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October 1, 2012 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Editorial – Power

“Power has got many faces. Power, as understood by the community, has rather eerie connotations, and rightly so. But the power to do good is something else.” This quote,from our interview with Winston Peters (which you can find on page 16), says a lot about this issue. Power is a hard thing to figure out. But it is often those ideas that are most interesting.

This issue was on the drawing board from day one. Indeed, we first planned for this to be one of the first issues
of the year. The idea being to collate a selection of some of NZ’s most interesting people of influence from a range of fields—whether it be politics, sport or literature—and talk to them about exactly what it is like to be such a person.

But it turns out that pinning down the country’s hottest movers and shakers is a little tricky.What resulted was something quite different than that originally envisaged, though in many ways, something far more fascinating. You may notice though a distinct dearth of diversity among our interview subjects. It is unfortunate, but it serves as a lesson in itself about the true locus of power in our fair land.

Those with their claws on the levers are, as a general rule, not representative of the great reaches of diversity and difference with which our community is blessed. That’s slowly changing, but we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the inequities of the current distribution of power.

That the Power Issue coincides with the VUWSA General Election is a delightful but unintentional irony. It’s not our job (during the election) to pass comment or endorse candidates. We’ve done our utmost to provide you with even-handed coverage in the news section, and you can hear from the candidates themselves in the special election season pull-out (treats! treats! treats!). While elections are relentlessly entertaining affairs in their own right, it is the outcome that is of vital importance. However, a strong executive alone does not make a good VUWSA.

The Association is the sum of its members, not the student politicians at the helm. Participation in the collective student voice is probably as important a contribution as any that us individuals can make to the student community. A well-mandated and respectable student voice gets us half-way to ensuring that we get a quality education. And that is—at least in part—why we are here after all. So when you get that email, be heard. Make a vote. Even if it is for everyone’s old favourite, No Confidence.
O & A


About the Author ()

Ollie served dutifully alongside Asher Emanuel as Co-editor of Salient throughout the tumult of 2012. He has contributed to Salient since 2011 and intends to do so for the rest of his waking life.

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