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April 27, 2015, 03:43:09 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who Would You Have Supported In the Falklands War on: Today at 08:28:32 am
UK, without a doubt.
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Gubernatorial Race: Cuomo (D) vs. Astorino (R) on: April 26, 2015, 09:10:31 am
Astorino
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1959 General Election - Austrian Election Series on: April 25, 2015, 07:39:52 pm
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite Commonwealth on: April 25, 2015, 07:39:10 pm

Also, write-in Commonwealth of Australia, and Commonwealth of Nations.
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Alberta 2015 on: April 25, 2015, 05:34:41 am
Wildrose very enthusiastically, obviously.
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the Preceding Politician V 2.0 on: April 22, 2015, 08:35:26 am
HP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ewart_Gladstone
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Scott Walker on: April 22, 2015, 02:22:47 am
FF, one of the five best governors in the US. He's done an admirable job of keeping focused and carrying out his campaign platform in the face of an unhinged opposition, lawless protestors, and a nakedly political investigation that has terrorized his supporters for years. Can't wait for him to be President.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favourite Odd Couple on: April 21, 2015, 10:49:59 am
The new one is pretty good, but I like Perry and Tom Lennon.

Did you mean to say the old one is pretty good? Perry and Lennon are in the new one.

Interesting to see a vote for Glass & Wilson - I've never seen Barney Miller, although Wilson was excellent on Sanford & Son. Maybe they were a good Odd Couple, and just given re-hashed scripts.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Kentucky vs Tennessee on: April 21, 2015, 08:51:29 am
Like Both, going for Tennessee because of the Grand Ol' Opry and Tennessee barbecue.
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the Preceding Politician V 2.0 on: April 21, 2015, 07:07:52 am
FF!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Askin
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Favourite Odd Couple on: April 20, 2015, 07:08:04 am
So I've been watching the new version of The Odd Couple (with Perry & Lennon), and while I enjoy it (the only modern sitcom I do enjoy), I still prefer the original TV series from the 1970s, with Randall and Klugman.

Your thoughts, Atlas?
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: UK General Election, 2015, in St. Ives on: April 20, 2015, 05:16:16 am
Thomas.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: April 2015 At-large Senate Election on: April 17, 2015, 11:36:37 pm
1. North Carolina Yankee
14  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - 2011 (Includes Referendum) on: April 17, 2015, 12:16:59 pm
rip carbon tax :'-(

Oh well...

Next three years will be interesting though... for starters, as I stated earlier, Clive Palmer WILL be involved in the next election somehow. Don't want to spoil anything else though!
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - 2011 (Includes Referendum) on: April 17, 2015, 12:01:31 pm
Voting is now closed, thank you all for your participation as usual. Very impressed with the turnout in this election!
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If you had to choose one of these labels to describe yourself... on: April 17, 2015, 11:37:14 am
Neither term really suits me, for the same reason as Carpetbagger stated, but Moderate Hero I guess.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1956 General Election - Austrian Election Series on: April 17, 2015, 11:35:32 am
VdU, given that the Nazis have fled for the FPÖ.
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - 2011 (Includes Referendum) on: April 17, 2015, 04:32:30 am
Bump, with a reminder that voting closes in 7 1/2 hours.
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 2004 Presidential Election on: April 16, 2015, 10:02:08 am
Dick Armey.
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Gun Owners of America on: April 15, 2015, 07:25:32 pm
FO.
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of George Galloway on: April 15, 2015, 09:45:32 am
Abysmal.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - 2011 (Includes Referendum) on: April 14, 2015, 07:20:36 pm
Conservative (but ugh on tough on crime), and YES
^^^
The Anticapitalist Alliance has officially lost it, I might add.

Good old Ms. Rhiannon haha

Anyway, Natural Law (although I do hope KRudd plays an enormous role in the next update). Next time around, though, I'm definitely in it for Clive Palmer.

I'll make sure I include Palmer somehow in the next entry (which, barring anything unexpected, will be the final election in this series).

Also, forgot to mention, voting is open until at 1AM AWST on the 18th of April.
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - Master Thread on: April 14, 2015, 11:47:35 am
Swine flu ravaged the world that June, and unfortunately, Australia was no exception to its wrath – 191 Australians passed away as a result of the disease, and airports, upon news of the disease’s outbreak, amped up their health security screening. In September, major dust storms ravaged Australia, and Prime Minister Hockey, along with Opposition Leader Rudd, apologized to the “Forgotten Australians”, namely children who were forced to emigrate to Australia from the UK, this practice continued until the 1960s. These children were severely neglected in government-run care centres, and UK PM Gordon Brown followed suit early in 2010.

Cuts to company taxes were announced in 2010 as part of the budget, along with the Prime Minister re-stating that “Next year, we will pursue the long-awaited tax reform we promised back in 2008”. Some on the right of the Conservative Party, like Alex Hawke, were eager to get on with the reforms, and some in the likes of Family First, namely deputy party leader Bob Day, believed the proposed reforms did not go far enough.

March 2010 saw Labor reduced to a hung parliament in South Australia, relying on a rural MP to stay in office, and retain government in Tasmania, although the Conservatives won a plurality of seats on the Apple Isle. Opposition Leader Rudd stated that “Our wins in South Australia and Tasmania has demonstrated that voters aren’t all that happy with the Tories”, despite the reduced majorities and vulnerability at the next elections. The NSW ALP government, now under Premier Kristina Keneally, went into minority not long afterwards, having lost two seats at by-elections since 2007. Later in 2010, a Conservative government was elected in Victoria, although with only a small majority, reflecting a small swing since 2006.

2010 also saw the revealing of the site for the second Sydney airport, by PM Hockey and NSW Premier Keneally, with construction expected to commence in 2012. The airport would be located in outer western Sydney, in Badgerys Creek. While many were satisfied about the airport and associated transport upgrades, some in the area were skeptical about the new jobs, and worries of moving congestion, rather than fixing the problem. Many in Sydney, in particular, welcomed the news that Kingsford Smith’s days of over congestion had a definite end in sight. On an economic note, two years after the global financial crisis, unemployment had risen to 5.3% in the middle of 2009, although was back down to 4.4% by the middle of 2010 and continuing to decline. Opposition Leader Rudd hit out at the government, with “Reckless free-market measures, such as what has been undertaken by this government, harm some of society’s weakest”. Hockey hit back with “You have to remember, we have gone through a global financial crisis, and conditions are improving for all Australians, and will continue to improve, particularly once the mining tax is gone!” Those on the far left, particularly Lee Rhiannon, dismissed Rudd’s statement as “fluff”.

On the 17th of October, 2010, Mary MacKillop was made a saint. MacKillop was an Australian nun who founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, a congregation which provided educational and welfare services to the poor, particularly in rural Australia, where St Mary lived for much of her life. Major floods dominated the headlines of the Australian media as 2011 dawned, with savage flooding in Queensland and Victoria, in the case of Queensland, the flooding commenced in the previous year. 40 people had their lives claimed, another 9 were declared missing, and the damage bill was estimated to be in excess of AU$4 billion. After consulting with the NSW and QLD Premiers, PM Hockey announced that in addition to the Natural Disaster Fund, some spending cuts would occur, and all revenue from the carbon dioxide tax, due for major reform, would go towards the rebuilding programme.

Amidst the background of more extreme weather, including heatwaves and fires in Perth, and severe thunderstorms in Victoria, the NSW Government was defeated in a massive landslide by the Barry O’Farrell-led Conservatives, who won 75 seats in the 93-member chamber, and forced Premier Keneally to preferences. The government had been in power since 1995, and had been mired in various scandals, including bribes, corruption, and illicit activities. Around this time, in preparation for the 2011 budget, the mining tax repeal and carbon tax reduction bills were finally introduced to the Parliament. Say Yes protests, supporters of which came out into the streets to support measures to tackle climate change, commenced not long after the government made the announcement, and the nation was seemingly divided – 48% supported the government, while 42% supported the protests, the remainder uncommitted.

The legislation passed the House easily, although came into more trouble in the Senate – The Democrats refused to pass the carbon tax bill in its form, to the point where it was decided to take it to the next election, in the form of a referendum, given that the next election was due by February of 2012 at the very latest. The mining tax bill was passed, following some tweaking, in June of 2011. Other measures on the table in the final year of the parliamentary term were proposed tax breaks for families with children, and increased cyber security standards.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, or CHOGM, was held in Perth in October of 2011, and was hosted by Prime Minister Joe Hockey. Major topics discussed included how the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II should be celebrated, reformation of the rules of royal succession, and most importantly, develop a charter of Commonwealth values, called the Charter of the Commonwealth. This was aimed at reinforcing shared values, and censuring member states, should serious violations occur. Leading up to the election, Australia’s unemployment was down to 3.6% in November of 2011, consumer confidence was beginning to track up, after hitting a low at the start of 2010, and the nation seemed to be getting on in the three years since the global financial crisis broke out.

Referendum question:

“Do you support repealing the carbon dioxide tax?”
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - Master Thread on: April 14, 2015, 11:47:03 am
















In the largest two-party preferred swing since 2PP records begun to be officially kept in 1945, the Joe Hockey-led Conservative Party soared from third to first place, and buoyed by Rural Voice and Family First preferences, won government after only one term in opposition. Excluding the Brown Government, which ended due to a motion of no confidence, the last time a first-term government was defeated was 1948, when Labor under Ben Chifley defeated the Robert Menzies-led United Australia Party. The Democrats made a modest recovery, although nowhere near their numbers in the 1999-2005 period, Natural Law took a beating, losing over half their seats, and both Family First and the new Rural Voice won seats in both chambers, the latter wiping the Patriotic Front out.

In terms of seats, here's a summary of each state's results from the 2008 election in the House of Representatives:
New South Wales (68 seats) – 37 Conservative, 20 Labor, 7 Natural Law, 2 Anticapitalist Alliance, 2 Family First
Victoria (52 seats) – 26 Conservative, 12 Labor, 7 Natural Law, 5 Democrats, 2Family First
Queensland (35 seats) – 19 Conservative, 9 Labor, 5 Rural Voice, 2 Natural Law
Western Australia (18 seats) – 12 Conservative, 4 Labor, 2 Rural Voice
South Australia (17 seats) – 6 Conservative, 6 Democrats,  2 Labor, 2 Natural Law, 1Family First
Tasmania (5 seats) – 3 Conservative, 2 Natural Law
Australian Capital Territory (3 seats) – 2 Natural Law, 1 Labor
Northern Territory (2 seats) – 1 Labor, 1 Conservative
Total – 81 Labor, 56 Natural Law, 50 Conservative, 4 Democrats, 4 Patriotic Front, 4 Anticapitalist Alliance , 1 Independent

Here's the Senate summary from 2005:
New South Wales: 2 Labor, 2 Natural Law, 1 Conservative, 1 Anticapitalist Alliance
Victoria: 2 Conservative, 2 Labor, 1 Family First, 1 Natural Law
Queensland: 2 Conservative, 2 Labor , 1 Patriotic Front, 1 Natural Law
South Australia: 2 Labor, 1 Democrats, 1 Family First, 1 Conservative, 1 Natural Law,
Western Australia: 2 Conservative, 2 Labor, 2 Natural Law
Tasmania: 2 Natural Law, 2 Labor, 2 Conservative
Total: 12 Labor, 10 Conservative, 9 Natural Law, 2 Family First, 1 Democrats, 1 Patriotic Front, 1 Anticapitalist Alliance

Here's the Senate summary from 2008:
New South Wales: 2 Conservative, 1 Labor, 1 Family First, 1 Rural Voice, 1 Natural Law
Victoria: 2 Conservative, 1Family First, 1 Democrats, 1 Natural Law, 1 Labor
Queensland: 2 Conservative, 2 Rural Voice, 1 Labor, 1 Natural Law
South Australia:, 2 Conservative, 2 Democrats, 1 Family First, 1 Natural Law
Western Australia: 2 Conservative, 1 Rural Voice, 1 Labor, 1 Family First, 1 Democrats
Tasmania: 2 Natural Law, 2 Democrats, 2 Conservative
Australian Capital Territory: 1 Natural Law, 1 Labor
Northern Territory: 1 Conservative, 1 Labor
Total: 13 Conservative, 7 Natural Law, 6 Democrats, 6 Labor, 4 Rural Voice, 4 Family First

Summary of 2008 election:

House of Representatives
Conservative – 104 (+54)
Labor – 49 (-32)
Natural Law – 22 (-34)
Democrats – 11 (+7)
Rural Voice – 7 (+7)
Family First – 5 (+5)
Anticapitalist Alliance – 2 (-2)
Patriotic Front – 0 (-4)

Senate
2005: 12 Labor, 10 Conservative, 9 Natural Law, 2 Family First, 1 Democrats, 1 Patriotic Front, 1 Anticapitalist Alliance
2008: 13 Conservative, 7 Natural Law, 6 Democrats, 6 Labor, 4 Rural Voice, 4 Family First
Total: 23 Conservative, 18 Labor, 16 Natural Law, 7 Democrats, 6 Family First, 4 Rural Voice, 1 Anticapitalist Alliance, 1 Patriotic Front

Two-party preferred vote: 53.33-46.67

Former Prime Minister Simon Crean and Deputy Prime Minister Kerry Nettle immediately resigned from their leadership positions, although while Crean retired from Parliament, Nettle remained an MP. Labor elected Queenslander Kevin Rudd as leader, while Sarah Hanson-Young from South Australia became the new Natural Law leader. Following her defeat in Parliament, Pauline Hanson resigned as leader of the Patriotic Front, stating that "You'll be sorry when you regretted not listening to me!", and was replaced by Senator Rosa Lee Long, elected in 2005.

The new government, while winning a majority in the House of Representatives, the first time a single party did so since the 1973 election, was going to have a rougher ride in the Senate - even if all the Rural Voice and Family First Senators voted with the Conservatives, the government would still be five votes short of a majority. This would mean many negotiations across party lines would occur, and a rocky ride was about to begin for new Prime Minister Joe Hockey. President Paul Keating also announced his resignation, the Parliament elected Malcolm Turnbull to succeed him.

With unemployment at 4.5% at the end of 2008, PM Hockey stated “There will be no stimulus packages, we cannot afford to recklessly add to our national debt, which our grandchildren could be paying off!” Very early into the new government’s term would witness a natural disaster so catastrophic, not even deficit hawk Hockey could say no to extra money to rebuild. This disaster would become known as the Black Saturday bushfires, which ravaged much of Victoria on the 7th of February, 2009, claiming 173 lives, injuring another 414, and costing the region a total of $4.4 billion. The last of the fires would not go out for over a month, leaving much of central Victoria ravaged. Plans to eliminate the mining tax and reform the carbon tax were thus deferred for another two years, all the revenue from these taxes would go to recovery efforts, along with the funds from the National Disaster Fund. This got wide approval form voters across the spectrum, although some on the far-left believed it was a stunt that didn’t address the real issue, while some on the far-economic right did not approve of the financial measures taken.

The petrol tax cut would still go ahead though, and easily passed the House of Representatives in February of 2009. The Senate, however, was a lot tougher – Labor and Natural Law refused to pass it, while the Democrats, still remembering when they assisted the Conservatives in government from 1999-2005, were wary. Requiring an extra five votes, the Democrats blocked the initial proposal, although after negotiations, agreed to a lesser reduction of the petrol tax. The following month witnessed a state election in Queensland, in which the Labor government, led by Anna Bligh, was forced into minority. While Opposition Leader Rudd exclaimed “This is a sign that the federal government is already losing popularity”, the government had won a massive majority last time, and Premier Bligh was still fairly popular.

Western Australia said no to daylight saving for a third time on the 16th of May, amidst the government’s first budget.  While the mining/carbon tax reforms were put on hold to assist with the Black Saturday fires, other measures, such as the aforementioned petrol tax cut, and various other tweaks, namely enforcement of means testing of welfare payments, were negotiated, although the Democrats ensured amendments were made, stating “we don’t cave for anyone anymore”. Various “red and green tape cutting” measures, as PM Hockey described them, were also announced.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: AK's Australian Election Series - 2011 (Includes Referendum) on: April 14, 2015, 11:29:29 am
The legislation passed the House easily, although came into more trouble in the Senate – The Democrats refused to pass the carbon tax bill in its form, to the point where it was decided to take it to the next election, in the form of a referendum, given that the next election was due by February of 2012 at the very latest. The mining tax bill was passed, following some tweaking, in June of 2011. Other measures on the table in the final year of the parliamentary term were proposed tax breaks for families with children, and increased cyber security standards.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, or CHOGM, was held in Perth in October of 2011, and was hosted by Prime Minister Joe Hockey. Major topics discussed included how the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II should be celebrated, reformation of the rules of royal succession, and most importantly, develop a charter of Commonwealth values, called the Charter of the Commonwealth. This was aimed at reinforcing shared values, and censuring member states, should serious violations occur. Leading up to the election, Australia’s unemployment was down to 3.6% in November of 2011, consumer confidence was beginning to track up, after hitting a low at the start of 2010, and the nation seemed to be getting on in the three years since the global financial crisis broke out.

An election has been called for the 4th of December, 2011.

Party platforms at this election:

Conservative Party – Prime Minister Joe Hockey and the Conservatives are running on further market-based reforms, abolition of the carbon and petrol taxes,  privatization of some of the national health system, although ensuring Medicare would stay, ruling out any government Internet filter, and tougher penalties on crimes, particularly drug-related and gang-related crimes. The Conservatives’ 2011 slogan is “We Can Only Go Up From Here”.

Labor Party – Opposition Minister Kevin Rudd and Labor are running on stimulus measures for working class families, retention of the carbon tax as it is, a promise not to increase the petrol tax, more investment in transport, education, and the Internet, and an increase in alcohol and tobacco taxes. Labor’s slogan for the 2011 election is “For Australia’s Working Families”, although “Kevin ‘11” has been employed as a secondary slogan.

Natural Law Party – Sarah Hanson-Young and the Natural Law Party are campaigning on increased rights for those coming to Australia on asylum seeker boats, a strong passion of Hanson-Young, increasing the carbon tax, increasing all taxes except the GST, which would be repealed under a Natural Law government, taxes on high earnings, tighter environmental regulations, and a repeal of the 1979 amendments to the Constitution, namely those guaranteeing free speech and state/local government rights. Natural Law's 2011 slogan is "Go Green, Go For Natural Greatness".

Australian Democrats – Natasha Stott Despoja and the Democrats are again running on a centrist platform, and Despoja is highlighting how the Democrats cannot be taken for granted, as the preceding term of government has displayed, to quote Despoja. The Democrats’ 2011 platform contains plans for further upgrades to the Internet network of the nation, a study into domestic violence, and a commitment not to privatize anything else, stating that “the public/private balance of Australia is about right”. The Democrats' 2011 slogan is "For A Fairer Future, Vote Democrat".

Rural Voice – Bob Katter and Rural Voice are again running on a very rural platform, similar to much of prior National Party platforms. Katter still supports local manufacturing strongly, and increasing tariffs as a result, a ban on importing fruit and vegetables, with the exception of those that cannot be grown in Australia, and more strident processing of asylum seekers. Rural Voice’s 2011 slogan is “Without Farmers, Australia Grinds To A Halt”.

Family First – Steve Fielding and Family First are running on proposing an amendment to the Constitution which would protect life from conception, lowering of taxes across the board, particularly a cut in the company tax, removal of GST on services like marriage counseling, and stricter penalties on drug, alcohol and gang related crimes. Family First's 2011 slogan is "For Strong Families, Values and Australia".

Anticapitalist Alliance – Lee Rhiannon and the Anticapitalist Alliance are running on increasing the carbon and mining taxes, an income tax increase to 99% for all those earning above $100,000 a year, a complete ban on recreational fishing, shutting down all coal-fired power stations, restricting families to having one child, with forced abortions to be mandatory on any children after that, and the general hard-left platform of years gone by. The Anticapitalist Alliance’s 2011 slogan is “Better Late Than Never".

Referendum question:

“Do you support repealing the carbon dioxide tax?”

Me: Tory , although Family First are still tempting, and YES.
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