Voluntary Student Membership: Get over it

I’ve just seen a press release (here) by the New Zealand University Students Association. They are basically a collective of the different student unions throughout New Zealand, and frankly, they really are starting to drive me insane.

As usual, they’re having a moan about VSM and how it’s going to be negative for students. While I completely disagree with that sentiment, I am not going to go into that. Because I feel it’s time to stop the bitching and start working toward being within the guidelines that they thing will be in the final act. They can’t work with final guidelines, because Labour is filibustering to a level that I do not feel we have seen in New Zealand politics before, or at least not in a long time. They have made it that even though VSM does have the numbers to get through Parliament, they cannot get it through. This is because Labour spends many hours arguing bills that end up having unanimous support so they don’t get to the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill 2009. Yes, 2009. It has been two years since this bill was introduced. Labour has been filibustering since 2009, and it is getting to the point now where Labour, who are supposedly working for the student unions, are simply shooting them in the foot.

I have spoken with a person within a student union (the conversation was off-the-record, so I’m not going to name them), and they have said they just want to know what’s happening now, so they can look forward to the future and do what’s best for their students. Labour is harming students with their filibustering. How can student unions provide for their students when they don’t know what they are going to be regulated for and against doing?

I can also understand now why National has used the provision for urgency so often in this term. Yes, I do believe they have used that provision more in the past term than the Labour Government did in the nine years previous, and their use of urgency has almost been a breach of our constitutional principals, but Labour’s use of filibustering has been just as bad. Most parties will waste time with a bill that they dislike because it brings media attention to it. However, they filibuster the bill that they are opposing. That bill still passes with standard Parliamentary Procedure, but it is slightly delayed, and receives the attention that that party wanted so the electorate can decide if it was good or not at the next election. If only New Zealand had a written, entrenched Constitution… Labour could actually be held up for what they are doing here.


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Posted on June 20, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. There’s been comment from Heather Roy, both via Facebook and Twitter regarding this post, but nothing from the Labour Party. I specifically asked for some comment on both the NZ Labour Party Facebook page and the Young Labour Facebook Page. No response though. I guess they must agree that what they’re doing is wrong?

  2. A very good explication in response to your post: http://mydeology.co.nz/2011/06/vsm-or-bust-a-false-dichotomy/

    I personally don’t agree with any filibustering, but then, I don’t agree with a damn thing that National, Labour, ACT or even the Maori party do (though I did support the Maori party in the past) so I’m not surprised that they are doing anything I disagree with anymore =/

  3. Also LOL Heather Roy, haven’t they kicked her out of ACT for some political dinosaur yet?

    There are heaps of former National party sycophants waiting in wings to make a political ‘comeback’. In fact, some of Wyatt Creech’s business interests have recently gone sour so he probably has a lot of time on his hands =P

    • I don’t see commenting on my thoughts regarding VSM is helpful. That’s not what the post was about. It was about the filibustering of the Labour Party, and their breach of the democratic process.

      I personally don’t mind filibustering, as long as it’s not done in the way Labour is doing it now. That is wrong.

  1. Pingback: VSM or bust - a false dichotomy? | mydeology | mydeology

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