misrepresentation is theft
This year we were blessed with a VUWSA President who doubled as a member of the Workers Party - a socialist group who believes in revolution to bring about an end to the capitalist system that is so holding us all down. This helps explain the huge deficit VUWSA incurred, a situation that led to the outrageously undemocratic levy increase a few weeks ago.
But the revolution will not be happening on our watch. Nick Kelly lost the recent VUWSA election for 2007 to Geoff Hayward, current VicLabour President (standing down next year). Just like the deficit, this wasn't his fault either. Apparently it was the unholy capitalist alliance between Labour, National and Act that removed him from office.
Maybe it was more to do with the fact that even Labour sounds normal compared to this rant found in the comments section:
"The reality is that for most of us things are going to continue to get worse under capitalism. Since the end of the post war boom students and workers have continued to be squeezed harder and harder to maintain the levels of profit. Wages continue to be driven down, the 40 hour working week is now a distant memory for many workers.
"A lifetime of debt for graduates isn't now seriously challenged by any party in parliament. We need stop looking to lobby politicians to bring about change; we need to stop thinking that the next select committee submission is actually going to do jack shit. Historically any significant political or social change has come from a mass movement of the people. It has come from people breaking the rules.
"The only way the human race can bring about any real change in the future is to get rid of the capitalist system. As long as people are exploited for their labour power in return for profit people's living standard won't improve. Capitalism cannot be reformed, what the last century has proved is that social democracy and attempts to make capitalism nicer just don't work in the end. The destruction of the Alliance after they supported the invasion of Afghanistan proved where this sort of politics leads."
So the Communist has been voted out and replaced with a President from the ranks of Labour. It is an improvement, yet it does nothing to address the fundamental flaws of compulsory student membership.
Those students who are not extreme/centre-left look at the student association and feel completely disenfranchised. Yet through VUWSA we are all required to pay money towards causes we do not believe in.
My Act membership is no secret - I choose to pay $10 a year to them as I believe in their values and policies. But despite my political leanings, VUWSA forcibly takes 12 times this amount off me and channels much of it into values and policies I consider detrimental to our nation's progress.
It's not merely a financial issue either - student associations claim to represent the entire student population when they write their submissions and hold their sparsely-attended protests.
Look at the ravings of Nick Kelly and tell me if he was able to represent every student.
Look at Labour's policies and tell me if Geoff Hayward can represent every student.
Such are the joys of a compulsory system. Associations take money from everyone regardless of their political persuasion - or lack thereof - and use it in ways many disagree with. Worse than that, they do the same with something even more precious - our voice.
VSM would give all students the chance to regain control over both.