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Thread: Apathy inside

  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    So, hypothetically speaking Creole (and I'm being daft, but it illustrates my point), if all parties in an elections main selling point was that they were gonna execute all Sitepoint users with over 1500 posts, you'd actually go and vote for one?

    H
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  2. #27
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    While we are discussing voting, one thing that upsets me is that people that have done little research/investigating on candidates have an equal vote to someone who has really thought about it. Or the people who vote for a candidate that would help them in one way.

    It would be nice if people would vote for the person who they think would better run the country, and not the person who would help them as an individual. Of course that is not going to happen, but if it did happen then the upper class (in the US, that is) wouldn't have a republican majority and the middle/low class wouldn't have a democratic majority. The majority is, for the most part, caused because people want a president to help them and not so much their country. Kind of selfish in a way.

  3. #28
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH
    So, hypothetically speaking Creole (and I'm being daft, but it illustrates my point), if all parties in an elections main selling point was that they were gonna execute all Sitepoint users with over 1500 posts, you'd actually go and vote for one?

    H
    Yup, and then give them your name and address. hehe
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  4. #29
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    John Prescott: 'Sorry I am late : my wife was driving me to work this morning, when the car broke down.'

    Tony Blair: 'Puncture?'

    John Prescott: 'Yes, but she deserved it'

  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Aidan Bahta
    While we are discussing voting, one thing that upsets me is that people that have done little research/investigating on candidates have an equal vote to someone who has really thought about it. Or the people who vote for a candidate that would help them in one way.

    It would be nice if people would vote for the person who they think would better run the country, and not the person who would help them as an individual. Of course that is not going to happen, but if it did happen then the upper class (in the US, that is) wouldn't have a republican majority and the middle/low class wouldn't have a democratic majority. The majority is, for the most part, caused because people want a president to help them and not so much their country. Kind of selfish in a way.
    I have to mostly agree here -- I am VERY frustrated with the apathy in this United States. You want to know why corrupt people can find their way into public office? Because almost no one bothers to seek the truth about them. Half the people don't vote at all, and most of the other half votes casually.

    It doesn't take long: turn off "When Animals Eat Humans, Part 4, Volume 51" for 5 minutes and put on CNN/Fox News/MSNBC -- learn something. Learn who to vote for. Be skeptical of things, and analyze things.

    It's not hard to do, especially for people here. If you know HTML, or any programming language, a little research into the candidates is a cinch.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Originally posted by z7
    John Prescott: 'Sorry I am late : my wife was driving me to work this morning, when the car broke down.'

    Tony Blair: 'Puncture?'

    John Prescott: 'Yes, but she deserved it'
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  7. #32
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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  8. #33
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmj
    Hi there.

    Excuse me, but what exactly do you British mean by "apathy" here? And what is the penalty for not voting in your country?

    - confused down under
    LOL MMJ, I think that Terra Australis is the only place where it is compulsory to vote by law. It is a concept that would actually seem undemocratic in some other societies. However, most Australians grungingly support the idea.

    Firstly because democracy is a responsibility as well as a right and we as a society have a responsibility to maintain democracy.

    Secondly because as the saying goes "You get the government you deserve" and it makes the government irrefutably legitimate and the mandate of the people more absolute.

    Thirdly, because it reduces the ability of vested interests to corrupt the political process by inducing or coercing people to vote (for them) and skew voter turnout toward unrepresentative groups.

    Fourthly, if you still live near where you went to school, it is an opportunity to revisit the old school (which gets transformed into a polling centre).

    Fithly, as many citizens are immigrants who come from countries without democratic traditions, it engages them into the democratic process (by compulsion).
    Last edited by freakysid; Jun 11, 2001 at 08:14.

  9. #34
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    I think it's a damn good idea but then what do you do when all the candidates suck?

  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    You run yourself, and vote for yourself.

    Sid: is Australia a Democracy, or is it a Republic? IE: do you elect representatives to vote on laws for you, or is each law voted on? I hate to be picky, but I don't really know and would be interested to learn of it.

  11. #36
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Vote informal. You turn up and get marked off the electoral roll, then deposit your voting paper in the ballot box without actually having recorded a vote on it. Enter any pub around election time and you will hear debates about whether voting informal is a legitimate "protest" or a grave irresponsiblity Although, it is actually against the law to promote the casting of an invalid vote. So it is illegal to run a campaing "vote informal because all politicians are grubby *******s".

  12. #37
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    "All Politicians are Grubby Bar-Stewards" was that? - here, here!

  13. #38
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    You learn something every day.

    Originally posted by freakysid

    Fourthly, if you still live near where you went to school, it is an opportunity to revisit the old school (which gets transformed into a polling centre).
    Good point. My last few votes were, however, done at the Melbourne Town Hall, as I grew up 301 km away from here...

    TWT, we elect representatives to vote on laws for us.

    The country is divided into electorates, and we elect the local member for the electorate where we are enrolled. The new government consists of all the local members that were elected into government. They form coalitions according to their party and prefs, and the largest coalition formed is in control of the government. When we vote, each local candidate is identified as being from a particular party, or as an independant. Anyone in a minor party, or independant has allocated preferences to the party they follow, and thus a vote to a party that doesn't make it is not wasted.

    Hmm,, I'm not very good at explaining this. Maybe freakysid could help.

    z7, well you would simply pick the candidate you hate the least Seriously though, if you wanted to support a particular party you'd vote for your local respresentative of that party. Even if your local candidates didn't really seem appealing. Sometimes there really isn't much of a choice, and that's just the way it happens.
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  14. #39
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    I don't mind voting for my local chaps, they seem to have thier heads screwed on - it's the big players I have trouble with (or should that be big LIARS)...

  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Ok, I see. Sounds like a Republic, though I could be wrong (let me know before I make a fool of myself).

    I wouldn't bother making the distinction in most cases, but it's a common mistake made, yet the difference is great. I don't think Democracy is necessarily a good idea. I much prefer a Republican system.

  16. #41
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid
    then deposit your voting paper in the ballot box without actually having recorded a vote on it.
    A dimpled chad, perhaps?
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  17. #42
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    That last post was in answer to z7.

    Chris, the Australian system is essentially comprised of three levels of government. The federal, state and local governments. The federal and state governments are legitimised and governed by their respective consitutions. The local governments are in law an administrative extension of the powers of the state. Like the USA, Australia is a federation of states. The states were originaly Brittish colonies which united into a nation in 1901.

    The country is describes itself as a Parliamentary Monarchy. Technically supreme executive power is in the hands of the Queen of England (which the Australia Act conveniently refers to as the Queen of Australia). However, according to constitutional convention and all relevent practice to date, the Brittish monarch takes no role whatsoever in Australian affairs. The reserve powers (in moments of constitutional crisis) reside with the Queens representative the Governor General. The Queen appoints the Governer General on the advice of the Prime Minister. Only once has the British monarch tried to refuse to appoint the recommended Governer General and that was King George who disapproved of Sir Issac Issacs (an Australian born Jew if I remeber correctly). However, King George gave in as he was obliged to by convention to follow the Australian Prime Minister's advice.

    The Australian parliamentary system is essentially the same as the British system. Except that the upper house (the Senate) is comprised of elected representatives of the states (similar to the US system). The government is formed by the party or coallition of parties who can hold the confidence of the house of representatives (the lower house).

    Unlike the UK but like the USA, Australia has a writen constitution. However, like the UK, the roles of the executive (the government and the parliament), the judiciary and the police are, in principle, seperate and at arms length. The parliaments make laws, the judiciary arbitrates the written statutes as well as the common law, and the police enforce legal order in every day society and bring people before the judicary for judgement.

    The difference between the USA and Australia (and the UK) is that universal sufferage only extends to the parliament and the offices of local government. Other offices of public service are not elected. The judiciary and police officers are appointed not elected as in the USA. This may seem odd, but it is the tradition that public office holders other than the parliamentarians themselves be removed from the corrupting influences of running for public office. The wisdom is that popularism does not make for sound jurispudence.

    Buy the way, last year a referendum was held concerning whether Australia should sever its ties with England and become a fully fledged republic. The referendum was lost. This may seem odd, because, naturally the majority of Australians see the country as completely independent of England. However, the arguement was not so simple. The debate was more complex regarding how the constitution should be changed in order for Australia to become a republic and how the person who holds the reserve powers should be appointed - by popular vote or by the parliament. I think that a lot of people become spooked when they try and way up the pros and cons of all the options and the conjecture the possiblilities should a constitutional crisis arise in future. Thus, at this point, most people chose to retain the current system because it works. A constitutional crisis did arise in 1975 when the then government could not get its money supply bills passed by the senate and thus was technically broke. The Prime Minister refused to call an election, so the Governor General stepped in and disolved the parliament and called an election to resolve the deadlock.

    There you go. That's my take in it. It may be a little boring, but you asked.

    PS z7, the long answer to how you vote when you don't like any of the politicians is in the system of voting we use (which I believe was invented by the New Zealanders if I remember correctly) called proportional voting. But that is a complicated topic It esentially allows you rank your vote. you actually vote for everyone on the paper from 1,2,3, and so on. Its quite a complicated system, but it seems to work well here.
    Last edited by freakysid; Jun 11, 2001 at 08:55.

  18. #43
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmj
    A dimpled chad, perhaps?
    MMJ - you rule!

  19. #44
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Interesting. I actually enjoyed that as a brief history lesson. Thanks very much! Australia sounds quite interesting, although honestly, for peace of mind and dignity, I would've ditched The Queen.

  20. #45
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Dude - she is "officially" head of the Church!

    I think she'll be going soon anyways - when we become part of the USofE!?

  21. #46
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    As for last year's referendum, Australians were asked to vote on two "propositions", one of which was to sever the ties with the Queen of England and declare Australia a republican state.

    The proposition failed, as there was widespread confusion. While polls indicated that the majority wanted a republic, a large number of voters were thrown off by some misleading statements by a "no" campaign. The "no" campaign led many Australians to believe that the republic model as stated in the referendum allocated undue power to a "president" head of state chosen by the Prime Minister, and that a "no" vote would allow a republic to be formed where a president was chosen by popular election. However, most "no" campaigners (including the Prime Minister) were monarchists with no intention of placing another republic model up for referendum within this term of office.

    A lot of Australians are very unhappy with the outcome. I had voted "yes" and assumed that it would be passed with no problems.

    Under this government, we are not likely to have another chance to become a republic for decades...

    It's very complex.
    Last edited by mmj; Jun 11, 2001 at 09:20.
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  22. #47
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    I voted, but I did not waste my vote on Labour

    Sean

  23. #48
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by z7
    Dude - she is "officially" head of the Church!

    I think she'll be going soon anyways - when we become part of the USofE!?
    Funny, I thought that was the Pope

  24. #49
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    In England anyway...

    Note I said officially like "this" - implying she is supposed to be...

  25. #50
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    A touch out of date but pretty funny!

    http://www.mtv.co.uk/content/fun/gam...mps/index.html


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