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Queensland

Aug 22, 2012

'Democracy lives' at UQ, but union president playing games

The University of Queensland student union president refuses to answer questions on why his ruling "Fresh" party secretly registered the name of a rival group and then installed his brother as a candidate for next week's elections.

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The right-wing president of the University of Queensland student union has refused to answer questions over why his ruling “Fresh” party secretly registered the name of a rival group and then installed his brother as a candidate for next week’s student elections.

Colin Finke, the Young LNP-linked union president drafted last year by campus Liberal powerbroker Brodie Thompson to sit atop the $16 million fiefdom, released a statement yesterday headed “Democracy alive and well at University of Queensland” in response to Crikey‘s exclusive report on the fracas.

But despite inviting follow-up questions, he has dodged direct queries over why Fresh had registered the name of Pulse — the established brand of the progressive opposition. When the real Pulse submitted its ticket it was told by returning officers that the name had already been taken.

Finke’s brother is now believed to be running “against” Finke as a “Pulse” candidate.

Early this morning, the real Pulse hit back, alerting media to the fact they were unaware of the change until August 14, and by that stage the name had been snaffled.

“The incumbents have simply stolen the name,” Lorelei Links, organiser of the “Democracy 4 UQU” movement, said. “When our team was rejected, we only had 48 hours to put together a totally new campaign, so our candidates decided to withdraw and no longer legitimise this corrupt process.”

Opposition councillor Flynn Rush attended the August 10 council meeting that passed the changes, but says he was physically denied access to printed copies of their text.

Voting will commence next week and dissidents have promised a wave of activism until democracy is restored.

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Rebecca
Member
There is clear evidence now that on the 10th of August, 2012, the UQ Union held an ’emergency’ meeting in which part of section 105 of their electoral regulations was repealed. This section protected the names of political parties for 10 years – including names such as the former main opposition party ‘Pulse’. [I note that the regulations and constitution for the Union only became available on their website late yesterday afternoon.] After this protection was repealed, the name ‘Pulse’ was taken by a group of students who are closely associated with the current incumbent party ‘Fresh’. For instance, Mr… Read more »
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