Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bradfield By-election

I recently found via Toxic Custard (a blog from before blogs, this guy had a weekly email of his life and other stuff back when I was in high school) Antony Green's Blog (Antony Green is the ABC's elections guru) which is quite an interesting read. I've especially found interesting some of the posts about the Bradfield by-election.

This by-election will have a record equaling 22 candidates. This however doesn't mean that a significant diversity of views are represented by the candidates. 11 candidates are standing for the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) led by Fred Niles. This is generally seen as a publicity stunt, since there is no way they are likely to win, and splitting the vote 11 ways is not going to help with this. It will however increase the number of invalid votes, as with 22 boxes to be correctly numbered, the odds of innocent mistakes are going to be a lot higher than for the average election. Helping the CDP is the fact that one of their candidates is listed first on the ballot, so they will probably gain a bit from the donkey voters.

Also running in this by-election, although with only one candidate, is the Australian Sex Party. I was unaware of this party's existence, which is understandable since it is a rather new party. Having looked at their policies they seem pretty reasonable. The worst I can say of them is that some will depend on how they're implemented whether I think they're good or not. There are also a few which stray from the focus you'd expect the Australian Sex Party to have, but getting rid of tax exemptions for religious organizations is definitely something I support.

This is a stark contrast to my reaction to the CDP's policies. Deporting muslims who look at you funny, refusing to take action on the environment, web censorship, hiring the Fiji Navy to stop people smugglers, and more. The only one that almost sounds good is giving every Australian a free 4G mobile phone to use with no phone bills. The only problems are, 1 we'll still have to pay for this with taxes instead of just paying a bill, 2 we're still building the 3G network and a 4G network is a fair while off into the future.

Anyway, I won't go on any more, as no one I know has a vote in the electorate.

On another note, I will try to post at a more frequent rate in the coming weeks. I've been very slack this year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's been wasting my time

Several things have been conspiring to eat up my time when I have better things to do with it (or not as the case may be).

First, Google Reader has a delightful new time waster. In addition to all the stuff you've subscribed to, you can now read through a feed of all the popular stuff. I've found a fair bit of interesting stuff in there. My Life is Average has a bit of the feel of the long lost, but without the perversion and disgustingness. The feed of popular stuff also includes a bit of essentially duplicate content, with different sources covering news from different perspectives. YouTube also tends to show up a fair bit.

National Novel Writing Month should be eating up most of my time, but alas, it would seem that I am once again doomed to fail at getting 50,000 words written during the month of November. And I have a lovely leather bound notebook from Barcelona and a fountain pen from Notre Dame to do the writing with. (Fountain pens are not that easy to write with for someone used to ball point pens. The fact that the feather fell off and so the pen is about two inches long doesn't help, but mostly it's the very sharp tip that tends to get caught on the page on certain curves (Ys are particularly dangerous.))

Also taking up the hours is book 12 of the Wheel of Time series. This is a heavy tome, coming in at 766 pages. I've probably forgotten most of the minor characters (there are at least 11 main good guys, 9 major bad guys each with their own minions, and a bajillion minor ones, and it has been four years since the last book came out). I'm almost at 100 pages and as usual not much has happened yet.