals, good luck next year.
I long gave up hope that A.S. could be a place where there is total harmony. Whether you are a member of SAC or Gauchoholics, you have a certain agenda and vision, and will do whatever it takes to get that accomplished. When the visions are as far apart as the two parties are, you get the squabbling, which, quite frankly, I enjoy.
I also enjoyed how Doyle and I applied what we learned in the classroom to our extra-curricular activity. That is what college is all about. For next year’s Leggies, I hope you understood the value and importance of knowing parliamentary procedure. (Thank you, Professor Smith.)
Note to the opposition: Get educated as to how A.S. operates; you’ve got a long way to go, as Wednesday proved. Take these comments with a light heart and an eye to the future. I hold no ill will toward anyone because I realize their motives and don’t hold grudges or vendettas. I hope that A.S. does not hold a vendetta against me for being the mad prophet speaking his mind. I have served my constituents well for the past two years as the ideal Leggie: I worked tirelessly, fought for all students, took it all in stride and had many laughs. The students have spoken and I lost, so goes a democracy. I may not be around next year, but I sure had the last laugh.
God Bless Doyle, Israel and America!
Beam me up!
Jonathan Kalinski is an off-campus Leg Council Representative.