Tasmanian election 2006, I mean 2018

Majority government

The major parties, business groups, and elements of the media have convinced the electorate that majority government is vital. In 2006 Labor won 14 seats by playing the line that only they could win majority government. This year, the Liberal Party has won 13 (possibly 14) seats, by selling the same message.

Of course, the communication of issues and policies has an effect, and the advertising spend has an effect, but the perceived capacity to win a majority has become a major factor. Labor’s chickens came home to roost this year with their 2006 line being used against them, and I have no doubt that it will swing the other way again in future.

This fear of minority government must change if elections are to be fought on issues alone. Otherwise Tasmania will continue to swing between parties “taking their turn” governing rather than as a reflection of support for their policies. We must stop taking complaints about this constitutional feature at face value and consider the motives of those who do. Poor craftspeople blame their tools.

‘Shadowy forces’

There’s another parallel with 2006. Greens leader Peg Putt was booed on election night when she deplored that, “forces were at work behind the scenes, trying to covertly influence the outcome.” Ms Putt was portrayed as a sore loser, later adding that she didn’t regret her comments because:

[…] it was important that in front of the nation I named what had gone on during this campaign, because it is becoming a feature of elections around Australia that we do have these shadowy groups who are throwing vast resources into trying to influence election campaigns, and that in Tasmania we don’t have the disclosure laws that allow those people and the amounts of money to be identified.

With renewed calls this month for changes to disclosure laws amid accusations of special interests ‘buying the election’, those who have come around to Ms Putt’s thinking owe her an apology.

Reference

Peg Putt rails against fear campaign, The World Today, 20/03/2006. Reporter: Tim Jeanes. Viewed 04/03/2018.

Travis, mate! Bet365 has kicked me out!

Travis, cobber! You told me that the final whistle is never the final whistle. That the turnstiles would never stop turning. That the cheering goes on forever. That we were part of something big.

Travis Fimmel's image projected onto a stadium

Travis enjoying a nil-all draw between two failed states, probably.

But I’ve been shut out, Travis! What did I do wrong?

A message in the Bet365 mobile site

I need to charge my phone.

Could it be a mistake, Travis? Here is the complete list of bets I placed in my last six months:

A list of bets placed on Bet365

I did OK, but I’m no David Walsh.

I messaged Bet365 and had no response. I called them up but the service rep wouldn’t answer my questions:

“The only thing I can say is that your account was subjected to a full review, it was a management decision to place the restriction, and we can provide you with no further information.”

What does this mean, Travis? There’s a hint in the Bet365 terms and conditions:

4.2 bet365 reserves the right to close or suspend your account at any time and for any reason.

“Any reason” in this case seems to be that I won more money than I lost. Staking $380 over six months for a return of $1257 makes me an unacceptable punter.

Here’s what I reckon, Trav:

  • If you have an online gambling account that hasn’t been closed or severely restricted, the company believes you are a loser.
  • It must be hard to win big with the types of bet I’ve been restricted to. That might explain why sports multis are advertised so heavily – they’re hard to win consistently and appeal to the most casual gamblers.
  • Independent bookies are obliged to bet to lose a certain amount (which could be around $1000-$5000 depending on the venue), while these corporates can do as they please. We grant these companies licences that allow them to fleece us without their having to take much risk in return. That’s inconsistent at best, and pokies-level shameful at worst.

I’m not complaining, Travis. Bet365 had the right to cut me off, and I knew it – I’d heard the stories and wanted to see it for myself. The governments that grant licences under such terms ought to pull their bloody socks up, though. And the next time you’re projected onto a building would you let your fellow members know that they’re being treated like mugs?

London 2012 medal tally by use of capital punishment

At the end of the Olympic Games, people like to play around with medal tallies ordered or weighted in a variety of (dis)interesting ways. Here’s mine:

Country has death penalty Gold Silver Bronze
No 192 211 254
Yes 110 93 102

The part of the world that does not legally kill its citizens is victorious! So, is removing an archaic form of justice the secret to Olympic success? It’s not quite that simple. The top two nations in the general tally are also in this illustrious list:

Country with DP Gold Silver Bronze
United States 46 29 29
China 38 27 22
Japan 7 14 17
Cuba 5 3 6
Iran 4 5 3
North Korea 4 0 2
Ethiopia 3 1 3
Belarus 2 5 5
Uganda 1 0 0
India 0 2 4
Thailand 0 2 1
Egypt 0 2 0
Indonesia 0 1 1
Malaysia 0 1 1
Botswana 0 1 0
Qatar 0 0 2
Singapore 0 0 2
Afghanistan 0 0 1
Bahrain 0 0 1
Kuwait 0 0 1
Saudi Arabia 0 0 1
Total 110 93 102

The USA and China give the off-with-their-heads mob it a great start, but they can’t compete with the sheer number of little-nations-that-could in this enlightened tally:

Country without DP Gold Silver Bronze
Great Britain 29 17 19
Russian Federation 24 25 33
South Korea 13 8 7
Germany 11 19 14
France 11 11 12
Italy 8 9 11
Hungary 8 4 5
Australia 7 16 12
Kazakhstan 7 1 5
Netherlands 6 6 8
Ukraine 6 5 9
New Zealand 6 3 5
Jamaica 4 4 4
Czech Republic 4 3 3
Spain 3 10 4
Brazil 3 5 9
South Africa 3 2 1
Croatia 3 1 2
Romania 2 5 2
Kenya 2 4 5
Denmark 2 4 3
Azerbaijan 2 2 6
Poland 2 2 6
Turkey 2 2 1
Switzerland 2 2 0
Lithuania 2 1 2
Norway 2 1 1
Canada 1 5 12
Sweden 1 4 3
Colombia 1 3 4
Georgia 1 3 3
Mexico 1 3 3
Ireland 1 1 3
Argentina 1 1 2
Serbia 1 1 2
Slovenia 1 1 2
Tunisia 1 1 1
Dominican Republic 1 1 0
Trinidad and Tobago 1 0 3
Uzbekistan 1 0 3
Latvia 1 0 1
Algeria 1 0 0
Bahamas 1 0 0
Grenada 1 0 0
Venezuela 1 0 0
Mongolia 0 2 3
Slovakia 0 1 3
Armenia 0 1 2
Belgium 0 1 2
Finland 0 1 2
Bulgaria 0 1 1
Chinese Taipei 0 1 1
Estonia 0 1 1
Puerto Rico 0 1 1
Cyprus 0 1 0
Gabon 0 1 0
Guatemala 0 1 0
Montenegro 0 1 0
Portugal 0 1 0
Greece 0 0 2
Moldova 0 0 2
Hong Kong 0 0 1
Morocco 0 0 1
Tajikistan 0 0 1
Total 192 211 254

The source for the tally is ScraperWiki, and the source for the capital punishment stats is Wikipedia. I’ve given some countries the benefit of the doubt by including those who have “abolished in practice” on the side of no death penalty.

It’s been fun! See you again in Sochi 2014. I love the ski jump.