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Comparing American and Australian elections
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February 02, 2016, 12:20:28 PM
Gents, gee whiz, lol,  the US sure know how to turn a simple election into a massive event.   You wonder how many "column inches" of media release will have been generated before the nominees sort themselves out - and then one emerges as the winner. (?)

In Aus, the booths are open that morning (some day later this year), close by 6:00pm, and the result usually known before 10pm the same day.

To say nothing of the fact that our politicians are all prettywell of similar mind and policies.  :)
(and btw, voting is compulsory).

Politics - from the Greek,  Poly = many,
 and tics = blood sucking parasites. 


February 03, 2016, 11:21:24 PM
It's a lot different from the original Greek democracy.

This consisted of three bodies, the Ekklesia, the Boule, and the Dikasteria.

The Ekklesia met about 40 times a year on a hillside outside Athens and consisted of male Athenian citizens older than 18. (Only people, whose parents were citizens, were citizens.) Around the 4th century Athens had a population of about 260,000, of which about 100,000 were citizens (150,000 were slaves and about 10,000 were foreign residents), of which 40,000 were elligible to participate in the legal process, and only about 5,000 men did, as the rest were in the army or the navy or working to support their families.

At the meetings, the Ekklesia made decisions about war and foreign policy, wrote and revised laws and approved or condemned the conduct of public officials.

The Boule consisted of 500 men, 50 from each tribe, who served for a year and were chosen by lottery, not election. They met every day and did most of the hands-on work, but its main job was to to decide, which matters should go before the Ekklesia, so in fact they dictated, how the democracy worked.

The Dikasteria was the courts. Every day, more than 500 jurors were chosen by lot from a pool of male citizens older than 30, and here you could argue any kind of case.

So you see, the original Greek democracy had no election at all.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 11:30:17 PM by magic »

It's a kind of magic!

* February 06, 2016, 11:04:54 AM
Voting the same over the ditch Samdavo. Mind you, we are a country with 4 million - 1/4 of the population of LA. Like any where though, those who talk the most BS get in.

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February 06, 2016, 12:26:16 PM
Actually what annoyed me somewhat was Ted Cruz claiming that when Australia went through its "weapons buy-back' exercise (after the Port Arthur mass shootings, at the time the worst incident of its kind in he world - later to be eclipsed by the Norwegian right wing nutter who killed all those kids on that island), - anyway, Cruz claimed in a debate that after Aus acted on that with massive restrictions on automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and massive buy back of stockpiles of guns and rifles, that the incidence of rape in Aus increased (!!)     I can tell you that women don't 'pack iron' in Aus lol.   And Mr Cruz, if you are going to spin the truth, I'd appreciate it is you chose someone else's stats to twist.   :)


* June 29, 2016, 12:08:22 PM

Serious question, not a joke:

Is voting actually mandatory?

How do you handle the situation where a religion opposes getting involved in the political system?

Please pardon me if I have made a fool of myself.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 03:31:47 AM by LRClifford »


June 30, 2016, 04:46:56 PM
Yep, mandatory / compulsory.  You can be fined if you don't.
Mind you, a fairly high percentage of youngsters who SHOULD be enrolled to vote (i.e. 18th birthday) don't enrol in time.   

I heard a great discussion on voting trends worldwide - a American professor visiting Australia,  Ilya Somin  - follows on from his book on Democracy and political ignorance.  The full talk here :-

Basically he mentions (amongst other things) that, when voting is optional, then eg in USA, people figure they have 1 chance in 9 million of affecting the result (?  or 90 million I forget) - either which way, they figure it's not worth voting.   A smaller number in UK, but same conclusion.  TROUBLE IS, then you get the problem that Britain recently found in BREXIT, where more than 50% of youngsters (who preferred to stay IN) stayed home instead.  And all those small small bits add up.  :)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 04:55:25 PM by samdavo »


June 30, 2016, 05:23:58 PM
PS If you are asking whether religion can be valid grounds for not voting, lol - sorry try telling that to the judge :)   And btw, our judges are chosen independently - we don't have the political appointments that US does. 

BUT - there's a thing called Informal Voting, which is ok.   i.e. you MUST turn up to vote, and have your name crossed off the "book" or books - still done longhand - seems we don't trust computers for voting yet. :)    BUT you can simply say "none of the above", and hand the forms in (one for lower house, one for upper).  Mind you, lol, there's a potential problem - consider if "None of the Above" wins !!!  lol

PS We vote tomorrow by the way, (Saturday) - we have had an 8 week pre-election period since the date was announced, which is about twice as long as normal.  (Compare the US system - more than 12 months of saturation TV / ads etc, lol) -    I enclose a photo of part of a typical form for the upper house, (Senate), - I believe it is the smallest one for the smallest state, Tasmania - which form is still not only ridiculously large, but also the font is ridiculously small.   cheers

PS Final comment - tomorrow's election is a DD (double dissolution) election where both houses are dissolved and in which every seat in the Parliament is contested (instead of the normal method of half the senate carrying on to provide continuity).    Needless to say, it is often misspelt "Double Disillusion" :)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 10:46:25 PM by samdavo »


* July 01, 2016, 04:27:09 AM

Thank you for your reply. I truly found it interesting.

As for the religion question, Jehovah's Witnesses have always maintained a neutral position.

Now for the amount of time running for office. I like what you do in Australia.

My idea is keep it to nine months at the most. That would include announcing you are running up through the final elections.

They should not have intermediate runoffs throughout that time. I say they should do it all one one day. That way one election won't influence the following ones.

Also, the advertising should tell us only what they will do, not telling us all the dirty information about the opponent.

Unfortunately, this will never happen in the US.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 04:28:56 AM by LRClifford »


July 01, 2016, 07:45:27 PM
Howdy LR
I suppose I have to concede that you are voting for a PRESIDENT (!) where we are only voting for a PRIME MINISTER / Govt.   We had a referendum a few years ago to see if we wanted to be a republic - but it failed to get up.   So the Queen of England is also the Queen of Australia (!?)  Nice lady and all that but ... where's our gumption !?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 02:28:50 AM by samdavo »


July 09, 2016, 03:41:03 PM
After a week of counting votes, incl postals etc, we have a result. Now to sit back and once again see the truth of this "bumper sticker".


* July 11, 2016, 05:28:47 AM
Samdavo, We will have the same results of our voting in the USA in November. The big difference difference the politicians have had about 2 years to create the same (and a lot more of the) same stuff. It will be piled higher on our floors. There will be no place to use our shovels to move it to.


July 12, 2016, 05:50:47 PM
LR - believe it or not, the ABC radio in the background (Australian Broadcasting Commission) is currently discussing Donald Trump - and has been for the last hour - amongst other things, the effect it would have on Australia, but also on the entire world.    And comparing him to Reagan (on trade, foreign policy etc etc) -  and almost all previous Presidents, of all persuasions - and to loose cannons, and etc etc .   I'll let you guess how he's faring lol.    The kindest thing they've said is that he is "incapable of understatement"  :)

And - Apparently there is a lot of interest on who will be Vice President - because of the possibility that Trump might walk away from this in the future. (?).   If you don't mind me saying so, you in the US spend one hell of a lot of time choosing the nominees to be President (eg John McCain) - and yet the VP is chosen during a moment of extreme whimsical flippancy (eg Sarah Palin).  (?)  AND yet, the VP (to repeat that old quote, often expressed in the leadup to your 2008 election) is "one heartbeat away from the Presidency" (?)   

I mean, choosing the VP is a bit more important than choosing "the Apprentice" (on TV)  :)

(PS Joe Biden is in Aus this weekend - I hasten to add he comes across as a statesman - and doesn't fit the "whimsical flippancy" quote above :) )
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 05:59:51 PM by samdavo »


July 14, 2016, 04:27:45 PM
PJ O'Rourke is also in Aus this week - (renowned satirist usually favouring the right) -  another interesting take on the current situation (hey I'm just the messenger).  this article from the Daily Beast  :-


October 07, 2016, 02:21:07 AM
Here's a table of
a) US Presidents and their terms (i.e. owns the White House), versus
b) control of Senate and
c) House of Reps.
Interesting that the President can apparently have both a hostile House and a hostile Senate (?)
Australia also has a Senate and a House of Reps , but if the Prime Minster loses control of the House, he soon ends up out of office. 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 02:25:56 AM by samdavo »