Monday, July 25, 2016


You might recognise that as the ratio of 'Leave' to 'Remain' votes in the Brexit plebiscite. It is also the share of the vote obtained by Erdogan in Turkey's 2015 presidential election.

I think all my posts should have election maps from now on

Consider the following thought experiments.

(1) If you were a resident  of the United Kingdom who voted 'stay', and a conspiracy of unelected unrepresentative persons tried to overturn the Brexit vote, would you take to the streets to oppose them and support democracy?

(2) If, once the conspiracy was defeated, signs like the one below appeared *absolutely everywhere* and Theresa May started purging institutions up and down the country of 'undemocratic forces', just how pissed off would you be?


The first few nights after the attempted coup had a real uplifting party-like atmosphere. I was really impressed by the many Turkish citizens who had done just what I mentioned in Thought Experimeint #1 - people who had a strong aversion to Erdogan but had gone out to defend the democratic ideal.
I thought at first my misgivings were just an Australian aversion to overt displays of nationalism.Car after car with people hanging out the windows waving flags, honking horns. Streets full of happy flag-waving people of all ages. But by Thursday night I was truly starting to get creeped out. Every day more flags hanging from windows, shops, public buildings. Every day more of these signs: the government seemed to have bought up every available billboard in Istanbul.

And every night the cars going by with their horns and flags in the middle of the night. About 11:40 Thursday night I heard the horns starting up underneath my window. A bus was going by, horn blaring, lights flashing, carrying supporters of the government toward Taksim Square from the Old City. I counted the buses like this going by over the next minute or so. There were twenty. It was more than a little intimidating.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Federal Election 2016 Post

Obviously I don't care who wins the Federal Election. On the one hand, the positions of the ALP and Malcolm Turnbull are pretty much exactly the same on everything I care about, and pretty much all wrong. On the other hand, both Bill Shorten and the current government are so far ahead of the current leaders in most of the rest of the Anglosphere in every measure of competence and probity that I am really, really, really cheerful and grateful that we've got them.

I was, however, very emotionally invested in my own electorate, as I was looking forward tremendously to putting the traitor of 2010 dead last, after the Flat Earthers and the Exterminate All Humans Party*.

Here's a rough map of the New England electorate by two-party preferred vote for Barnaby Joyce, broken down by booth. I've made no effort to calculate in the postal vote, which ran  4-10% more Joycean in all the prepoll voting centres.
The red bit at the top right is Drake, where they may be cranky since Barnaby seemed less than all-in in the effort to keep the pub from closing. The red bit at bottom left is Werris Creek, which in a disturbingly Iraqi-style turn for Australian politics appears to have turned out to vote for Tony Windsor (74.2% to 25.8%) because he's from around there. The reddest bit in Armidale is the polling booth at the university, where Barnaby only got 39.2% of the two-party preferred vote, and the reddest bit in Tamworth is Coledale, where Barnaby only got 27.5% of the two-party preferred vote. Um, here are the first ten results in my Google Image search for Coledale:

The very greenest bit of the map, at bottom right, is Nowendoc, centre of the hunt for Malcom Naden, where Barnaby got 96.7% of the two-party preferred vote.

*: Neither of these actually fielded candidates in our electorate.

Best Review So Far

I am very sorry, irate reviewer, that I have upset you so. But at the same time I am quietly satisfied. You see:

I wanted you to like that character.

I wanted you to find what happened to that character shocking and unforgiveable. And,

I wanted you to blame God for it.

Those three aims have clearly been achieved. I was just not imaginative enough to consider the possibility that you would ignore God-in-the-story and (logically) blame the omnipotent entity that really controls events in the character's world.