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Cole Parker


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It's the new norm... :sad:

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.

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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

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Wow! Thanks. Seems sort of strange how complicated it can be. We vote tomorrow here (Arizona) and I'm pretty sure it's the same elsewhere in the country. The nice thing is that they're all politicians so it doesn't really matter who you vote for, right? ?

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18 hours ago, ChrisR said:

So let me get this straight... do you guys use a ouija board to set election dates???? A least we know our hours of doom with disgusting regularity!

Of course we know.  We have to.  Time is needed in advance to organize all the bus drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers and taxi cabs that serve the black areas in town so they can be out of service on that day.  And the police so they can set up roadblock to stop all the vans providing rides to the polling places in the black neighborhoods for emergency inspections that will take hours to perform -- strangely enough, just enough hours to coincided with polling hours in that community.

When I was growing up, this country prided itself on fair elections.  Now they're not only not fair, but the politicians openly gloat over everything they do to tilt elections in their favor, like redistricting or closing polling places that serve black communities. 

And when people protest, like visible people such as football players, our president goes bananas and says they should all be fired for disrespecting the flag.

Sorry.  I get upset easily these days.


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Cole -

Not sure where you hail from, Cole, but we have different experiences. My county of 125k opened voting this morning and is doing pretty well with 17 polling places. A few hiccups early on, but if you're in line at 7 tonite you'll vote. I walked in about 10am and was done and gone by 10:15. And if anything, the number of polling places is growing in response to population patterns in the state.

As for protesters who object to the flag, I am dismally amused watching a bunch of overpaid high school jocks 'protesting' the conditions under which they and their brethren must exist. Mind you, the minimum salary in the NFL is $450,000. Only 2 players are currently 'stuck' at that rate. So what you see when those concerned guys "protest" is a bunch of multi-millionaires whining about the poor and oppressed without actually doing anything. Then they return to their mansions and drink and snort the night away. Now if they'd each step up and pitch in $50,000 for each time they kneel, using it to buy some starter homes for the poor, then I might have some sympathy.

Oh yeah - and the top five paid NFL players (Garropolo, $37m, Stafford, $26.5m, Carr, $25m, Flacco, $24.75m, Luck, $24.4m) -- just for the record, they're all quarterbacks and they're all white. But I don't yet hear the protests. Just sayin'.

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I hope you're not saying all the blacks being shot by overzealous and quite possibly racist policemen is okay.  I'm not quite sure how a bunch of football players donating some of their paychecks to anyone is going to rectify that.  They're trying to support their less fortunate brothers and highlight the problem of inequity in the country.

I also hope you're not unaware of the widespread attempts to disenfranchise black voters.  Redistricting to aid the election of Republican candidates -- which was just banned by the courts -- and closing voting venues in Georgia have both gotten plenty of press lately.  I'm not making this stuff up.



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