It’s more than a figurative nod to Hillary Clinton and her nodding ways. Collectibles toymaker Royal Bobbles have taken the literal approach and created a Hillary Clinton bobblehead doll. Both the politician and doll will probably take it on the chin. Then nod back and forth in almost hypnotic agreement. The nodding action which inspired the Hillary Clinton bobblehead doll, has been videoed numerous times. On the campaign trail in America, seemingly its occurrence is more regular than clockwork, Old Faithful, or a patriotic US pensioner on a steady diet of prunes. Whether Hillary is over-coached and overplaying a body language indicator of interest, genuinely agrees with what is being said, or is in the process of microsleeps, her head nods back and forth all the same regardless. It’s the prefect inspiration for a bobblehead doll, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness. ...Read More »
Is it Time to Change from Voting on Paper to Voting Online?
Voting in the Australian federal election in 2016 came and went, without a definitive result delivered either way, because vote counting continued well beyond the Saturday night. Then it stopped, before resuming again later. By the own admission of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), it could take up to a month to fully count all of the votes. Which, in this day and age, tends to beg the question: Isn’t it about time voting occurred electronically and online? Naturally there are objections to this, including: Not everyone has internet access or access to such devices; where this is often particularly true amongst some demographics, such as the elderly, those living in remote areas, and amongst the impoverished. Online voting opens up concerns about privacy and the risks of hacking. Unless people are formally required to physically attend a designated venue such as polling places to vote, voter numbers may dwindle. ...Read More »
How much does Christopher Pyne remind you of Mr Squiggle?
Politics delivers its fair share of laughs, in a tears of a clown kind of way. Where the big red button doesn’t make it stop, instead it’s probably going to make a honking sound and be on the nose. Australian politics is no different in that regard. A look at the names of the electorates is usually enough to start shaping some form of balloon animal. From Corangamite, which could be a challengingly cheap, and surprisingly red, alternative to Vegemite. Possibly sold by Aldi, but only if people look hard enough. To Grayndler, which in modern times isn’t hard to mistake for some sort of poling app. Then there’s the dynamic trio of Batman, Bruce, and the almost misleading Hotham. It doesn’t take the world’s greatest detective to deduce that Wayne Enterprises made some very significant political donations in the state of Victoria. The joke would be on the conspiracy ...Read More »
Australian Federal Election 2016: Electorate Seats Forecasts
Near one week remains until the outcome of Australian federal election 2016 is officially decided. With voting set for Saturday, 2 July 2016, Australia will make a collective decision by numbering boxes on a number of ballot papers by voting for the House of Representatives and voting in the Senate. Down but Not Out As at the time of writing, 25 June 2016, market-based probabilities imply an 85.8 percent chance of the Coalition (collectively the Liberal Party and the National Party plus a few variations on these) winning the 2016 federal election, placing a corresponding 14.2 percent chance of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) winning. Further analysis, the results of which are shown in the table below, forecasts that in the House of Representatives, the Coalition is likely to win 86 seats, and Labor is likely to win 60 seats, with the minor parties and independents collectively expected to win ...Read More »
Brexit or Bremain: How Influences the Slain?
The murder of British MP Jo Cox has cast a dark cloud over Britain. Aged 41-years-old, Helen Joanne “Jo” Cox, was a member of the British Labour Party, and a Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen. Cox was shot and stabbed to death on Thursday, 16 June 2016, in the street near the Birstall library, in West Yorkshire, England. Her killer has been identified as 52-year-old Thomas Mair, reported as suffering from mental health issues, including depression. Witnesses claim Mair yelled “Britain first” at the time of the murder. It’s unclear whether it was “Britain first” or “Britain First” that Mair is said to have yelled however, and coincidence cannot be ruled out. Britain First is the name of a far-right British political party, known for its nationalist and anti-immigration stances. In response to the murder, both sides suspended their campaigning for three days. However, the debate regarding whether ...Read More »
Jeb Bush Tweets “America” with His Name on a Gun
Let it be known that Republican presidential campaign 2016 hopeful and the 43rd Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, has a gun with his name on. He tweeted as much. America. pic.twitter.com/TeduJkwQF3 — Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 16, 2016 The tweet from Bush followed his visit to the firearms manufacturer FNH USA in Columbia, South Carolina. Jeb Bush’s apparent lack of gun ownership came to light last year, when the Telegraph revealed that he and two other GOP presidential candidates, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, did not own guns. The tweet and engraved name on the gun now suggests otherwise, along with Bush’s likely endorsing of the Second Amendment. As the 2016 presidential election dates continue to roll out across the United States, South Carolina will hold its presidential primary elections on: Saturday, 20 February for the Republicans, and on Saturday, 27 February for the Democrats. Whether the “America” gun tweet ...Read More »
Obama’s Gun Control Speech: Are Emotions Relevant to the Gun Debate?
An emotional speech from US President Obama proposing increased background checks in an attempt to stem gun violence in America has hit an equally impassioned divide amongst citizens of the USA. Obama’s proposal aims to bolster existing gun laws though: expanded background checks, including usage of criminal records and streamlining the reporting of mental health issues; broadening the definition of a gun dealer; and better tracking of firearms reported as lost or stolen. While the intention appears not to lessen Americans’ right to bear arms or confiscate their guns and weapons, others feel it’s unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power undermining civil liberties. Understandably lines are being drawn around clusters of the anti-gun lobby with victims of past shootings and gun violence often politically aligned with the Democrats versus the pro-gun lobby including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and others often politically aligned with the Republicans. Is there a ...Read More »
Are the New Levels of Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Advisory System Seriously Flawed?
Level of Discussion The Council of Australian Governments (COAG), held its 40th meeting in Sydney, 23 July 2015. Amongst the topics of discussion, was the proposed changes to Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert System in an effort to ensure that the threat levels “provide more precision, and provide better information to the public on changes to the national terrorism threat level”. Under the existing National Terrorism Public Alert System as used to “communicate an assessed risk of terrorist threat to Australia” there are four alert levels: Low: Terrorist attack is not expected. Medium: Terrorist attack could occur. High: Terrorist attack is likely. Extreme: Terrorist attack is imminent or has occurred. As stated within the levels, the current system is conveying the expectation of a terrorist attack. In addition to being a source of public awareness, the system also aims to guide preparation and planning, inclusive of precaution and vigilance undertaken ...Read More »
Decadent Claims: Why Same-Sex Marriage Should Not be Decided by Politicians
Question: How does Barnaby Joyce think Asia will see Australia if same-sex marriage is legalised? Answer: As “decadent”. It may have been difficult to believe that Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce could’ve topped his earlier comments about Johnny Depp’s dogs being “stateless” but clearly there’s a new contender. Joyce is arguably taking his cues on this matter from his fellow cabinet minister, Senator Eric Abetz whose views have included that same-sex marriage may lead to polyamory; and then there were earlier comments from Senator Cory Bernardi that same-sex marriage could lead to an acceptance of bestiality. In reference to Asian countries, Barnaby Joyce said the following regarding same-sex marriage: “When we go there, there are judgements, whether you like it or not that are made about us. “They see us as decadent.” When asked if Australia embracing gay marriage would be seen as decadent in Asia, Mr Joyce said: “I think ...Read More »
NSW State Election 2015: District Seats Forecasts
With approximately one week remaining until the NSW state election day on Saturday 28 March 2015, current polling data at the time of writing is favouring a return to power for the Liberal Party with Mike Baird as the leader. Following a similar method used to forecast the 2013 Australian federal election, forecasts were made on a two party preferred (TPP) basis for the 2015 NSW state election. Based on statistically updating past district seats data (including any by-elections) for the Legislative Assembly with polling data current as at 20 March 2015. As shown in the table below, of the 93 district seats, the Australian Labor Party is expected to win 17 seats (including both the Australian Labor Party and the Country Labor Party), the Coalition 70 seats (including both the Liberal Party and the National Party), and the other minor parties and independents collectively six seats. Implying that the Coalition is likely to win ...Read More »