Ready for Transparency?

Jack

Ben Kremer

Megan Lane 2

Megan Lane

On Monday morning the #HackLyf Edition of Woroni was released in time for the ANUSA elections. However, a piece I wrote was notably absent. I had been forced to recall the article, which critiqued the positions of each ticket, due to the threats and harassment of the Ready Ticket President, Convenor, and Megan Lane, who control the ticket from behind the scenes.

Lane, backed up by both Jack Guadie and Ben Kremer, Ready Presidential Candidate and Convenor respectively, threatened to purge members of the Left faction of the Labor party who were on the Ready ticket. Those Left Candidates Jack Foulds, Liam Fitzpatrick and Mandy Chau, who had worked hard to assist in both campaigning and formulating the ticket, where now at risk of being kicked off.

She states: ‘if the Left … refuse to get this article pulled, there will be no materials provided for Left candidates, no preferences, no how to votes and all left candidates will be purged from the ticket.’

In a private Facebook message, Gaudie said, ‘we’re all in the same boat if this goes to print … I’m happy to purge if it means this catastrophic fuck up is avoided’

Even Ready Co-ordinater, Ben Kremer, in a private message reintegrated: ‘if the article doesn’t get pulled, any support for the left on the ticket will be pulled and that’s not a good outcome.’

Why? Because in the original article, which is below, I had mentioned the fact that Ready was being run by the joint factions of the Labor party. The irony of it all is that neither Ben, Jack or Meg had actually read the article or even accurately understood what was in it. Instead they promulgated a knee-jerk reaction and bullied me by threatening my fellow peers in order to hide any political affiliations they could.

Ready are no strangers to treading in the grey of constitutional actions, having only today been banned from campaigning following a finding that they had breached constitutional regulation Section 2.8.18, but I believe they have taken a step further. Having actively threatened, harassed and bullied in order to restrict speech that merely mentioned their affiliation, they have breached numerous constitutional sections which stand in place to ensure free and fair elections,
Ready have shown that they are not indeed ready for transparency.

The original article:

An insider’s guide to #StuPol

It is time once again for the parties at large to do battle over that $1.8 million student organisation that barely occupies our minds most of the year. But as you try to determine the most appealing colour collection, or perhaps to distinguish the parties on their near-identical policies, try looking underneath the cover, to the power play within.

On Monday the 10th of August, the Left faction of the Labor party on campus met to discuss whether they would accept an offer from the Right on their ticket. After a short discussion, an agreement was reached. Together, the two factions form the Labor parties influence on campus, as well as a large number of the Ready ticket. They form a strong line of contenders. Their ticket features Presidential Candidate Jack Gaudie, the current ANUSA Social Officer; and Albert Pajeo (VP), who is also a veteran of the painfully long SRC meetings. Although it is no secret that Gaudie is a member of the ALP, he is a great candidate.

The other tickets ought to be examined as well. First, we have Open, so paralysed by its fear of being associated politically with a party that it has decided to bar anyone who is a member of a party from running on it. So clear is their commitment to remain non-factional that they seem not to notice that they may be in breach of the ACT’s anti-discrimination act. The irony should not be not lost when considering that their candidates Kat Reed and Loren Ovens (current Queer and Women’s Officer respectively) both fiercely advocate against discrimination on campus. Both Kat and Loren tried to amend rules at SRC meetings earlier this year, so as to have every speaker declare their political affiliations.

Lastly we have Let’s, the re-election ticket of the incumbent president Ben Gill. It is an almost unprecedented affair to have an incumbent run again. Given the demands of ANUSA presidency, this is hardly surprising, and yet Ben has chosen to run again. Whilst last year he was swept clear to power by nearly 200 votes, the Collectives’ support which cemented his presidency last year has cracked. With the two largest Collective officers running on their own ticket, it is unlikely he will garner the same level of support as before. Gill has also courted controversy by strongly fighting against re-accrediting with NUS during his term.

Each of the three major tickets are on the surface quite benign, but underneath bubble with factional arguments. Ready is the clearest cut, with its ALP influences clear, but the other two tickets have strong names behind them as well. So in short, this election, like every year, is not just about which social justice warrior you place as your first preference, but which faction will clamber to the top.

Eben is a member of the ALP where he is part of the left faction. He is also the VP of ANU Labor Left.