On Wednesday 29 August, at noon, students at the University of Queensland will rally in the Great Court to demand free and fair elections and a more transparent UQ Union.
From 1994 to 2007 UQ Union was dominated by left or leftish politics; but since 2008 it has been run by Liberal Party students on a slate named "Fresh". Now the Liberals have overreached themselves.
They changed the election rules in secret. Forty-eight hours before campaigning started opposition teams were advised that their names were prohibited. Three opposition teams which had registered last year were disqualified.
The main opposition group, "Pulse", had had its name registered by Liberal stooges. "Pulse" is a coalition of Labor Left, Labor Right, Socialist Alternative, the Greens and a few independents.
At this stage opposition groups had purchased hundreds of t-shirts, spent thousands on printing, and built brand recognition. Redesigning campaigns with two days to go was not a viable option.
Opposition groups have withdrawn from the election, declaring it fixed, and a new coalition, "Democracy 4 UQU", is asking the University to act to ensure free and fair elections.
The union president is paid $36,000 a year, and the union controls an $18 million annual budget.
With luck the overconfident student right-wingers will find they have inadvertently revived UQ students' left-wing traditions.