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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 21 September 10, 1969

Democracy

Democracy

It is my belief the V.U.W.S A. should pass a motion in favour of a boycott of all local and national polls by as many people as possible. In this connexion it is proper that V.U.W.S.A support (as I think it does) lowering the lower voting age-limit to eighteen, so that Varsity student can be in the vanguard of this movement — "Why?"

The vote of the individual is virtually without effect on the final result of an election or referendum. His opinions, arguments, sµggested amendments and alternatives are not, and under the present system can not he given the weight they deserve—"So?"

Now that a noticeable number of people in New Zealand are said to realisethat millions more are soon bound to realise, as they have, that the individual cannot seen quote so Important in the future as Christianity and Humanism (if I may oversimplify from historical ignorance) have had him be in the past, as belief in what our grandparents would have called "Christianity" is fading, as people are foreseeing the creation of a race of computers which shall do everything individual people can do much more efficiently, as governments and large organizations are standardising individuals by putting them through near-Identical education, consumerising and (is it were political "brainwashing" pioccsses, and as our news mediasexes (sic) make us aware just how many other "individuals" there are around the place, it is not necessary to accept this trend tamely—"Sez you!"

In the political sphere, the worth of the individual can be reasserted by making him a member of every political committee (with allowance for clashing meeting-times) he cares to put high enough on his list of priorities, that is, that he attends The wealth of a computerised and mechanised society and its electronic technology should make it possible for meetings to be held without meeting. The equivalent of Parliament could be a type of lone-term plenary session, its members being elected from and by its manifold subcommittees or subcommittees thereof–the "political committees" I mention above The equivalent of cabinet ministers would be the chairmen of the principal committees. Any executive (e.g. a "Head Chairman") should be as weak as practicable. The equivalent of governor-general or sovereign would be the man who empties the ashtrays in the committee-rooms (If any were needed)

Granted that this article was written too hurriedly and that it is extremely superficial, it still seems to me that a reply to the effect that the S.R.C. principle should not be extended to Society at large, or that it is somehow undesirable in itself would be of interest to the student today, including the present writer.

Peter Zohrab.