If one man has divided opinion so far in these elections it has been President candidate, Tommy Allen. Having sat through The Bubble Debate it is clear to see that the earlier comparison made between Allen and last year’s joke candidate Chris McKenna is entirely unfair. The interest in Chris McKenna last year was created because many believed he would have been dangerous had he possessed a brain. Allen does have a brain and does, therefore, pose a real threat.
For all his jokes, light-hearted nature and mostly trivial manifesto points, there was something endearing about Allen at The Bubble Debate – or should I say, ‘Original Ace Man’. That is why he is dangerous; he actually has a real chance of winning this election. He has a real chance of being given the responsibility of holding weekly meetings with the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Robert Allison, to present to the town and county council on behalf of the student body and to be the man that represents the opinions of Loughborough students at national conferences.
This seems like an incredible amount of responsibility to give a man that chose to run in this election simply because he gained 100 likes on a Facebook status. You would also be giving these responsibilities to a man who exhibits some very questionable behaviour in this video below, including stopping midway through playing a song to vomit into a coffee mug.
This fails to paint the picture of someone who has a real chance of winning this election. This does, however, only display one side of the ever complex character that Allen appears to be.
The above highlighted sections are juxtaposed, in the same video, by a seemingly care free man who declares that “I am all about having fun” and possesses an admirable musical talent (as is evident from 0.38-0.48). Allen also appears to be articulate and bright, as is clear in his Viva La Aceman article published on The Epinal, and someone who understands how to effectively fight a PR battle. Something that the union is certainly in dire need of.
Isolate these traits and place them alongside the ever-growing belief that it is ‘cool’ to support Allen, his endearing Bubble Debate performance and the good work that made him an essential part of Falk Egg’s Freshers and his chances of winning this election are considerably increased. Some of his manifesto points may be cheap and gimmicky – such as free entry at Stupid Tuesday to anyone wearing underwear on their heads – but he is not a joke candidate. He is a very serious candidate and for that reason a dangerous one, too.
It would be unfair to bring attention to Allen’s gimmicky manifesto points without also highlighting his competitor Robert Whitaker’s failings. Whitaker cut a weak and somewhat robotic appearance at The Bubble Debate, a huge contrast to Allen’s engaging performance. Whitaker followed protocol and dished out the usual brain-numbingly safe and expected answers to mild applause from the audience; failing to inspire any real belief that he is the man for the job. As many of the dull candidates that have run before him, Whitaker has attempted to squeeze some personality from an otherwise lifeless campaign by boldly highlighting cliché sections of his manifesto; “EVERY STUDENT MATTERS!” and “SUPPORT THE BEST INTERESTS OF YOU”. Is that really all it takes to win over the student vote? That said if this is a game of ticking boxes, then Whitaker is winning hands down. And perhaps it is.
R.O.N. (Re-Open Nominations) is always a consideration that should be taken when voting in these elections; however it is far too early into the campaign period to be cheerleading people to vote either way. Democracy is about everyone being able to participate and vote equally, whilst being fully aware that they must live with the consequences of their actions.
There is certainly no ‘safe’ voting option when it comes to these two candidates; they are polar opposites. This difference was epitomised by their responses when questioned, jokingly, at The Bubble Debate what they would choose for next year’s Exec Song. Whitaker stumbled and stuttered, having to clarify that it was a joke in order to ensure that he did not offend, before explaining that he would choose “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers. Allen, straight off-the-cuff, responded with Tenacious D “Tribute”, much to the approval of everyone in the room.
Allen has a real chance of winning this election. Those making wild assertions about him will soon find themselves coming unstuck. If Allen is taking his campaign seriously then you have the responsibility to take your vote seriously, too.