We are building a religion. We are building it better… No thanks to the Greens

Despite what some people have said, this election result is terrible.  Hung governments are impotent governments.  I had a lot of sympathy for the ALP; how could anybody achieve their reform agenda when they’ve got an irrationally hostile Senate?  Now they’re going to attempt their agenda with a hostile Senate and House of Representatives.

There were a few good points.  I’m yet to find a seat where the informal vote was lower than the primary vote for the Secular Party.  I’m an atheist and even I can’t stand them.

There were some surprising points.  Check out the distribution of votes for the ALP and the Greens in Melbourne.

ALP Primary: 27,771

Greens Primary: 25,387

ALP 2PP: 31,154

Greens Primary: 39,172

Notice how little the ALP vote changed after preferences?  There were 14 thousand people who voted for the Liberal Party, but the ALP vote doesn’t move nearly that much.  Therefore, the bulk of Liberal voters gave their preferences to the Greens over the ALP.  How extremely weird. Continue reading “We are building a religion. We are building it better… No thanks to the Greens”

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Bum bum bum badee badee bum… Election Day!

So… I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll vote.

I feel like this is less of a choice between candidates and more a choice between voting formally or informally.  Given the lack of candidates in my electorate, I feel like an informal vote is entirely justified.  I don’t support the political options we have and voting informally is a valid form of protest.

At the same time, a lot of the things for which I detest the current government was largely a creation of the Coalition and Greens Party acting in concert.  We shouldn’t be limiting our immigration growth, but the C&G vandals in the upper house have forced us into rather a deplorable public debate.  The inability to act on climate change was similarly a result of their vandalism.  And so on and so forth.  Instead of giving the Greens the balance of power, I think a much better political situation would be ALP dominance in both houses for three years.  Unfortunately, we’ll get the usual unrepresentative swill we always get with the Senate.

I guess I’m in shock that an election between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott could possibly be described as a cliffhanger.

For those of you in Victoria, vote for the Sex Party.  At least they’ve got principles.

He seemed impressed by the way you came in… but the shine wore off under scrutiny

The average voter has no sense of perspective.

Here’s Google’s Public Data account of Australia’s GDP.  Here’s the same at Wolfram Alpha.  Those are some impressive numbers.  We ought to be proud.

Tony Wright of the Sydney Morning Herald noted a comment at one of Tony Abbott’s press conferences:

[O]ne of his inquisitors pointed out that a $6 billion debt – which Abbott says will be Australia’s annual interest payments under continued Labor spending – is about equal on a GDP basis to someone on a wage of $100,000 having a mortgage of only $6000. Abbott himself has a much larger mortgage than this – did it make him a poor financial manager? Well, in short, no.

When he got that final question, he pointed out that Prime Minister Julia Gillard used to say every boat equalled a policy failure. Every boat, he might just as well have said, meant one fewer question on his economic credentials  — Tony Wright.

$6b debt sounds massive, but it’s tiny in comparison to our GDP.

Similarly:

“Remember the $900 cheques? Forty thousand went either overseas or to dead people. I don’t know what economies they were stimulating but it wasn’t the Australian economy. There was a better way to do it.”  — Joe Hockey, ABC News Online

According to the ATO, at least 8.8 million cheques were sent.  Let us imagine that only 8.8 million were sent.  40,000 is only 0.45%.  As far as error rates go, that’s amazing.

Why does this narrative of outlandish mistakes persist?  I don’t remember the media’s pitchforks being waved when Turnbull (then a minister) wasted $10 million on Russian cloud seeding technology.

Switch on the TV. We may pick him up on Channel Two… Lessons unlearned in the election campaign

By all accounts, Tony Abbott’s appearance on the 7:30 Report was a disaster.  While many people saw it as a failure of Abbott to understand technomancy, I saw it more as a failure of communication.  It seems to be a repeated problem for the last few years.

The ETS died a horrible death because few people bothered to explain it in terms which engaged the public.  This caused two problems ripe for exploitation by the vandals of the upper house.

1) There was space for the argument that the world wasn’t warming, thus change was unnecessary.

2) There was space for the argument that the ETS would have been ineffective.

After the various mutinies of the parties, the Coalition exploited (1) and the Greens exploited (2).  Neither, by the way, were true.  The ETS was designed not to shock the system (the ‘It pays big polluters’ argument) and was designed to give the government a lever with regard to emissions (because (1) is obviously false). Continue reading “Switch on the TV. We may pick him up on Channel Two… Lessons unlearned in the election campaign”

We call upon the author to explain… and, egads, we got an answer

Back in ye olde post about the Australian Sex Party’s policies, I noted that one of the policies was to overturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion and remarked that I understood that they had already been overturned.  Given that it was odd that a policy would exist to overturn something that had already been overturned, I decided to write an e-mail to them to ask if my understanding was incorrect.

This is a big deal, by the way, because I generally worry about people who write to political parties.  They’re even worse than the people who write to the newspapers.  ‘You should write to the Prime Minister’ is never uttered by a reasonable and rational person.

What was even weirder was that instead of the ‘Thank you for your letter.  Your letter is important to us.  We have taken note of your letter.  Here is a link to our website.  Good day’ response I was expecting, I got some answers.  It was even more awesome because I admitted in the e-mail that I couldn’t vote for them (no candidates in the ACT) and that I was probably the exact opposite of their target demographic.

I also asked if I could put the answers up, so here they are: Continue reading “We call upon the author to explain… and, egads, we got an answer”