The Pirate Presidency

Last week’s exit poll, it seems, proved accurate. York University Student Union will be presided over by Mad Cap’n Tom Scott, the joke candidate who got more than he bargained for. Already, there have been calls for his resignation – after all, “plundering” and “half-price rum” are not serious policies. But Nouse believes Scott deserves a chance. Cutlasses aside, he has shown intelligence, empathy and impressive levels of common sense in a campaign where it was often lacking. Scott brings the added advantage of having been both a undergraduate and postgraduate at the University.

Still, most students at York will be apprehensive to say the least about the year ahead. Joking apart, a YUSU president with anarchic tendencies is not an ideal representative for a student body with serious aspirations. More importantly, the University administration will not take a pirate seriously. It is this newspaper’s conviction that Tom Scott should drop the act. While eye-patches and costume have certainly caught students’ imaginations, it is hardly plausible that Scott’s persona will have the same success in a YUSU budget meeting, or across the table from the Vice-Chancellor.

Thankfully, our current president seems to have sized up the unexpected situation, and quickly. Canning, a political realist, will guide Scott during the presidential handover, giving him some idea of what his new job will entail. If Scott did not expect to win, it is probable that this will be a necessary initiation.

It will soon become apparent whether Tom Scott is up to the job. YUSU does not run itself, and he will have to learn that important decisions will ultimately be his responsibility. He will have to show leadership, and no number of faux captaincies will achieve that for him.

For debatable reasons, for the most part revolving around student disinterest in YUSU, Mad Cap’n Scott was elected fairly and democratically. But he did not really want, or expect to, win. There’s a saying: those who want power don’t deserve it, and those who deserve it don’t want it. Let’s hope that Tom Scott deserves the YUSU presidency, that proves his doubters wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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