Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 15. August 4, 1971
It has now become something in the nature of an annual event to cry foul shortly after the results have been processed from the Stud Ass elections. I only wish that this year could prove to be an exception. On the face of it the lesser known positions on the Executive which were subject to ballot have gone to fairly pedestrian but nonetheless sincere individuals who will probably make every effort to be efficient in 1972.
It is in the crucial rank of Presidency that most disappointment is being voiced as one noncharismatic leader is to be replaced by one equally uninspiring and with a depressingly similar background. Last year this might have been considered acceptable in view of the high content of lunatic fringe candidates, this year it can be considered nothing short of a disaster in view of the fact that the more progressive forces within the University had found expression in the extremely articulate and dynamic form of Tim Groser. It is doubtful whether the left of centre has thrown up such a prospect in some ten years and but for the intrusion of Messrs Johnson and McAllum who between them netted a small but crucial haul of votes it is almost certain that Victoria would have had its first radical president of any such colouring in many many years. Campaign wise Groser was the architect of his own near success and his ultimate undoing. An election photograph was the difference here as the anonymous Mr Cullen took more care on his while Groser opted for a Rasputin image of a man from whom few people would want to buy a second-hand dog-sled. Policy wise the new President had little to offer beyond generalisations offering an end of student alienation despite the fact that the average student would not know him from a squashed jaffa. Groser on the other hand, openly avowed a political solution to most problems and succeeded in passing himself off as a busy little man on the make Pity.
In contradistinction to the right-left presidential clash the team of MVP candidates showed all the consistency of the Egyptian cabinet. It was a bewildering bunch of authoritarianism, optimism, obtusness and outright un-informedness. That Huai Tian Lee won by an extremely handsome majority is one of the few compliments that, voting students managed to pay themselves in addition they have now brought about a situation when the top two politicians as elected will find extreme difficulty working with each other.
Slightly more predictable was the massive victory of Ann Savage over eunuch Powell. In view of the fact that neither candidate was prepared to submit to public scrutiny during the campaign it might be observed that an informal vote would have been the wisest here.
N.Z.U.S.A. Liaison Officer proved once again the value of incumbency. In a nutshell Tim Sheppard pissed in whilst yet another O'Connell went down in yet another screaming heap.
A quick peruse of the ballot papers as they came in show that as far the electoral was concerned it was going to choose its preference in the same way that it spots brand X in a blind fold market research test. Once again the photographs on the boiling booths very likely did the trick although a certain ineptitude in public speaking certainly hindered more than one of the candidates for WVP. The general impression was however clearly one of picking it with a hat pin.
Finally the portfolio by far the most heart burning to all concerned was that of Publications Officer in which the Socialist Action candidate Phillip Gibbs was forced into an extremely good showing and with the 492 informal votes (standard example: neither of these two.........s is worth a tin of ......... and if you think that I'm such a ...ing .... as to vote for either of them you can stick this up your ....) In evidence it is reasonable to assume that this important job was considered to important to be at the mercy of tweedle dum and tweedle dumber Ho hum.
The metaphor of the curate's egg is just a little too fascile to resort to in summing up this election but it must be conceded that it is entirely appropriate. It might also be said that the average student will either be the loser and not know much about it or be the loser and know a lot about it. One thing that can be said for certain is that he probably will be the loser and will do sweet bugger all about it.