Monday, October 29, 2012


I will be glad when the USA elections are over and we can return to normal for a few years at least.   It is a bit bizarre the way the whole world becomes interested in who is President of the USA although we have no say in the process.   Elections in other powerful countries - for example Russia, UK and France are just of mild interest in comparison.
I am glad I do not have a vote as I would consider President Obama as right wing and believe First Past the Post voting (as also used in the UK) to be quite undemocratic. It usually means that there is little point in having 3rd parties and independents as they just split the vote.  Of course the current situation in the UK disproves my point.

Some of the statements made by US politicians also have me shaking my head.  They would only come from the looney right in Australia or NZ, ridiculed by the majority, with little chance of election.  Occasionally such people are elected by some strange twist (eg Pauline Hansen) but they are usually ignored by the major parties unless it suits their purpose for a brief time. They are unlikely to gain a second term.

I also see that US citizens retain the right to vote even after they have migrated elsewhere. I no longer have the right to vote in Australia as I have declared my intention to remain away for more than 6 years.  I could have hidden the fact, I still maintain my address at my sister's home for financial matters but, as voting in Australia is compulsory, I would have had to request absentees ballots to be posted to me or send an explanation for not voting.  While I would be interested in Commonwealth elections, and did vote last time in 2010 as I was in Sydney the week before the elcction, I have little interest in the State election and none in the local council.

I do, however, have the right to vote in New Zealand.  I would not have had that right if I had gone the other way.  In fact, as a permanent resident, it was compulsory to register in NZ but not to vote.

The main point of my post is to share the wonderful news that a married gay man has just been elected to the parliament of the state of NSW.  I was a little confused to read he was married then discovered he and his partner were married in Argentina. Not sure I agree ith that if neither he nor his partner are citizens or residents of Argentina.  However that is beside the point.

The election was only held because the Liberal Government brought in a law to prevent people from holding office in both the state government and local council.  The previous member Clover Moore has been the independent member for Sydney since 1988.  In 2004 she became Lord Mayor of Sydney and was recently elected for the 3rd time.  The new law meant she had to resign as State member.  She has always given one of her salaries to charity.  Clover has always championed gay rights and endorsed independent Alex Greenwich.  He gained 48.5% of the first preference votes. The Liberal candidate gained 29.8%, the Greens 17.7%, another independent 2.1% and the Christian Democrats (anti gay rights) a whopping 1.9%.
So, with Green  preferences, Alex Greenwich has won with a two party preferred vote of just under 65%. A slap in the face for the Liberal Government.
Wonderful result

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