Herald ASM reporting does students a service

· Sep 6, 2001 Tweet

Democratically elected governments do not necessarily ensure responsible policy-making. In any political system there exists the capacity for corruption. In addition to an attentive and participative electorate, democracies require independent watchdog groups to serve as safeguards against potential abuses of power. This is a simple and undeniable truism of politics.

In a formal sense, UW-Madison maintains a democratic system of electing representatives to its student government. One serious problem undermines the legitimacy of this government: representatives are not truly accountable to the electorate. Approximately one-tenth of the electorate votes in elections, so representatives need only represent the interests of this narrow segment of voters. The basis for this problem is apathy, which might be cured by a more informed electorate.

The Badger Herald does the UW student electorate a service when it reports on the activities of the Associate Students of Madison. Students deserve to know how their segregate fees are being spent, and what the spending has accomplished. Although the title of The Badger Herald’s column, “Seg Fee Abuse of the Week,” betrays a certain bias in their views toward the behavior of ASM, the facts it presents are relevant and significant to students. It can only be hoped the information presented and discussion generated by such a service will produce a more accountable student government.


This article was published Sep 6, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 6, 2001 at 12:00 am


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