I was reading some of the latest alarming info about global warming and its effect on the arctic here, when I came across this tidbit:
There are geopolitical implications, too, as Canada, Russia and the US jockey to claim rights over transpolar passages that open up within their newly ice-free waters.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, our prime minister, John Howard is quoted thus:
“We are a bare four-and-a-bit weeks out from the election so every statement you make, every claim you put forward to the Australian people has to be accurate,”
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
I have to vote this weekend. Voting in Australia is compulsory. That’s pretty unusual around the world. If you don’t vote here you get fined! We never hear about low voter turnout figures.
I guess it is an unusual model but I’m pretty used to it. Is voting more than a right? Is it a duty in a democratic system? I heard once that the theory behind compulsory voting is to stop people from being intimidated against showing up to vote.
Actually, strictly speaking, only attendance at a polling booth is compulsory – once there you can do what you like with the ballot paper including not voting at all.
This is a state election and the choice this weekend comes down to the right-wing government and the right-wing opposition. The campaign has been pretty subdued due to the larger issues in play around the world in the last few weeks.
Another unusual aspect of the Australian voting system is that it is preferential. You get to order your preference for each candidate. I like this system – it means you can vote for a minority candidate while still having a say in the selection of the major party candidates.
So, I’m off to number the boxes on Saturday …
It seems we are on course for war. We all expect Australia to be a member of the coalition of the willing (is this the nation sized equivalent of the lynch mob?). The population appears, by and large, unwilling.
My wife suggests peaceful thoughts. It won’t do any good but what else is there? Well considering the day, I guess there is always a pint of Guinness. Eat, drink and be merry …