The VSM Bill has passed its first reading and is off to Select Committee. Predictably the student associations have freaked out and David Farrar has an interesting fisk of the various press releases they’ve issued in response here.
Given that Madeleine and I were involved in the move to make student associations voluntary in the late 90’s we will follow this debate with interest.
The Hansards debate on the VSM Bill is now online here. It makes for interesting reading, you can really see the left/right ideologies coming through. The left MP’s rubbish the concept of freedom of association and conscience as right wing inventions and talk about collective rights, rights to free education and so on.
We also noted Labour MP Chris Hipkins revealing objection to the Bill:
“the real driver behind this bill—which, of course, we heard already from Roger Douglas and Anne Tolley—is that it is designed to silence critics of the Government.” [Emphasis added]
Note the assumption that all tertiary students oppose National, ACT, United Future and Maori Party [Government] policies.
Funny, I recall some CM Research being done when I was a student at Waikato University that showed that in fact 60% of tertiary students vote right of centre, a study that NZUSA commissioned, paid for with money taken from all students, and then refused to release the study when the results didn’t come out showing all students being lefties.