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July 13, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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Editorial

editorial

Democracy, at a low level such as a student association, is an interesting dynamic to watch. Late last trimester, two motions of no confidence in executive members were put forward by students. There have been worse presidents than Jasmine, who is doing a good enough job steering the VUWSA ship away from rocks of peril. Robert, well he seems to be dead weight heavily listing the ship contrary to Jasmine’s directions.

The Special General Meeting this Wednesday is your chance to be involved in the democratic process. As you’ll see on the news stories on page 10 and the back issues of Salient, there have been issues raised about the performance of some of your exec members.

The decision you need to make is a clear one. If you think Jasmine and Bobby aren’t doing their jobs, if you think they aren’t acting in your best interests as students, if you don’t think they represent you, then this is your chance to tell them. Come along and exercise your right of accountability on these people who control the students’ association.

On a national level, democracy is no less dynamic, but the way in which the game is played out is less blatant and dislocated from most people. One of the true ways that citizens can be directly involved in process is the Citizens Initiated Referendum (CIR).

This week’s Salient dwells heavily on the child discipline issue enshrined in the current referendum question. The features on pages 21 and 28 present two sides of the argument.

But why are we even having this argument? It, like the question the pro physical discipline supporters put forward, is stupid. There is no other word.

So stupid that to dignify the question and engage in the discourse seems totally futile. Here is a better idea for what to do with your ballot than to just tick one of the boxes and buy into this sub-par petition. Tick both boxes, scribble on it, Photoshop the form and add in a better question. Then send it back to the electoral commission to be counted as a spoiled ballot. If enough people do this—and I really hope you do—it sends a clearer message than voting ‘Yes’ will ever deliver.

In both cases your money is being wasted. VUWSA by-elections cost money. CIRs cost money. In both cases peoples’ pet projects are being played out for political reasons that benefit no one. Not even the people who’re pushing for it. Yip, democracy sure is a funny old thing to watch.

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The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

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