By Essa Nazari
After the confirmed death of the former headmistress, Minister for Magic Hannah Fischer, the Ministry of Magic set into motion an election to select the next Minister. The candidates were Temporarily Appointed Minister Bloom, who ran on a platform of being tough on crime, raising taxes, overturning the laws that Fischer put into place, and further stressing the already delicate relationship that we have with the centaur population. The other was Mrs Merriweather. She took a soft stance in politics, promising to keep the laws that Fischer had put into place while working with the international community to end Umbra, a mysterious organisation to which many believe that Dorchester (a VERY wicked witch – ask some of the older students about her; fifth year and up) is a member of. According to The Daily Prophet, Mrs Merriweather won by a landslide taking 75% of the vote.
But what does this matter to us, here at Hogwarts? Does it even matter? In reality, it matters a lot. The policies that have been made by the ministry directly impacts how our school is run. Up until Hannah Fischer signed an agreement, forcing the ministry to ask permission to enter the school, they had free reign to enter the school at their discretion. Cost of potion ingredients will affect us since students are expected to purchase and maintain their own supplies and for those who cannot afford them? Well, that would be yet another cost for the school to absorb.
I believe that it was time to take it to the halls to explore how the students and professors alike feel about the election and its outcome, and how they feel it will shape the wizarding world whilst she is in power.
Lynessa O’Connor, third year Ravenclaw, stated that she wished, “[there] would have been a third party. Someone more middle ground. I feel that sometimes one extreme to the next just causes more chaos”
Interestingly enough, other students seem to agree. If we could have had a middle ground politician everyone could have possibly gotten something they wanted. Lynessa continued with her thoughts that she was concerned as to what werewolf rehab would look like and expressed fears of those who have abilities could be weaponized.
Drina Johnson, a fifth-year Slytherin added to the conversation, that “[whilst] I didn’t follow the election much, but I think having an ability will always make you an easy target, it’s the responsibility of the wizard to protect themselves.”
Michelle Walker, third year Gryffindor, stated,
“well, I didn’t really know much about it besides what we did in class because of being muggle-born, but it seems like the better of the two won. At least we won’t have the Minister for Magic here at school.”
That is a fair point. The last several times the ministry has shown up and tried to take over the school it has always ended up badly… for the ministry and for us.
Aleena Jenkins, fifth-year Hufflepuff, added her voice just staying that she hoped that the new minister would do her job justice
And Eric Hyland, a fifth-year Ravenclaw stated that he was, “neutral, really. Don’t trust anyone who makes it that far in politics. Merriweather seems less bigoted perhaps, but… I don’t have much faith in the system.”
Now, Marigold Feathersweet, our current candy provider within the Hufflepuff house and third year, admitted that she like Eric, didn’t pay much attention to the election but her family, (who we all know runs our local Honeydukes),
“Aunt Taffy did [follow the election]. She’s happy Bloom is going out cause she has friends in the ministry that he made their jobs harder for and they were afraid of what he’d do if he got it.”
Our professors even got into the election spirit Professor Van der Brough stated,
“I’m not surprised. Many just see into the near distant future with the changes that can be made and don’t think of some of the long term ramifications that could come out of some of the changes that will be or could be made. I just hope that everyone is ready for the backlash from the members of the opposite side.”
She makes a point. Even with only 25% of the population having voted for Bloom, those opinions and policies that swayed them to him could be enough to spark a fire into life.
Professor Dracheblume had a lot to say about the election, despite her being American. When asked she said,
“I am very glad to hear that Merriweather won. I am not able to vote on this side of the pond, for obvious reasons. But between what I have heard of his actions from friends in the Ministry, And his announced policies Bloom would have been horrible to have a full-term Minister. The moving of the centaurs to yet another reservations was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. You know how well I get along with them and how much their treatment mirrors that of my own ancestors. And here comes yet another European thinking he can do that AGAIN because he thinks of them as lesser. It’s abhorrent. And I am quite glad it won’t happen.”
Headmistress O’Keeffe stated at Sunday lunch,
“Minister Merriweather and myself hope for a more cohesive relationship between Hogwarts and the Ministry and myself and Professor Blightly shall be meeting with her in the coming weeks… Rest assured we will strive to ensure your best interests are upheld in any discussions.”
So, there we have it, the good and the cautious. Not many people seem to be purely upset that she won because based on her policies she was the better of the two candidates. However, there is one thing that I have learned while at Hogwarts, things are never as they seem. It is a matter of time before the true colours come out. Am I hopeful? I have to be. But I tend to find myself standing with Eric. Wait and see. I think that’s all we can do with politics.