VTM Bill passes – rejoice!

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, September 30th, 2011 - 101 comments
Categories: education, Satire, Unions - Tags: , ,

Grateful citizens rejoiced this week at the passage of the VTM (Voluntary Taxation Mechanism) bill.

Now at last tax-paying citizens have the same freedom as everyone else. They can no longer be anti-democratically compelled to pay taxes to the Government.

Governments have no mandate to represent citizens. For too long in this country successive Governments have had the support of only a minority. Now, at last, each Government must succeed or fail on its own merits. Now, at last, citizens who have no interest in using roads, libraries, public health, or the education system, will not be forced to fund these unnecessary luxuries.

If a Government is providing good value to citizens then of course they will join voluntarily, and choose to pay their taxes. In this way, in accordance with the will of the invisible hand, good Governments will succeed, and will of course be more than happy to provide services freely to tax-payers and non-tax-payers alike!

Outside in the streets, the sound of celebration grows louder. Now at last the tax slaves are free! Thanks to VTM taxation and representation are optional! Freeloaders rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!! Grip me, invisible hand, grip me hard!!!

101 comments on “VTM Bill passes – rejoice!”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    The invisible hand can also be a good tosser.

    Toss out the political parties that voted for the VSM bill.

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    I see the compulsory student union argument hasn’t advanced one iota since I was at uni – the same tired non-sequitur (to put it mildly) that paying taxes could somehow justify forcing students to join an association against their will.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      So what is it that you don’t like, the fees, or just being a member of this horrible association?

      How about you kept paying the fees and it just went into the pockets of the university and you had absolutely no way to have a say or input over how that money was spent?

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.1

        So what is it that you don’t like, the fees, or just being a member of this horrible association?

        I don’t like that people are compelled to join an association that they may not wish to join, and nor should anyone. A requirement to pay fees to that same organisation you have been compelled to join is a further unreasonable step.

        How about you kept paying the fees and it just went into the pockets of the university and you had absolutely no way to have a say or input over how that money was spent?

        Entrusting money to a university, with oversight by the Auditor General among other things, would be a considerable improvement.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          Please explain how a university association, which has free and open elections and collects fees, is different from a government which has free and open elections and collects taxes.

          • queenstfarmer 2.1.1.1.1

            1. Simple, you’re not compelled to “join” the Govt.

            2. Please, please don’t grandiosely conflate a students’ association with the Govt (which has sovereign powers and status, FFS).

            Compulsory students associations are simply indefensible, and I believe you know it. Would you be happy for membership of Act on Campus being compulsory too, or Amnesty Internation on Campus, or some pro-Palestinian/Israeli association, as long as they have “open and free” elections?

            You might say, well the majority of students would hold an election and change its policies to be suit the majority and what they consider “benefits” everyone. Well that’s all fine & well if you agree with whathever the majority imposes. But that’s the whole point. If you don’t like what the association is doing, or for any rhyme or reason don’t want to be part of an association (and the policies it happens to promote or support at a particular point in time), you shouldn’t be compelled to join.

            And note we are talking about compulsion here. There may be ways of “concientiously objecting” in limited circumstances, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still compulsion (e.g. you are forced to join unless you proactively object). Again, you wouldn’t like that for other associations. Or would you?

            • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t see students associations as having anywhere near the same roles as Act on Campus, Amnesty International on Campus or a pro-Palestinian/Israeli association.

              I guess that’s the crux of it. I certainly would not want to be compelled to join any of those associations and I can see where you’re coming from if you view a students association in the same light.

              But I think student’s associations are quite a different beast, being there to support all members of the university when they need it (and you may never personally need it – I didn’t), as well as providing services and student advocacy. In that way, I don’t really see the membership fee as anything different than local council rates – you want to live in a city with clean streets and running water, then you need to pay the fee for that. If no one pays, then the services won’t exist any more. IMO getting your knickers in a twist over some ideological problem you have with the students association is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.2

              1.) Wrong, you must join the society as a matter of course and so you are, as a matter of fact, compelled to join the government (democracy remember where the people are the government and not some dictator).
              2.) Which provides incredible and necessary services more cheaply than any other option. So, yes, student associations can be compared to government.

              Compulsory students associations are simply indefensible…

              Wrong again. As I pointed out above, they provide necessary services to students far more cheaply than any other option. Those services will still need to be provided but now they’ll be provided by the universities and will be have to charge the students for those services. So, the end result is that the students won’t have a say in those services and they will cost more. What’s indefensible is removing those student associations as the VSM bill will do.

              • queenstfarmer

                you are, as a matter of fact, compelled to join the government

                Poor line of argument DTB. Besides being plainly wrong (are you now claiming to be part of the NACT government?), I don’t even think the most brutal dictatorship would say that every citizen has to be a member of the government (complusory party membership, sure – but compulsory membership is a common feature of dictatorships). Try again.

                provides incredible and necessary services more cheaply than any other option

                I see – so if Act on Campus could save a few cents more, you’d be fine with everyone being forced to join them. You are missing the point – its about being not compelled to join an association against your will.

                And what if, as a compelled member, you don’t think the services or activities (including psychic hotlines, jet boats, effigy burning, protesting ANZAC day, etc) are “incredible and necessary”?

                • McFlock

                  “I don’t even think the most brutal dictatorship would say that every citizen has to be a member of the government ”

                  Really? Cancel your IRD number then and refuse to pay taxes. 
                    
                  As for your AoC analogy, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. Seriously. As long as it conforms to basic democratic standards (e.g. those set out by the charities act  or incorporated societies act), no problem.
                  Motion one on the agenda: “that AoC campaign for full taxpayer funding of tertiary education”.
                  Motion two: “that AoC provide recreation and community support for its membership”.
                  Motion three: “that Act on Campus changes its name to ‘Students for Free Education'”.
                    
                  See how much fun democracy can be, when you don’t run to uncle roger to overrule the democratic vote like some sort of dinosaur ex machina?

                   

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Really? Cancel your IRD number then and refuse to pay taxes.

                    1. Paying taxes doesn’t make you a “member of the govt”. Surely you have a less ridiculous argument that saying every citizen has joined the Govt.

                    2. What has not paying taxes got to do with associations? (unless it’s Matt McCarten’s Unite organisation, which fails to pay its taxes).

                    Re AoC: your example entirely proves my point. You wouldn’t want to be in AoC with its current policies/views. You would want to change those policies. If you got enough votes to change it, you’d be happy. But what if you couldn’t get enough votes to change it? Or if you did, what about the original AoC members (who would still have to remain members) being forced to remain in the association after it adopted your new policies?

                    Face it – you can’t win on any sort of principled argument. I at least admire DTB’s attempts to justify it on simple cost-benefit grounds. It is still wrong, but at least not resorting to plainly incorrect arguments on principle.

                    • McFlock

                      Paying taxes makes you part of the government system. If you want to live in NZ, you have to pay tax, it’s as simple as that. The point is that arguments against universal membership of associations are also arguments against any sort of social structure whatsoever, leaving a hobbesian outcome.
                        

                      ” But what if you couldn’t get enough votes to change it? Or if you did, what about the original AoC members (who would still have to remain members) being forced to remain in the association after it adopted your new policies?”
                       

                      It’s called “democracy” – suck it up and deal with it. Write letters, campaign, vote again, whatever. It’s democracy. Do you think i agreed with everything my association did? Hell no – on some things I disagreed vehemently and made it known. But I didn’t throw my toys out of the cot like a little bitch, which is what RWNJs did. And what goes around, comes around.
                       
                      Face it – existing in a democratic society involves compromise. The fact you are obviously incapable of understanding this reveals much about RWNJ’s attitudes to what they call “freedom”.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In a democracy the people are the government. What we incorrectly call the government (which is a habit left over from when we had dictatorship instead) is actually our administration.

                      I see – so if Act on Campus could save a few cents more, you’d be fine with everyone being forced to join them.

                      Act on Campus doesn’t provide any student services that everyone needs access to and so this is just a strawman argument.

                      But what if you couldn’t get enough votes to change it?

                      That’s a part of democracy. You agree to go along with what the majority decide.

                      …justify it on simple cost-benefit grounds. It is still wrong…

                      In what way is it wrong? The cost of the university doing those services will be more than what it costs the students due to the increased complexity needed to administer both the university and the students as well as removing the students say in those services.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      ^ McFlock If you want to live in NZ, you have to pay tax, it’s as simple as that

                      That’s wrong too. You only have to pay tax if you earn income, or do something that is taxable. Now of course the vast majority of people do so (even buying something that has GST) but as a matter of supporting your argument against freedom of association, your assertion is factually incorrect.

                    • McFlock

                      I suppose you are technically correct, in that someone might be able to squat in a cave somewhere and live off the land. But then, that’s only because NZ has decided, democratically, to not impose a poll tax.
                        
                      Any other options beyond this stone age existence, you pay tax at a level decided upon democratically. I note you ignored the entire concept of “democracy”. Stupid people often ignore the big words used by others in the hope that nobody will notice.
                       
                      I see we’re now at the stage of the debate where both sides will begin saying “my argument is more powerful than yours”.

                      So let me be blunt:
                      ACToids (and other RWNJs, to different degrees) have no idea that living alongside other people involves compromise.
                      Their idea of “freedom” is that “I should be able to do whatever I want to do”, not “other people should be able to do things I don’t like, and I will accommodate that, just as they will accommodate my fringe preferences”.
                      They are infantile in defeat and insufferable in victory.
                      They simultaneously believe in their own , but also believe “if I can do it, so can everyone else”.
                      Their belief in their own superiority means they think any success they enjoy is solely the fruit of their own work, but any failure they suffer is the result of “government” or “regulations” or “PC nonsense”.
                      They have no idea about reasonable behaviour or context.
                      In order to defend their “freedom” (see above) they will go beyond any form of reasonable behaviour, overrule any democratic decision, pervert any legal principle. 
                       
                      In short, for the RWNJ I have “Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt and any thing that may not misbecome the sender”.

            • prism 2.1.1.1.1.3

              qstfarmer – Are you Roger \Douglas doing a bit of moonlighting? Your arguments seem pretty dim anyway. If you want to roger the rest of the country I guess you’ll have more time since you have retired from Parliament.

            • Puddleglum 2.1.1.1.1.4

              Qsf, but it’s never been compulsory to join a students’ association. If you didn’t want to join then you simply don’t go to university or polytechnic.

              It’s a bit like ‘joining’ a corporation. Suddenly, you might have to wear certain uniforms, agree to ‘join’ certain groups (business units), etc.. If you don’t like it, of course, all you have to do is not get a job at that corporation. Sure, you might disadvantage yourself financially but, heh, that’s just life, isn’t it? Trade-offs, etc.. It’s still ‘free choice’.

              At least, that’s the usual right wing defence of the totalitarian systems we call companies – that it is voluntary to join them in the first place. 

  3. ianmac 3

    A great plug for Unions Rob. Years ago we went on strike for better pay. One of us refused to go on strike for religious reasons. A few months later he was busy at a table working out how much more money he would get from the pay rise. Mmmm.

  4. djp 4

    I know this is supposed to be satire but I actually agree with the larger point.

    Either an individual is a slave to society.. or he/she is not

    • McFlock 4.1

      “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls out of a foolish belief that humans should give a damn about each other” sort of thing?

      • djp 4.1.1

        no, not that sort of thing at all.

        giving a damn about each other is orthogonal to whether ones actions are coerced

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          “Coerced”? Who forced you to go to, e.g. otago uni if you really didn’t want to join OUSA?
           
           
           

          • Puddleglum 4.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. I make the same point above. Less succinctly.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah – the trouble is that they just don’t get it.
              “The world isn’t exactly the way I want it to be” becomes “help! help! I’m being oppressed! Save me, Roger the Dinosaur!”

          • Tangled up in blue 4.1.1.1.2

            It’s my position that if there’s adequate mechanisms for exemptions then the limits on the freedom of association can be justified. And so I’m pro compulsory membership.

            But, arguing someone can just go to another University is unreasonable and imo a bit of a cop-out. A lot of people can’t.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Why not? I think you’ll find that most students are either in spitting distance of two universities, or have to travel anyway, or can be extracurricular.
              And if they are willing to cancel their university education because they don’t want to join OUSA, then I think even the current/previous conscientious objection clause would have sufficed.

              • Tangled up in blue

                My concern here is regarding students who want to study courses specific to certain Universities, and for students with kids/families where moving city is inconvenient.

                I find it concerning that the Law Society find the ‘current/ previous objection clause’ inadequate. (pdf)

  5. WTF? 5

    Anthony must be a little bit thick, because this would be an outstanding victory for the right. Voluntary taxation would mean those of us with money would no longer have to contribute to you lefty hands-out losers. With the wealthy not contributing there will be no money for the dole or DPB and you’ll all be on the breadline where you belong.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      This seems a sufficient rebuttal. Be nice if a moderator could turn this into an embedded image.

      http://blog.labour.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Quote3.jpg

      [lprent: done. ]

      • djp 5.1.1

        Peter Shiff had something to say about Elizabeth Warrens spiel

        In short she got it the wrong way around… the factory owner and workers *are* the “rest of us” who paid for the roads etc.. where does she think the govt got the money from to make the roads anyhow?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Peter Shiff, like all RWNJs, is wrong.

          The resources to do anything came from the community.

          • aerobubble 5.1.1.1.1

            People are stealling from farms. They get in their SUV, drive into the
            country and shoot some sheep or cows. This certainly is easier now
            that everyone pays for the roads to these rural end blocks, but
            equally its also true it wasn’t illegal before the rule of law to go
            about taking what you wanted. So if there is a breakdown in
            society denying people access to full lives, then that’s a break
            down in the rule of law, the state does not have the right to
            search and seize your ability to get sufficient food, healthcare and
            housing. I mean the King cannot invade your home by insuring
            you cannot have a home, or have died from starvation so can grab
            the home. There will always be some who steal, whether shooting
            farm animals or demanding they pay no tax because they are ‘too’ rich.

          • prism 5.1.1.1.2

            DTB Who is Peter Shiff? I didn’t see this name mentioned earlier.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.2.1

              I’m assuming Peter Shirtcliffe

              • McFlock

                Nah, djp linked to a nutbat beck-limbaugh style radio dickhead. Who said that workers need to be educated on the job and businesses supplied the money to make the roads. Funnily enough, he neglected to mention that taxpayer funds enable ~95% to read instructions and understand training videos, and that the rest of society (not just businesses) also paid for the roads via taxation.
                  
                If that’s the best RWNJs can come up with, no wonder they’re fucking up the education system – gotta keep people REALLY dumb if you want them to fall for that bullshit.

        • framu 5.1.1.2

          she hasnt got it backwards at all – shes pointing out its a symbiotic relationship

          every one is (as you say) the rest of us, which IMO is exactly the point she is making.

          So the factory owner and the employees are the rest of us – why does one portion of the rest of us think that its hunky dory to watch themselves do better year upon year while the bulk of the rest of us keep sliding backwards?

        • prism 5.1.1.3

          djp – I think at the start in NZ before the government had the ability to fund much, various private entrepreneurs built infrastructure so they could get their enterprises under way. Then the government built roads etc so they could march into Maori areas faster to negotiate them out of their lands, or steal them under armed duress.

          Then Vogel went to London and took out a big loan for that time for the NZ government so it could put provide such things as a rail track and facilitate business and transport generally. Does that answer your rhetorical question ““where does she think the govt got the money from to make the roads anyhow?”djp?

    • framu 5.2

      and where would the breadline be?

      inside your house taking your stuff

      • Brett 5.2.1

        Just loosen the gun laws, problem solved.

        • framu 5.2.1.1

          that works both ways you realise.

          but do you really think that a divided society where we keep each other at bay with guns and bars a good idea?

          I dont – but it looks like the end game of that WTF is cheering on

    • KJT 5.3

      The laugh is on you WTF.

      The bulk of all taxes are paid by hard working middle income earners. The same people that produce real wealth.

      If we stopped working and paying taxes, the free loading by the wealthy would not last long.

      No more educated and healthy work force, police protection for property, roads and power, state subsidies and bailouts. How wealthy would you be if you paid for all that yourself?

      Though I suspect, like most RWNJ’s who are on this site, you are another wannabee.

      Noting that the top 3%, who have the wealth only pay their tax voluntarily, now.

      Anyway your Nirvana already exists, you useless wanker. Tax paying is voluntary in Somalia.

      Fuck off there, with your bludging mates, and stop trying to fuck my country.

  6. Rob 6

    At last when the Government goes and says they do not support the creation of an independent Palestine and claim that they speak for New Zealand people will know this is not true. It is a disgrace that these groups with support from only a tiny proportion of voters can go and make such flagrantly political stands on the world stage and spend their members money on campaigns.

  7. higherstandard 7

    People should make up their own mind about value for money from student associations I suggest starting with OUSA’s budget.

    http://www.ousa.org.nz/your-executive/financials/

  8. Joanne 8

    It really is quite simple. Over the years Student Unions have amassed a lot of stuff. Buildings, computers, gyms, etc. If an individual decides to not join the SU, fine, but don’t think you can access the gym, the bars, the women’s room, or any other thing provided by the SU. Members will be given an electronic access card giving them access to SU related spaces. No membership, no access. At my old Uni this would have left a non member with no access to the things above, but also to any business operating out of SU buildings, the paharmacy, at least one cafe, the bar. Maybe these things aren’t important to individuals, but they should have to choose whether or not to have access to these things provided through SU members.

    • McFlock 8.1

      The trouble is that rec services are one thing, but if a class rep (cheers to the association that runs them) gets a lecturer to go over material again, or give the class an extension on an assignment because it’s bigger than the lecturer planned, or complains to the department about unethical behaviour, then these benefits can’t be restricted to “members only”.  There are dozens more examples beyond the work of class reps, that’s just the one that sprung to mind.
        
      It’s called “freeloading”, and the most important services students’ associations provide cannot practically or ethically be restricted to members only. “Students only”, yes – “members only”, no. If you went to McDonald’s and they offered a combo of 2 big macs and a small toy for $10 but big macs were available individually for free, most people would just take the burger.

      • Thomas 8.1.1

        Institutions will provide funding for important services, like we see in Auckland. There is absolutely no reason to believe that vital services will be cut.

        The difference is that the institution gets to decide how much money it gives the association. Before VSM, associations decided how much money they wanted and students couldn’t argue with the fee. So they will fund orientation, but not the student radio station with three listeners.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          Students could argue with the fee, every single year. It was called a budget, and voted on as per the law. Dick.
           
          Now the institution picks which services it wants to fund, and association advocacy becomes the company doctor.

          • Thomas 8.1.1.1.1

            Your appeal to democracy is disingenuous. Like I said below, student politics is dysfunctional. It was set up so that lowering the fee is more work than paying it; thus no one did it.

            I will counter your disingenuous appeal with another one. National, ACT, and United Future have more than 50% combined support. So passing VSM is entirely democratic.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.1

              But it was not the democratic will of students, the only people affected by the VSM issue. It was a tawdry deal that not even some national mps believed in (woodhouse), but ACT had to look like it did something other than fuck up the supercity and give jobs to identity thieves.
               
              Good riddance.

              • Thomas

                Nor do student associations represent the democratic will of the students. Student politics is dysfunctional. Anyone who has been a student knows that.

                Michael Woodhouse strongly supports VSM. He was quoted entirely out of context. Here is his response in parliament:

                On the other hand, Shane Jones (considered to be a candidate Labour leader) supports VSM:

                http://tvnz.co.nz/back-benches/video

                Labour’s filibuster shows how desperate and confused they are. Good riddance.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Nor do student associations represent the democratic will of the students. Student politics is dysfunctional. Anyone who has been a student knows that.

                  Sure as fuck the ACT party doesn’t represent the democratic will of students.

                  Bottom line, Right Wingers want to take apart civic institutions which can representand organise disempowered poorly resourced people like students.

                  If National and ACT had its way it would take the vote away from the youth and the unemployed as well.

                • McFlock

                  “quoted out of context”? You are a fucking moron. There was an extended fucking video, you moron – so unless he said “I don’t personally support the bill as it is now” and then they cut out the bit where he said “just kidding”, he either lied then or voted for a bill he didn’t support.
                   
                  You reckon 10% turnout for elections (although I believe the otago VSM referendum had ~50% turnout, not 10%) is less democratic than a trace-element party dictating how the government votes? Dickhead.

                  • Thomas

                    Post the extended video if you want to argue about it (I don’t). He clarified that he didn’t support the exact form of the bill, but still supported VSM in general.

                    Evidence please. I would be very surprised if the referendum had 50% turnout.

                    I believe that individual choice is the most democratic system. And student politics is hardly democratic at all.

                    • McFlock

                      The bit where he wanted to modify conscientious objection, etc? I didn’t have a problem with that. It’s the slash & burn approach of the Act that he didn’t like, but still voted for.

            • Puddleglum 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Your appeal to democracy is disingenuous. Like I said below, student politics is dysfunctional. It was set up so that lowering the fee is more work than paying it; thus no one did it.

              Pardon?  Yes, it takes effort in a democracy to increase the chances that your view gets enacted. Society wouldn’t function – or change – at all if people didn’t routinely put in more ‘effort’ than the immediate pay-offs. It’s called acting on principle, living a life worth living, etc.. Aren’t we constantly reminded that the great and the good on the right – e.g., John Key, Don Brash – could earn so much more outside politics and they are altruistically hiring their time out at a cheaper rate for the greater good???

              Life isn’t an act of accounting Thomas. It’s a little bit more than that – haven’t you noticed?

              • Thomas

                Wow. I can’t believe that you are going to run with this stinker of an argument.

                As much as you talk about how students should put in the effort and act on principle, the fact is that they don’t. Student association presidents are doing well to get 6% of students voting for them. For other members of the executive, 3% is excellent.

                Frankly, that level of turnout is a resounding vote of no confidence. The Taliban try to kill voters in Afghanistan, yet they aren’t nearly as effective at keeping people away as student politicians are.

                The majority of students couldn’t name their association president. So how much do they know about what the candidates stand for? Hmm. Do they even stand for anything? Here is an article about the OUSA by-election.

                http://www.critic.co.nz/articles/1138

                This sort of article is the main source of information in student elections, unless you are one of the 50 odd people who show up for free food (and a presidential candidates debate).

                So what does this article tell us about the candidates? Logan Edgar, who went on to win by a huge margin (he got 6%), tells students to vote for him because “it’ll be funny.” And his policies seem to align with the McGillicuddy Serious Party. Hmm. Does the article mention association finances at all? Nope. Actually, I can’t find any information at all on the candidates’ fiscal policies anywhere online.

                I have a friend who got involved in student politics and got elected. He told me that once you get in the nonsense really starts. The internal politics is even worse than the external politics. This blog by a former OUSA exec member talks about some of the nasty parts of student politics http://mydeology.co.nz/?s=OUSA

                I don’t know what parallel universe you are living in, but, in the real world, student politics is dysfunctional and it doesn’t serve students well.

                So let’s please drop the “Associations are democratic, so compulsion is OK.” line.

                • Colonial Viper

                  As much as you talk about how students should put in the effort and act on principle, the fact is that they don’t. Student association presidents are doing well to get 6% of students voting for them. For other members of the executive, 3% is excellent.

                  Frankly, that level of turnout is a resounding vote of no confidence. The Taliban try to kill voters in Afghanistan, yet they aren’t nearly as effective at keeping people away as student politicians are.

                  Then the issue is about increasing student turnout for Student Association elections, not crippling and destroying student associations and removing another civic institution as ACT and National have done.

                  And comparing Student Associations with the Taliban?

                  Dickhead.

                  • Thomas

                    How do you propose to increase turnout? Compulsory voting?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Instead of trying to increase student participation, National and ACT have done the opposite: crippled and destroyed Student Associations.

                      That was the goal all along, to deprive students of historic civic insitutions which could organise and represent them.

                      Fuck off.

                    • Thomas

                      I asked you to propose an alternative solution. Instead of proposing one, you complained that National didn’t propose one. (Hypocritical much?)

                      And then you told me to f*** off. This is exactly what Labour and NZUSA did, rather than negotiating, say, an opt-out system, they refused to have anything to do with the bill and tried a filibuster.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its not my lack of an “alternative solution” which is the issue, it is ACT and National’s “solution” (LOL) of crippling and killing Student Associations.

                      ACT and National don’t care about “increasing participation” just stamping out civic insititutions which could organise and represent students.

                      You’re a shill for the anti-democratic destruction of civic institutions and disabling of organised collective action. So, fuck off.

                    • Thomas

                      Then tell us what your alternative solution is! I repeat:

                      How do you propose to increase turnout? Compulsory voting?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ACT and National had no interest in making Student Associations functional nor in increasing participation in them.

                      THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME dickhead.

                      This is about ACT and National – the ones with the power and who pushed the Bill through – destroying civic institutions in this country who could represent and organise students.

                      PS why are you bothering to ask me what my ideas for increasing participation in Student Associations are? Not only are you not genuinely interested, National and ACT just killed Student Associations.

                      Next please.

                    • burt

                      CV

                      If the associations are not viable without compulsion then they were not viable with it. There were just enabled via legislation to be parasitic and self serving.

                      If they have any merit they will flourish with compulsory membership. Lets watch and see what form they take over the next few years. I’m picking more spending on students and less donating time and money to Labour. This has to be good for their members.

                    • Thomas

                      CV, you said

                      the issue is about increasing student turnout for Student Association elections

                      So now I am asking you to elaborate on how this should be done.

                      If you can’t suggest a better alternative, then you can’t complain.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why are you asking me? Your mates ACT and National have just crippled and killed Student Associations.

                      You want me to give you ideas for making a dead patient better? What are you, brain impaired?

                      You back a bunch of people who love to see the destruction of civic institutions who can represent and organise students. I don;t need your permission to complain about that matey.

                      You’re now feigning interest in a corpse that your mates killed. Fuck off loser.

                    • Thomas

                      CV, just think of it as a hypothetical question: Suppose Labour wins the election. Then they can repeal VSM before it takes effect on 1 January 2012. What should they replace it with?

                      You suggested that they should try to increase turnout at student elections. Please elaborate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Quite right, I think I’ll drop off a hundred red flyers around the neighbourhood today. Thanks for the motivation.

                    • Thomas

                      CV, you are fooling no one. It is obvious that you don’t have any constructive suggestions for improving student associations.

                      VSM is the best option for improving a broken system.

                    • McFlock

                      A good start would be if government let students decide what they wanted for themselves. I’ll think you’ll find VSM drives participation rates even lower – in some cases to zero.

                    • Thomas

                      Exactly. The VSM bill lets students decide for themselves whether or not to join the association.

                    • McFlock

                      But it doesn’t allow students to decide if they want to go to a university populated by freeloaders or not. No “freedom of choice” there.
                       
                      The best way to resolve the difference in opinion is a democratic vote by the people concerned – but you guys don’t like that.

                    • Thomas

                      But it doesn’t allow students to decide if they want to go to a university populated by freeloaders or not.

                      That choice wasn’t available before VSM either. The campus had either voluntary or compulsory membership and there wasn’t much you could do about it.

                      The best way to resolve the difference in opinion is a democratic vote by the people concerned

                      This is my original point: Student politics is dysfunctional. Thus any appeal to “but they are democratic” is disingenuous.

                    • McFlock

                      If you really didn’t like “having” to join an association, you could go to auckland uni. If you didn’t want to circulate with freeloaders, you could go to Otago. Now I have to put up with the fact that if I want to go to university at all I need to put up with the fact that a chunk of the student population will freely reap the benefits of the association membership I pay for.
                       
                      “Student politics” as you put it is irrelevant to the VSM referenda every institution had to hold. That’s the point. A normal person would have gotten 10% of students to sign a petition so another referendum had to be held. You pricks ran to crying uncle roger so the government would dictate a resolution on an issue that only affects students. Which is why the nats supported you, really. The supershitty blew up in their face, but the only people really interested in VSM are current students and a few ACToids who can’t get over their BCom days.

                    • Thomas

                      If you really didn’t like “having” to join an association, you could go to auckland uni. If you didn’t want to circulate with freeloaders, you could go to Otago.

                      Do you seriously think people will go to a different university to avoid $100/year in association fees?

                      Now I have to put up with the fact that if I want to go to university at all I need to put up with the fact that a chunk of the student population will freely reap the benefits of the association membership I pay for.

                      Just make services for members only. Simple!

                      “Student politics” as you put it is irrelevant to the VSM referenda every institution had to hold. That’s the point. A normal person would have gotten 10% of students to sign a petition so another referendum had to be held.

                      Student politicians cover campuses every year with election advertising. Emails get sent to all students. And students are bribed to vote, which is easily done online. For this gargantuan effort, there is a turnout of about 10%.

                      Now you tell me that VSM supporters should just get 10% of students to sign a petition. Urh… That’s not easy. Like I said, the system is dysfunctional.

                    • McFlock

                          

                      Do you seriously think people will go to a different university to avoid $100/year in association fees?

                      Well, the way you jerks are bitching about freedom and oppression, you might. Otherwise it’s really just not that big a fucking deal, is it? Justifying an act of parliament? 

                       

                      Just make services for members only. Simple!

                      Simple to say, impossible to do. As has been mentioned here before. Case in point is that at Otago there is a “blind marking” option, where students can have their papers marked without the fear of a tutor being biased against them. The result of an OUSA campaign. If ousa manages to get something similar implemented under vsm, it will not be restricted by the university to “members only”. The library committee has student association representation – does that mean that only association members will be able to use books purchased under policies voted for by the representatives? No. Class reps are administered and trained by the association. If they recommend a change to a paper’s structure, will that only apply to association members? No. Because this area has been covered before in this thread, you are a fucking idiot.

                       

                      Student politicians cover campuses every year with election advertising. Emails get sent to all students. And students are bribed to vote, which is easily done online. For this gargantuan effort, there is a turnout of about 10%.

                      Now you tell me that VSM supporters should just get 10% of students to sign a petition. Urh… That’s not easy. Like I said, the system is dysfunctional.

                      They’ve managed it at Waikato and Auckland at the very least, I believe.
                      The real problem you guys faced with petitions  is whether even 10% of students support you. And if they don’t care enough to sign a petition, what makes you think they support VSM?
                       

                    • Thomas

                      Simple to say, impossible to do. As has been mentioned here before. Case in point is that at Otago there is a “blind marking” option, where students can have their papers marked without the fear of a tutor being biased against them. The result of an OUSA campaign. If ousa manages to get something similar implemented under vsm, it will not be restricted by the university to “members only”. The library committee has student association representation – does that mean that only association members will be able to use books purchased under policies voted for by the representatives? No. Class reps are administered and trained by the association. If they recommend a change to a paper’s structure, will that only apply to association members? No. Because this area has been covered before in this thread, you are a fucking idiot.

                      Under VSM “student association representation” is replaced with “student representation” those representatives will remain but they will be directly elected and have nothing to do with the association.

                      Advocacy will not be affected by VSM.

                      I’ve been a class rep plenty of times. The “training” was a waste of time. This will not be affected.

                      They’ve managed it at Waikato and Auckland at the very least, I believe.

                      When the option of compulsory membership was introduced in 1999 ther was an initial referendum. AUSA and WSU went for voluntary. AUSA has tried to go compulsory twice since them. And WSU only went compulsory on the fourth try when the referendum was held during a break and turnout was low.

                      The real problem you guys faced with petitions is whether even 10% of students support you. And if they don’t care enough to sign a petition, what makes you think they support VSM?

                      False. The problem is that student politics is dysfunctional. (As I have said so many times.) Special interest unions are more organised than the general interest of VSM. That doesn’t mean that VSM is unpopular.

                    • McFlock

                      Under VSM “student association representation” is replaced with “student representation” those representatives will remain but they will be directly elected and have nothing to do with the association.

                      Lol. Company doctors at the will of the university. Not the same thing.

                       
                      Advocacy will not be affected by VSM.

                      Except being even more underresourced or funded by the university – see “company doctor” above.
                       

                      I’ve been a class rep plenty of times. The “training” was a waste of time. This will not be affected.
                       

                      In your case, it probably was a waste of time.

                      When the option of compulsory membership was introduced in 1999 ther was an initial referendum. AUSA and WSU went for voluntary. AUSA has tried to go compulsory twice since them. And WSU only went compulsory on the fourth try when the referendum was held during a break and turnout was low.

                      Um – so it has actually been done, then? The referndum thing? Half a dozen times?
                       

                      False. The problem is that student politics is dysfunctional. (As I have said so many times.) Special interest unions are more organised than the general interest of VSM. That doesn’t mean that VSM is unpopular.

                      Actually, the votes in referenda mean VSM is unpopular. You forgot about them.
                       

                    • Thomas

                      Lol. Company doctors at the will of the university. Not the same thing.

                      They are elected by the students. They are just as independent as the associations.

                      Um – so it has actually been done, then? The referndum thing? Half a dozen times?

                      Yes, and in all but one spurrious case they voted for VSM.

                      Here is a suggestion:

                      Student associations should have run binding referenda on being voluntary or compulsory in 2010. Then, if they actually were popular (which they aren’t), they would have those results to take to the government and VSM would have been avoided.

                      So why didn’t they do that? Hmmmmm…

                    • McFlock

                      As I recall it was one clause in the constitution that needed rephrasing. Hardly deserving of burning the entire membership list.

                    • McFlock

                       
                      They are elected by the students. They are just as independent as the associations.

                      Tui moment.

                       
                      Yes, and in all but one spurrious case they voted for VSM.
                       

                      And yet it was impossible, with such overwhelming support, to do it on an institution by institution basis?
                       

                      Here is a suggestion:
                      Student associations should have run binding referenda on being voluntary or compulsory in 2010. Then, if they actually were popular (which they aren’t), they would have those results to take to the government and VSM would have been avoided.
                      So why didn’t they do that? Hmmmmm…

                      Because the bill had nothing to do with the wishes of students.  It was a tory fetish – like blaming the victim because they didn’t prove their innocence time after time after time. How often should they have held referenda, just so you fuckwits would accept that you’re the trace-element-popularity little sociopaths you are? Answer: you will never realise how deficient you really are. The exercise would have been pointless.

                  • felix

                    Shorter Thomas:

                    “Our policy is so popular we don’t even need to put it to a vote”

                    • Thomas

                      Student associations: so fantastic they don’t need to offer the option of leaving.

                    • McFlock

                      Except they did. And if the mechanism needed tweaking, it was a screwdriver, not the sledgehammer.

                    • Thomas

                      Conscientious objection was next to impossible; you almost needed a lawyer to do it. Moreover, the option was to leave, but you still had to pay.

                      Major change was needed there.

                    • McFlock

                      Nope. minor. No need to through the baby out with the bathwater.

            • Di 8.1.1.1.1.3

              Thomas
              “National, ACT, and United Future have more than 50% combined support. So passing VSM is entirely democratic.”

              2008 election results: National got 44.93% , Act got 3.5% and United Future got 0.87% of the votes,
              So in fact those 3 parties had less than 50% of the support of those who voted.

  9. Thomas 9

    NZ general elections have a turnout of about 75%. US presidential elections have a turnout of about 60%. Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections have a turnout of about 40%. Student elections have a turnout of about 10%.

    Anyone who praises student politics as a bastion of democracy is full of it.

    • McFlock 9.1

      If you are alleging voter fraud, go to the cops or companies office. Otherwise, fucking deal with the fact that 9.999% gave a shit, 0.001% were Act retards, and 90% really didn’t care too much as long as they got orientation, rec services and the class reps (which they might or might not have known were organised by their students’ association) and the myriad of other services provided.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      See above Thomas dickhead.

      And what did National and ACT do to try and increase student voter turnout before crippling and destroying Student Associations? Nothing.

      Because National and ACT simply wanted to see organisations who could organise and represent students destroyed.

    • So what if only 10% vote, McF?! If the other 90% don’t or can’t be bothered, then obviously they accept the status quo.

      If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

      • Thomas 9.3.1

        Low turnout is indicative of a dysfunctional system. And that is a problem.

        The Standard often complains about John Key lacking substance and just being a smile-and-wave politician. But even the best student politician makes him look like a decisive leader with a focus on clear and detailed policy.

        And turnout reflects Key’s style. 2008 had the second-lowest turnout in decades, after 2002. I think 2011 will set a new record.

        • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1

          First you compare Student Associations to the Taliban and now you are comparing the quality and experience of student politicians to highly salaried MPs and Prime Ministers.

          Fuck off.

          • Thomas 9.3.1.1.1

            I made neither comparison. I was merely substantiating my claim that low turnout indicates a dysfunctional system.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.1.1

              And what did National and ACT do with that dysfunctional system? Try and heal it? Or put it through the shredder?

              The latter of couse, because National and ACT weren’t interested in making Student Associations functional, just in destroying them as civic institutions which could organise and represent students.

            • burt 9.3.1.1.1.2

              How many decades have student unions had to get their democratic processes sorted – Oh that’s right – long enough for them to be self serving socialist elites spending other peoples money for their own gain. Taliban is perhaps a valid comparison.

              • McFlock

                “Taliban is perhaps a valid comparison”
                  
                [channelling Mike Myers]
                riiiiiiiiight.
                How about no, you mad tory bastard?

  10. burt 10

    I’ll have some of what rOb’s been smoking thanks.

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    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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