DLSU-D Student Council Elections: Why is there no abstain vote?

Q: Why is there no “abstain” or abstention vote in DLSU-D Student Council Elections?

A: The phrase “abstention votes” is an oxymoron, an abstention being a refusal to vote. To abstain means to refrain from voting, and, as a consequence, there can be no such thing as an “abstention vote.” – Roberts’ Rules of Order

And so in the Student Council elections, if a student wishes to abstain from voting because the current candidates are not to his/her liking, the student simply does not vote.

The idea of putting the option of “abstain” in the ballot to indicate an abstention vote was never considered during the Student Election Code Convention of 2008 because all of us delegates at that time were of the mindset that since to abstain is to simply not vote, there’s no point in putting it as an option in the ballot. It would just be a waste of space on the ballot and unnecessary cost.

Besides, if a student doesn’t want to vote because the candidates to choose from did not suit their preferences or win their support, asking them to put it in writing or expressing it through the ballot would just be an added burden to the student and to those managing the elections.

Not voting on election day is the most powerful way of saying, “I abstain.”

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