A short response to proposed constitutional changes to UMSU that I opposed on the grounds that it was an up or down vote and constitutional questions are rarely binary. 

“And people wonder why students tell us that voting makes no difference…”

It doesn’t make a difference. Democracy does. And democracy is more than ticking a box, marking a ballot paper, or sticking your hand up at a general meeting. It is… an exchange of ideas, of debates that have actual opposition, of collectively determining our own way forward as individuals living within a community.

What we discovered [with the referendum] is that the Facebook groups were filled with suggested amendments and alternative suggestions for promoting democracy, changing the proposals, adding to the proposals, removing sections. What we had to tell all of them was that there was no way to change these proposals, and that contained within them are no mechanisms by which a proposed motion can be amended or changed. You either vote for or against, or you don’t care.

Voting alone does not make a difference. Voting alone is not democracy.