The power for the electorate to impeach their democratically elected leader is an important exercise of democracy. UCD students are flexing these democracy muscles harder than that one guy at the gym that walks around aimlessly in a sleeveless top. In case you’ve been living under a rock or actually working on getting a degree, an impeachment referendum has been called for our SU President Katie Ascough. Shocking, I know. How could our microwave-loving President have done anything to warrant this? I mean the whole point of the Student’s Union is to just give out free stuff, do nothing, and feel great about themselves.
Alas, she removed information about abortion services from the student guide, Winging It. The reason for this decision was justifiable, however the manner in which she did it was as shady as a seagull flying low outside Centra. Imagine a spoon in a microwave. Once you turn that microwave on it could blow up in your face, so it makes sense to take the spoon out, right? However, what if I told you that keeping the spoon in the microwave was actually a big part of your job, that it’s been in there for years, there’s never been a fire and it’s also been democratically decided that the spoon stays in the microwave. Ascough didn’t just remove the spoon, she threw the whole damn microwave out. The Winging It booklets were already an extraordinary waste of paper, and now a waste of money, and maybe a waste of a good President.
Actually, wait, is it legal for me to say abortion and Ireland in the same sentence?
The arguments surrounding her decision have been played on repeat more times than Despacito in Dicey’s. Impeachment referendums are nasty enough in their own right, but somehow UCD has brewed up a concoction of both impeachment and abortion, which is probably the most contentious topic in Ireland at the moment. Actually, wait, is it legal for me to say abortion and Ireland in the same sentence? Damn I just said it again. Can I get the number of the SU’s solicitor? Although it’s pretty weird that they offer legal advice through the medium of Chinese whispers.
Adding to the nastiness is the nature in which both campaigns are getting personal. It was common knowledge that our president was vehemently pro-life and to be fair to her she stood by her convictions the whole time, not once pandering to the pro-choice UCD electorate. Basically it’s like we hired a vegetarian taste tester for a steak house. However Ascough promised she would delegate any pro-choice matters, not rewrite the menu.
Can we reheat our lasagne in her office while she’s on leave?
When making the decision on how you vote, it’s important to look at the actual mechanisms of what Ascough did. It’s not a pro-choice/pro-life issue, it’s a trust and competency issue. I am openly and unashamedly pro-choice, but I don’t think what Ascough has done is the worst thing that a sitting SU President has ever done. Remember the nude calenders? Ugh, now they should have been illegal. I disagree with Ascough on just about everything, and I thought her wasting a year doing a thankless job would have been for the greater good. She said in her open letter all of the things that she has achieved (along with the rest of the SU), and before making a decision, I would advise you to read it. Then again, 3/4 of her sabbatical officers have no confidence in her so how good of a president actually is she? Also one of her achievements was that she has microwaves in her office, which is a fun fact but ultimately meaningless. Can we reheat our lasagne in her office while she’s on leave?
There’s a lot going on here, and none of it really matters, but please go out and vote! Even if you don’t care, if a large amount of people vote it makes the outcome look more definite and this conversation can end once and for all. How am I voting? Well I’m actually in favour of impeaching the entire sabbatical team and replacing them with golden retrievers. You can’t impeach a good boy.