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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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26  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which of these languages is the least logical? on: December 04, 2014, 11:20:09 pm
English, but it's no bad thing. The chaos of English is it's greatest advantage.
27  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: December 04, 2014, 10:21:47 pm
It's not the best use of his talents, though, and while the symbolism is nice and all, it doesn't really outweigh the influence he would have longer term as a senator.
28  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: December 04, 2014, 10:12:18 pm
Damn, I was hoping it was headed to Andrew Barr. He'll end up as Chief Minister I suppose?
29  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: December 03, 2014, 11:45:51 pm
The problem with SA is that beyond Hindmarsh, you need really very significant swings to start looking at an of the other seats. I happen to agree that SA will be just about the worst performing state for the coalition come the next election (Victoria the other candidate), but the only other seat under 10% is Boothby (7.12, and as much a chance as Casey). Big swings to Labor in seats they already hold are distinctly possible - 7 percent plus swings in seats to the North of Adelaide (Wakefield, Port Adelaide, Makin) would not be a surprise whatsoever - but there'd have to be a very peculiar result to see the ALP gain more than 2 seats in the state, and even that's a tall order.

That said, it is seats like Boothby than could assist the ALP in going down the populist route demanded by SE Queensland and Western Sydney too heavily. Every Boothby and LaTrobe is one less Forde or Lindsay, and while LaTrobe and Lindsay have a hell of a lot in common, I tend to think  the 4.01 for LaTrobe is far more manageable than the 2.99 for Lindsay. LaTrobe can be swung without too many sweeteners, simply by reminding the voters of the ideology and incompetence of the Coalition; Lindsay will vote for whoever will stop the boats and build a train station or two. Not to say the voters in outer western Sydney are less intelligent than in outer eastern Melbourne, because that's not the case, just that the communities have different expectations from politics and politicians, and this particular government is much further from meeting those expectations in the context of Melbourne's outer East.
30  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Small Island Developing States Elections on: December 03, 2014, 08:57:54 pm
It must be nice not to have to function :p
31  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: December 02, 2014, 11:45:44 pm
The mutterings I've been hearing since before the election are still floating around, although the plan isn't working.

The idea was that Abbott would get everything that the coalition has been wanting to do for 20+ years done, cop the hatred, and in late 2015/early 2016 be medically required to resign. Bishop, free of any of the electoral negatives from the Liberal ideological actions, would step up and be a moderate voice that would get them through the election with no major damage, after passing hugely unpopular measures.

Except the measures are more than hugely unpopular, and in the large part, they haven't be successfully implemented.

-----------

Part of me wants to just call that a conspiracy, but I've heard it from a dozen sources, and sources with no links to each other. Admittedly, all but one from well and truly outside the coalition, most of them from the politically active left. It seems almost too neat. But if it ever was the plan, it's failing spectacularly.

The NSW and WA redistributions still need to happen, but basically Labor needs 21 seats, and they're not all that hard to get.

14 Within 3%:

8 NSW: Banks 1.83, Barton 0.31, Dobell 0.68 (and this was Craig Thompson's seat, so that slim margin is realistically much slimmer) , Eden-Monaro 0.61, Gilmore 2.65 (although this is an aberration I suspect), Lindsay 2.99%, Page 2.52, Reid 0.85

2 QLD: Capricornia 0.77, Petrie 0.53%

1 SA: Hindmarsh 1.89

2 TAS: Braddon 2.56, Lyons 1.22

1 NT: Solomon 1.40

10 Within 5%:

2 NSW: Macquarie 4.48, Robertson 3.00

3 VIC: Corangamite 3.94, Deakin 3.18, LaTrobe 4.01

3 QLD: Bonner 3.69, Brisbane 4.28, Forde 4.38

1 WA: Hasluck 4.87

1 TAS: Bass 4.04

Add in Bennelong which will likely become significantly more ALP friendly if the redistribution does what is expected and removes Hunter, shifting other seats down into the North of Sydney, and pushing Bennelong west, and the new WA seat which will likely come from potentially friendly areas on Western Perth (friendly in a WA relative sense), or at least make Swan and Hasluck friendlier to the ALP, and the loss of Hunter can kind of be called a wash I think. I also think the Victorian seats of Aston (8.20%), Casey (7.17%), and especially Dunkley (5.57%) are sneaky chances, as Abbott and company seem to have governed like the exact opposite of what would be wished for by Victorian moderates. That said, the Libs did manage to pick up seats in Victoria in 2013, although they lost 2010 largely because of not being able at the time to convince the people of seats like Deakin, La Trobe, and Corangamite to tolerate and trust Abbott.

It's not an easy road to travel when you require a uniform 4.3% swing against a first term government to be elected (insert asterisk for redistributions), but it's not impossible either - especially against this particular government.
32  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: December 01, 2014, 04:09:38 am
I tend to think it'll be ALP and Liberal, based on nothing but my gut Tongue

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I'm feeling kind of mixed about the result. Labor did not deserve to win, but as is the case in most elections in Australia, and pretty much everywhere, the government had to prove it deserved to stay in and it failed utterly to do so.

So we've got Daniel (sorry, Dan) Andrews as Premier, and he doesn't deserve it. But the Libs had four years to build a case for re-election, and they failed to do so. I think there are three big reasons for the loss.

They weren't helped by the fact that people simply don't pay attention to state politics unless it's a scandal. The good things that were done were essentially invisible, and only the controversial things stood out. This happened to the Brumby government in 2010, too, and is generally counterbalanced by the unedifying use of taxpayer money for advertising by the government of the day, of either colour, to sell it's message.

They were absolutely not helped by the federal government. Yes, voters are able to distinguish between state and federal politics, but the federal Liberal party is so utterly detested by Victorians (especially moderates) that it certainly had a huge effect. Tony Abbott's very limited contributions to the debate down here hurt way more than they helped. This new brand of rah rah populist conservatism mike work in NSW and QLD, and in a few outer suburban seats of Victoria, but it doesn't play at all well in Prahran, or Albert Park, or even Carrum or Yan Yean.

Federally, I'm unequivocally on the left, but at the state level I think I'm more nuanced. A bad Labor candidate will get my vote ahead of a bad liberal, and the same for a combo of good ALP/Liberal, but a good Lib will go above a bad Labor.  If it was a gubernatorial election, for example, I'd've voted for Napthine. Which brings me to the third point. The Liberals knew that Napthine was an asset, and made their campaign all about him. All you ever saw was his face, 'the Napthine Liberals' etc etc., while in the meantime the ALP was running a huge ground game of face to face contact, with the footsoldiers working not on electing Daniel Andrews, but on electing Neil Pharoah, or Sonya Kilkenny, or Danielle Green. In those seats, the Liberals were actually reasonably good at having high candidate visibility, especially Clem Newton-Brown in Prahran (which is why he's still in the hunt), but basically the statewide narrative from the Liberals was very much Napthine vs Andrews, and from Labor it was very much Labor vs the government, and here have a flyer with the nice face of your local Labor candidate.

What makes that so appalling is the number of Labor candidates who don't live in the electorate they were running for, but hey, it worked.

------------

I also want to say I was really disappointed by the hand-out-the-vote people at my booth. We had a green, a liberal, and a labor representative.

The Green was skirting the rules pretty badly and had to be pulled up a couple of times. She would stand at the gate to the school, and shake people's hands as they were about to head in, demanding their attention lest they be incredibly rude and not shake an outstretched hand. I was not a fan.

The Liberals had two women, the first between 8-1 or so, who essentially coralled the other two like a mother hen, making sure they had sunscreen and water and weren't breaking any rules. She was clearly a bit of a character, but a positive one, and she was respectful of the voters. The afternoon one was a bit of a wallflower and left by three o clock, leaving the Lib HTV cards in a box on a chair, after asking if the other two would be OK with handing them out, To which the green said "I'm happy to tell people they're there, but I can't hand them out' - fair enough, I guess - and the ALP guy said 'no worries'. And then proceeded to absolutely not do, and didn't even tell people about them when asked. His line was 'Clearly the Liberals don't care about *insert booth name here*, but Labor has a plan for this area and Victoria', or variations on that theme. Anyway, second liberal really shouldn't have left, but we didn't have many voters after 3 anyway.

The Labor guy was also our only scrutineer for the count, and was fine in theory, although I was very disappointed that he wasn't prepared to do the right thing and hand out the Liberal cards along with the Labor ones. To be honest, that simple lack of an action would have changed my first preference vote away from Labor and on to the Green or Voice for the West candidate, cos I didn't think his party deserved my $2.13 after that Tongue But he was fine in the scrutineering, the only significant issue was a vote for Singh that had a clear 2-3-4-5, and a pretty clear intent on the 1, but basically there was a 5 in the box that was crossed out, then a 1 was written in the box too and part of the scrubbing out of the 5 overlapped a tiny bit of the 1. I can't say what ended up happening with the vote, but I thought it was a bit ridiculous to challenge it.
33  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: November 29, 2014, 07:25:47 am
Of th 713 votes cast, we had less than 40 as valid below the line Tongue
34  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: November 27, 2014, 11:59:32 pm
Electorate names are in the colour of the current party that holds the seat.

Albert Park - My former home turf. Martin Foley should never feel completely comfortable, but he will be re-elected here. Quick nod to the Libs for putting up a very high quality candidate for the second election in a row. This is the kind of seat that is no longer Labor heartland, but will never be Liberal heartland either. I'd say it and Prahran are almost brotherly seats, with Albert Park the more lefty of the pair. Still, it feels like in future it will be a more marginal seat, although once Fisherman's Bend is developed and this seat shifts to cover more Elwood-St Kilda-Sth Melbourne-Middle Park-Albert Park-as much as is required of Port Melbourne, it might actually be good news for the ALP. Elwood is Labor friendly, and while the western fringes of Port Melbourne are too, Southbank is not particularly and there's no reason to think that Port Melbourne's rapidly collapsing ALP vote will abate in the near future. Anyway, enough waffle. ALP[/]b 1-0-0

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Just as I was about to move on, I got a call to work the election. Past political posts are fine, but I can't comment anything as of now until it's all done and dusted. Im going to bend the rules and post the Albert Park writeup cos it was written beforehand Tongue
35  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: November 24, 2014, 07:12:56 pm
Just a quick note on the East-West link. I think a lot of people like the idea of it, probably a significant majority. You lose some of that support when it's presented as an either/or with th metro rail project, with the understanding that only one of the two can be afforded, and you lose further still by the fact it will be a toll road and the tolls are not yet known.

Personally, I thik it should be built, but not as a toll road. One of the best competitive advantages Melbourne has over Sydney is the ease of movement around the city, largely without dividing us with toll roads. At present, the toll roads we do have are more convenience routes than primary routes, and while you can still go overland for free if the E/W link is built, just as you can go most of the citylink route without paying tolls if you're OK with traffic lights, the changes proposed for when the tunnel is built will make it harder than it already is - and driving across the top of Melbourne is already an absolutely nightmare most of the time. I really don't think that's wise.

That said, it is a nightmare through there, and something needs to be done. If the only way to afford it is tolls, then that's still better than nothing. But surely there has to be another way.

---------------------

As for my vote, now to be cast in the returning seat of Werribee (kind of disappointed not to be voting in Albert Park, much higher calibre of candidates), I've done my candidate checklist, and I have it all sorted. Lower house Labor/Greens 1/2 or vice versa, probably Labor 1st, then Liberal, Australian Christians, and 'Voice for the West'.

Upper house I first sent all those who live outside the Western Metro region down to the bottom of the list of 40-something. There is no excuse that with 11 seats to choose candidates from, the ALP is running a guy from Northcote in an unlikely but possible third position on their ticket.

Then there are the parties that I want nothing to do with - Rise Up Australia etc. - followed by people who I just really don't want to see in parliament. So the top two candidates for Labor, Cesar Melhem (possibly the most wretched knobhead in the state) and Khalil Eideh (better only by comparison) are turfed out, along with a few of the more bizarre minor candidates, and Bernie Finn, the first Liberal, who is kind of OKlahoma conservative in a region that is unerringly ALP at the lower level).

After that it's a bit of a cull of the rest of Labor, the Libs, and the Greens, cos it's pretty much locked in that we'll end up with 2 ALP, 2 Coalition, and 1 Green and none of the 5 who will get in are all that remarkable. The second Liberal gets highest on the list of the five current members, partly because he seems reasonably competent and benign, and partly because if any of the five seats do fall it's probably his, and to someone like the DLP, PUP or whatever, and also that having Bernie Finn as the only voice form the right for the whole of the West of Melbourne is an appalling prospect.

Then the seem-like-good-people-running-for-good-causes people, ending wit a number one for Vicki Nash from the Sex Party Tongue

Also the lead PUP candidate actually seems like a thoroughly good candidate and a potentially excellent member, but I just can't get on board that trainwreck of a vanity party.
36  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: November 24, 2014, 06:40:52 pm
The early voting hours are ridiculous.

Not being able to vote between the Saturday and Thursday of election week is bloody stupid. I assume it's about being cost effective but once you open early voting, it really should be available every day until the election, especially every day of the week before it.
37  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Australian Federal Redistribution 2016 on: November 15, 2014, 10:31:15 pm
Beazley is a far more important name in WA, of course, but it's probably time for an aboriginal name in WA, or to bring back Kalgoorlie, push O'Connor heavily into Forrest, Canning, and Pearce... nah, too complex.

Looking at that link and adding a bit of my own thoughts to it, it looks like the solution might be for Hasluck to extend it's northern boundary a bit into Pearce, and maybe take a small chunk out of Perth and/or Swan, and maybe even a bit of Cowan; the southern part of Hasluck becoming the core of the new seat along with pockets of Tangney, Fremantle, and a reasonable chunk of Canning; Canning taking in a bit of Brand and Forrest.

In NSW, it's hard to see where the removal should be, although Greenway/Mitchell might be candidates, even though that's part of the Sydney growth area? Maybe Bennelong? Hunter does seem like a reasonable but unfortunate choice.
38  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2014 Selfie Creepfest/Post a picture of yourself thread on: November 12, 2014, 07:35:24 pm
Good on you Smiley
39  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: November 12, 2014, 07:22:53 pm
Nah, Obama can hold his arms back while Abbott does the punching. I posted it in the Aus thread, but I'll post it here too, Russia has sent warships to sit off the coast of QLD during the G20 meeting, and that offends me deeply.

Plus what does he think is going to happen if they actually engage? The US and Australia are the firmest of allies, and there is no way a missile on Bundaberg isn't met with one on Omsk, from the US, UK, or whoever. All it is is bullying and posturing and I can't believe Putin is so readily prepared to trash his nation's image further, after they shot down and killed 38 Australians, with such a stupid act.
40  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: November 12, 2014, 07:14:20 pm
There's a fleet of Russian warships off the coast of Queensland ahead of the G20, and while I know I'm playing into various people's hands... I'm offended. Really offended. How dare Russia attempt to put fear into Australian hearts after our (generally idiotic) leaders refuse to roll over on the death of 38 of us after the plane was shot down.

Abbott, you pugilistic SOB, you now have my permission to eschew diplomacy and to shirtfront Putin in a way he won't forget.
41  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Teaching elections for a living on: November 07, 2014, 07:28:07 pm
Congratulations on finding a niche that will satisfy you, it's not easy! Good luck Smiley
42  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Is the term "intelligentsia" offensive? on: November 07, 2014, 07:12:32 pm
No but the spelling is.
43  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: November 07, 2014, 11:44:00 am
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/07/ukraine-russian-military-column-east

"A column of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer artillery systems and trucks carrying ammunition and fighters has crossed into eastern Ukraine from Russia, the Kiev military said on Friday.

“The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the frontlines,” spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing referring to Thursday’s cross-border incursion.

Nato said it has seen an increase in Russian troops and equipment along the Ukraine border was looking into the reports. “We are aware of the reports of Russian troops and tanks crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia,” a Nato military officer told Reuters. “If this crossing into Ukraine is confirmed it would be further evidence of Russia’s aggression and direct involvement in destabilising Ukraine.”

..."
44  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Does Ireland have the best traffic safety videos? on: November 01, 2014, 12:17:04 pm
It's like... I couldn't produce better satire of road safety ads if I tried.

Mixed race children behaving perfectly in nature, overacting guy in 'normal person' car inexplicably loses control in a way completely impossible at the shown speed and corner and enters hollywood triple twister roll, squish goes the chiddlers... and then 'shame on you'.
45  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Belgian ministers and their role model function ... on: November 01, 2014, 12:08:35 pm
I don't think her weight disqualify her, but I don't know enough about her opinions and propossed to say whether she should be minister of health.

Yup.
46  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Russia invades Estonia (a what if, not real, calm down) on: November 01, 2014, 12:05:58 pm
NATO retakes all of Estonia, refuses to cross into Russia unless Russia refuses peace.
47  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Does Ireland have the best traffic safety videos? on: November 01, 2014, 04:10:52 am
Am I meant to laugh at the first one? Cos I did Tongue
48  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: New Zealand's Prime Minister favors changing the flag on: October 30, 2014, 08:49:27 pm
If Australia ever goes communist, it would be with the Eureka flag , maybe the central star in red.
49  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: New Zealand's Prime Minister favors changing the flag on: October 29, 2014, 08:10:48 am
which is another good reason to change the flags of Australia and/or New Zealand, especially the latter. If the flag is hanging in a particular way, it could be any British colonial ensign.

I think it ould be sufficiently unique in having such a dominant blue field as to be identifiable without the SoCro showing, and considering that the bast majority of interactions with the flag these days is in flat representations online/tv/etc (like, 98% of the time you see the Australian flag, it isn't being flown, especially outside Australia) I think this is one of those conventions that are nice in theory but not really important in the modern world.
50  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: New Zealand's Prime Minister favors changing the flag on: October 27, 2014, 05:55:06 am
I support the southern cross on blue for Australia, and the silver fern for New Zealand.

While I quite like having the Southern Cross in it's current position and the left half of the flag simply left blank, like so:



...placing it in the middle would be OK.
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