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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: October 20, 2014, 04:19:35 pm
RIP
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: October 15, 2014, 08:27:32 pm
Make jokes. I care more about the well being of my fellow Americans than the travel of foreigners.

Americans never travel internationally?  Then how did I get here in Oz?


You're missing my point. No more travel incoming from any affected nations. No more trips, no more missions no more visas no more "students just wanting to come to learn". Our own security trumps that.

Yeah, it's not like them foreigners are real people, just statistics waiting to happen.
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Describe the political views of the previous hypothetical person - Int'l Edition on: October 13, 2014, 09:32:37 pm

Age: 35
Gender: Female
Race: Quebecois
Occupation: Homemaker
Household income: $60 000
Religion: Christmas/Easter Catholic
Location: Suburban Montreal

Language spoken at home?
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: October 13, 2014, 07:23:37 pm
A vaccine, effective in animals, is about to commence human trials. You'd have to be brave and selfless to participate.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: October 04, 2014, 04:39:20 pm
What exactly is confusing you?

From what I understand, people seeking asylum in Australia are kept at detention centres in Nauru while their claims are processed, when they are done processing them, most are sent to PNG or Cambodia.

People are mad about the very poor conditions at the centres in Nauru, which pretty much everyone agrees are terrible. There is also an undercurrent that some don't want such centres existing at all, even if they were run better. They just want Australia to accept pretty much all the asylum seekers.

Additionally, some human rights workers in the camps have been caught encouraging people to self-harm in order to create a "Desperate refugee attempts suicide due to inhumane laws" news story.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Emma Watson-speech about women's rights in front of UN on: September 26, 2014, 06:20:56 pm
When I saw this popping up in the news, I didn't watch the video for a couple of reasons (after reading through this thread, I still haven't watched the video, but I read the transcript). I didn't watch it because, as others here have suggested, too often the only reason the only reason the media (and general populace) pays attention to a celebrity's political speech is because of who said it, not what was said, basically in agreement of: 

I'm blaming our media-obsessed culture that places too much weight upon the words of entertainers.

However, after reading her speech, I also have to agree with:

Waton's comments were intelligent and if a college professor had said them, no one would have batted an eye.

The other reason I didn't read it was because of what she acknowledged in her opening:

Quote from: Emma Watson
I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women six months ago and the more Iíve spoken about feminism, the more I have realised that fighting for womenís rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago.

Reading her speech, I find she's talking about feminism in its true sense, about the equal treatment of individuals, and that's the feminism in which I completely believe.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: September 22, 2014, 04:17:08 am


And blank map in Gallery. This version is based on vote at the last election, and doesn't reflect the partisan position of the incumbent Member, and specifically excludes party changes due to Members of Parliament not being a Member of the party to which they belonged at the last election. The blank map has several colour scale options, however this map is a simple Coalition Government vs Labor Opposition.

I'm not commenting further in this thread, but the initial post has a few factual errors (for example, in the past month, it was the Opposition that voted against expelling the Member for Frankston).
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: September 14, 2014, 08:29:04 am
I recall that dam levels were low. That was why the Liberals were the only party that went to the 2006 election with a policy of building a desalination plant - a policy that Labor rubbished and then implemented, except that the Liberal plan was for a smaller and less-expensive plant. Not the $20 billion white elephant built by Labor. Labor's desalination plant did not make sense.

Much like how Labor now opposes East West Link, they originally opposed the Liberal-proposed desal plant. They also opposed CitiLink in 1995/96 - indeed, the Labor Opposition Leader at the time, John Brumby, threatened to tear up those contracts as well. Those projects were needed and built despite Labor's opposition to them. Congestion is bad enough already, let alone if CitiLink wasn't built.

There is also a need for East West Link. That's why VECCI, AIG and Infrastructure Australia all expressed concern at the irresponsible threats made by Daniel Andrews. Even the AWU is concerned about the jobs his new position now threatens. There is also a deep rift within his Shadow Cabinet - several senior Shadow Ministers were unaware of his new position prior to reading about it on his Twitter account and have been not-so-quietly grumbling about his lack of leadership.

The position you've attributed to Andrews is actually the position he held prior to last week's backflip. That's not surprising, though, he's been all over the shop since the project was first announced.

You are still forgetting the point - this isn't a newly-announced project. It was included in the Victorian Budget eighteen months ago. Since then, there has been considerable work carried out. Private enterprise has spent millions on the work needed to complete the tendering process. To say that the contracts need to be delayed further, rejects the entire notion of the caretaker period, which prevents governments from making decisions that bind a future government during the final period prior to an election, while allowing governments to make decisions and commitments prior to the caretaker period. We are not yet in caretaker therefore the Government is perfectly entitled to enter into contracts to implement policy that was announced eighteen months ago.

Daniel Andrews admitted that Labor lost the 2010 election because it failed to invest in infrastructure for Melbourne's growing population. He hasn't learnt from the past and is threatening to repeat it. As I've already mentioned, he recognises "there'll be obviously jobs that could potentially be at risk" from his policy, that he'll "send a message to the World that we're closed for business" and that he is proposing "a very silly thing to do" that would not be done by "a government that actually values our state's reputation and good name", nor even "a responsible party that wants to govern." Now we can see that he's also willing to gamble the ability to cope with population growth.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: September 13, 2014, 11:08:08 pm
Both parties did not support the Desal plant as built by Labor. The Liberals had proposed a modest Desal plant, Labor rubbished the idea prior to the election and then afterwards, they immediately built a massive Desal plant, the size of which is completely unnecessary. It will cost Victorians almost $20 billion over 30 years, even if no water has been ordered (and to date, no water has been ordered).

The size of the plant and the contract is completely disproportionate to Victoria's water needs, but despite that, the contract has not been torn up, unlike the irresponsible threats made by Daniel Andrews in the past week.

Daniel Andrews had previously said that if elected, he would honour the contracts. Indeed, he said:

Quote from: Daniel Andrews, 19 November 2013
To rip up contracts is to send a message to the World that we're closed for business.

Quote from: Daniel Andrews, 18 April 2014
Thereíll be obviously jobs that could potentially be at risk ... because you send a message on every project, you know, itís not safe to do business here. Now thatís not necessarily a popular view, but thatís the view of a responsible party that wants to govern, not the Greens sitting on the fringe.

Quote from: Daniel Andrews, 13 August 2014
A government that actually values our state's reputation and good name doesn't rip up contracts.

Quote from: Daniel Andrews, 25 August 2014
We won't be ripping up legally binding contracts, that would be a very silly thing to do.

A fortnight later and now he says:

Quote from: Daniel Andrews, 11 September 2014
A piece of paper that's got no more value than a ream of Reflex paper... is not a legally binding contract.

By his own previous standards and comments, he does not value Victoria's reputation, he admits that he'll be telling the World that Victoria is closed for business, but he just doesn't care. He admits that it will cost jobs but that's a price he's willing to pay in order to win votes.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: September 13, 2014, 05:19:10 pm
The Desal contract may have been signed well before the election, but at the previous election, Labor had said that they would not build a Desal plant, and rubbished the Liberal water policy for proposing to build one. Labor didn't have the guts to take that horrendous contract to the people, they just built it and put that millstone around the necks of Victorians. By comparison, nobody ruled out East West Link prior to the last election. Furthermore, funding was announced in the 2013/14 Budget - eighteen months ago. There has been a process. It's not a last-minute thought-bubble, raced through before the election. There is already a caretaker period before an election, in which a Government cannot make decisions which bind a future Government. That already exists, it's a long-established tradition of the Westminster system. You are proposing changing that - pushing it back to two Budgets prior to an election in a four-year term.

If this was like the GST, or the Carbon Tax, where there had been an unequivocal statement of the Government explicitly ruling it out, than yes, the Government should then not change a clearly stated and committed policy - it would need to be taken to the electorate. There was no such statement prior to the 2010 election, there is no need to delay a policy that has already seen substantial planning and pre-development work.

Labor has previously supported East West Link. When the Government announced Stage 1, which will complete the Eastern half of the missing link, Labor said that the priority should be the Western half. When the Government announced Stage 2, the Western half of the missing link, Labor suddenly opposed the whole project. Here is an endorsement from the Leader of the Opposition for Stage 2 of the East West Link, which he now opposes, taken from his address to the Press Club:

Quote from: Daniel Andrews
I think a second river crossing, an important redundancy for the West Gate Bridge and a link direct into the port is a stronger project.

Stronger when you consider the productivity benefits and stronger when you acknowledge that the funds are of course limited.

...

A backup for the West Gate which currently handles more than 165 000 vehicles a day as well as the significant commercial and residential growth in the west makes the case compelling.

'West-east' is the way this project should be viewed.

You will note that he even acknowledges the productivity benefits of East West Link.

What we can see from this is that Labor's opposition to East West Link is not from a policy perspective, not a measured and considered position - it's more about fighting off the threat of the Greens in the inner-city seats. That's why Daniel Andrews will say and do anything on East West Link now, like trash Victoria's reputation in international investment markets by proposing to tear up contracts between the State and industry, which would result in less value for money in future infrastructure projects.

This is why the announcement by Daniel Andrews has little to do with East West Link as a policy and more to do with his character and his judgement and the sorts of decisions he makes.

I think the people see through it, too. There was a Morgan poll on Friday - "Regardless of who you intend to vote for at the State Election in November, should the construction of the East-West Tunnel link proceed?" - which found that almost two-thirds (63.5%) of voters support the Tunnel construction, including more than half of voters supporting Labor. Victorians, including Labor voters, don't want Daniel Andrews to trash the State's reputation for his own political gain.

Daniel Andrews is willing to risk jobs, infrastructure improvements, productivity gains and the State's reputation in his desperate gamble for votes.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ontario municipal elections, (October 27, 2014) - Master thread on: September 12, 2014, 06:11:17 pm
Of all the things that could possibly kill him, who'da thunk a tumour would be high on it?

I see what you did there. Very good.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: September 12, 2014, 06:09:09 pm
You have that completely around the wrong way.

The person jeopardising the future of Victoria is Daniel Andrews, who has shown exceptionally poor judgement over the past couple of weeks, as demonstrated by his bad decisions. You can't simply tear up contracts following an election and think it won't affect the State's future ability to attract investment - if you could, the Myki and Desal contracts would have been torn up long ago. It's not the Liberals who are risking billions - it's Labor. If they tear up the contracts, the state will lose billions in infrastructure funding from Canberra and have to pay compensation and damages. The East West Link was originally proposed by Sir Rod Eddington in his Report to the previous Labor Government. Daniel Andrews has said throughout the year how only an irresponsible government would tear up contracts, and now he said he will do exactly that. He will say and do anything to try to win votes. He is risking the future of the state for political point scoring. That's why a wide range of groups over the past few days have rubbished his backflip. Daniel Andrews is willing to gamble billions of dollars and thousands of jobs because he thinks it will win him votes.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is BushOklahoma your favorite Update character? on: September 04, 2014, 12:25:09 am
love update, but what is the Russ Powers meme?

If it were possible to merge Chuck Norris with James Bond, he would be it.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ontario municipal elections, (October 27, 2014) - Master thread on: September 03, 2014, 08:25:04 pm
Only IP addresses from Toronto were counted, while multiple votes and votes from outside of Toronto were discarded. Through the month of August, 521 Torontonians took the poll. Votes received from people who chose 'under 18' were not counted in these results.

Sounds like it's not a real poll.

I assumed that was what Tommy was getting at when he said that it was an online poll and this candidate was polling well with the young-but-not-NDP-hipsters. Kind of like a poll taken in the lobby of a party's headquarters...
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Happy Birthday Homely! on: August 18, 2014, 04:14:07 am
Happy belated birthday,  mate!
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Canadian riding equivalents on: August 08, 2014, 03:43:03 am
I had a thread doing this between Australia and Canada on the International What If board, but never finished. Australia and Canada have many similarities - large countries with small populations, mainly resource-based economies, Commonwealth nations with similar governance... probably other similarities, too. Likewise, some states and provinces also have things in common, and again for cities.

In answer to your question:

1. Higgins, Kooyong, Goldstein (Vic), most of Sydney's northern suburbs electorates.

2. Melbourne Ports.

Wentworth has aspects that fit in both categories.

3. & 4. I'll have to think and get back to you.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Brunswick: September 22, 2014 on: August 07, 2014, 05:07:21 pm
There is a blank boundary map in the gallery, with the new boundaries:

18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Happy Birthday, Smid! on: June 21, 2014, 07:49:51 am
Thanks, everyone, I had a fantastic day!
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ontario 2014 (June 12th) on: June 20, 2014, 03:39:41 am
Krago, you are a star!
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ontario 2014 (June 12th) on: June 19, 2014, 03:18:19 am
Great work, Krago!
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Newfoundland and Labrador 2014 on: June 17, 2014, 04:52:46 pm
Frank Coleman withdraws from PC leadership.
My understanding that they are no candidates left in the race.
Wayne Bennett was removed from the race
Bill Barry withdraw from the race

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Conservative_Party_of_Newfoundland_and_Labrador_leadership_election,_2014

lol Tories

No, it's lol "Tories" - this is Newfoundland and Labrador that we're talking about.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: English local elections, May 2014 on: June 08, 2014, 08:02:21 am
Thanks for that, Al. I haven't really got anything to contribute in response, but didn't want to not respond, either. It all seems rather fascinating - I think I can picture the comparable Melbourne municipality.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Countries where cities lean right/rural areas lean left on: June 04, 2014, 04:39:41 pm
Wasn't sure where to put this, but does anyone know of specific examples of countries where rural areas on average are more left-leaning than the cities?  It only crossed my mind because I was looking at regional results of the 2013 Czech election, and Prague actually looked rather conservative compared to the country at large.  Top 09 came in first, ANO 2011 in second, and CSSD only got third with 14%.  Brno looks left-leaning though. 
So two questions:
1. Why does Prague seem to lean right?
2. Any other countries you know of with rural-left/urban-right voting patterns? 

Not nationwide, but until recently Newfoundland and Labrador - Conservatives did best in St  Johns, while Liberals did better elsewhere. This is discussed further in Homely's Canadian maps thread on the International Elections board.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: English local elections, May 2014 on: June 02, 2014, 04:37:04 am
I wandered into this thread after reading this article. I don't know much, other than that I thought Tower Hamlets was a solidly Labour sort of place. Would someone, most llikely Al, care to educate me?
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What does the red mean? on: May 28, 2014, 07:36:37 am
To "whip up" means to make something.

And typically also implies doing this quite quickly and effortlessly due to proficiency.
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