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Graeme

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About Graeme

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests
    Photography, Sci/Fi & Fantasy, Music

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  1. Graeme

    Signs outside a church

    I thought people might like to hear about some of the signs one Anglican priest puts up outside his church in rural New South Wales, Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-30/what-drives-the-priest-behind-those-controversial-church-signs/10169188 This is my favourite.
  2. Graeme

    Turnbull

    LOL, it can feel like that at times. The senate has fixed six-year terms, with a half election every three years (that is, half the senate is elected every three years -- similar to how it works in the USA with six-year terms and a third being elected every two years). The senate term starts on 1st July. The election itself is usually before 1st July, with the new senators taking their seats on the first seating day one or after 1st July. Half-senate elections can only take place in the last 12 months of the senate term. The Australian Electoral Commission has said it can take up to six weeks to finalise senate results (due to the complex nature of the senate voting system), so senate elections usually take place by mid-to-late May, to ensure the results are known by the end of June. The house, however, is much more complex. The house term is three years from the first seating day of the House after an election. The election can be called earlier than that, but it must be called be called by the end of the term, with the election taking place within a fix period of time after it is called. From memory, the maximum time from calling an election and then holding it is 65 days. Now, the house and senate elections do not have to take place together, but most governments arrange things so they do. Australians don't like going to the polling booths too often, so keeping the house and senate elections together makes the voters happier. This means that house elections usually take place before the 1st July when the senate term expires. Elections take place on Saturdays, and the government gets to pick which Saturday it'll be. They generally try to avoid having an election during January or February, as campaigning during the summer school holiday period is difficult (and annoying to voters). Similarly, they wouldn't want to have an election too close to Christmas, so that rules out mid-to-late December. Similarly, they'll avoid an election on the Easter weekend, and during term school holidays (part of the reason being the difficulty in organising polling staff during those times, as the normal staff may be away on holidays with their families). In addition, the state elections occur independently of the federal elections, and the government doesn't like to have a federal campaign going at the same time as a state campaign, as that runs the risk of not only annoying voters with two elections in close proximity, but also confusing state and federal issues in that state. There is also the logistical nightmare for the state and federal Electoral Commissions in simply organsing the elections at approximately the same time. Finally, and most importantly, the major football codes have their grand finals late September or early October. No sensible government will organise an election at that time... So, while there are a lot of Saturdays that can be chosen to hold the next election, in practise there are only a few that are viable options. The government will try to pick the time when they have the best advantage. There's also a thing called a double-dissolution election, where the entire senate is re-elected, rather than half, but that requires special conditions that have currently not been met. Having said that, our last federal election was a double-dissolution election. There have been seven double-dissolution elections in Australian history, six elections for only the house, and six half-senate-only elections. The vast majority have been joint house and half-senate elections. Reference: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-22/the-when-and-how-of-calling-the-next-federal-election/10153686
  3. Graeme

    Turnbull

    It's the new norm... Personally, I think if Peter Dutton had replaced him, that would be bad. Scott Morrison isn't as bad, but he's still considered to be part of the social conservative wing of the party (Malcolm Turnbull was socially liberal, as to be expected since his electorate covered the heart of Sydney's gay community). Scott Morrison voted against same-sex marriage in last year's plebiscite, and called for greater protection of religious rights at that time. We'll have to wait and see what happens. Having said that, we're less than a year away from the next election, so he may not be Prime Minister for very long. For various reasons, the next election is expected to be called between now and the end of May 2019. Scott Morrison will decide when.
  4. I'm concerned about what happens to the kids in those states/counties where group homes are forced to close due to the funding cuts. Will they somehow manage to find foster families for them? If not, will they stay in a group home that has no funding, meaning no clothes, no food, no supervision...?
  5. The rise of same-sex soapies in Thailand is changing attitudes in the still largely conservative nation.
  6. Graeme

    God made you this way

    @Cole Parker Exactly! One of the reasons some people use for discrimination is that being gay "is a choice" and hence isn't a protected attribute. Having the Pope say it's not a choice undercuts some of those people (though, I'll concede a lot of those people probably think the Pope can be ignored, anyway, since many of them are Protestants, not Catholics).
  7. Graeme

    Grammar, A Judge, and the F Word

    Nope. The gap is simply the space between the post and my signature. I believe the signature is aligned to the bottom of my profile on the left if there's not enough text in the post.
  8. Grammar, a Judge, and the F word I thought people here might appreciate the analysis the Judge used.
  9. Graeme

    God made you this way

    @Merkin the interesting thing here is he's saying it's not a choice, that the gay man was born that way. While I concede your point, saying God made him gay is a big step forward. Indeed, it's the first step towards removing that subtext...
  10. Graeme

    God made you this way

    Pope Francis's comment to a gay man It's still early days, but if true, this is a big step forward for the Catholic Church.
  11. Graeme

    Camp Refuge

    Definitely. I can make some predictions as to what will happen, but the writing is good, and I wouldn't be surprised if the author has several twists coming. It looks like he's still assembling the cast, which argues for a long story (which is a good thing, since he's posting frequently).
  12. Graeme

    Leopard Hunt by Graeme

    Thanks, Nigel! Chapters will be posted on a two weekly cycle until I'm ready to switch to a weekly posting cycle. Old favourites amongst the characters will reappear from chapter one.
  13. Graeme

    Leopard Hunt

    The Leopards have scattered, some interstate and others to different parts of Melbourne, but the events of 2014 continue to bind them together. In the meantime, new Leopards and new friends have their own challenges that must be overcome. This includes one newcomer who is unaware he's being hunted.
  14. Graeme

    Congress: an Urban Dictionary definition

    Unix has a program called fortune that spits out random sayings, such as you may find in a fortune cookie. I still remember one from the 80s when I was at university: Pro is to Con as Progress is to Congress
  15. Indonesia isn't a theocracy, but there are certainly provinces that are heading that way. Indonesia is a mix of very conservative (eg. Aceh province with Sharia Law) and very liberal parts (eg. Bali province, a favourite of young Australians).
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