Monthly Archives: August 2010

I’m hung like the Australian Parliament

Well, we had a Federal Election in Australia this weekend and the voice of the Australian people has sounded a resounding “meh”. We have a hung parliament, meaning neither major party won enough seats to claim an outright majority – the usual way a government is formed. However this ends up (and it could take quite a while to resolve) who ever forms government will be a minority dependent on independents and Green or two to continue in government.

Besides making politics in this country a bit more interesting, the resolution might make a few people a bit more aware of the some facts about the constitution. Because it seems like a significant chunk of this country is completely oblivious to how things actually work in this country.

I got so sick of people saying during this campaign that they didn’t vote for Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. First, because the fucking morons saying they were concerned about Kevin Rudd getting knocked off by his own party were Liberal voters anyway and they hated Rudd. I am not a huge fan of lying hypocritical scumbags who refuse to admit to their true motivations.

Second, the public NEVER votes for the Prime Minister. The public votes for their local member of parliament. The leader of the party that forms government is automatically the PM and they are voted leader by their own party, not the public. And even more important, the PM is NOT the head of state in Australia. They run the government of the day but they are not the head of state.

We are a constitutional monarchy and our head of state is the Monarch of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II. On a day to day basis she is represented by the Governor General who is appointed by the Australian government (i.e our head of state is elected by nobody).   Look up November 11th 1975 if you can’t see any problems with that. So the Governor General has to agree with whoever declares they should head up the forthcoming minority government.

Here’s what’s likely to happen:

* Prime Minister Julia Gillard constitutionally has the first opportunity to form a new government, regardless of whether her Labor party has won more seats than the conservative opposition.

* Gillard would meet Governor-General Quentin Bryce and advise her of Labor’s intention to form a new government.

* Once a new government is sworn in, a parliamentary sitting would be held as soon as possible to determine whether Gillard’s new administration had a workable majority in the lower house.

* The opposition would then call a no-confidence motion to test her minority government’s support in parliament.

* In order to survive that censure motion, Gillard would have needed to reach an agreement with enough independent MPs and/or Greens to form a government, including guarantees from them on the passage of annual budgets.

* Legal experts say this process could take several weeks to play out, with Labor and the Liberal-National opposition likely to engage the independents and Greens in behind-the-scenes negotiations to see which major party can win them over.

* There is another, more unlikely scenario in the event that the opposition forges a quick alliance with independents before Gillard has a chance to consult the governor-general.

* In this case, Gillard could in theory advise the governor-general to initially swear in a Liberal-National minority government. But this is unlikely because there’s nothing in the constitution that would force her to do so – which will drive Liberal supporters crazy.

So, in short, nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen. And whatever happens, it’s almost certain that the side that finds themselves in opposition won’t stop complaining until after the next federal election. Whenever that is.

And here’s my video explanation:

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Filed under Politics

Weirdest kids book in the world

Inspiration for videos comes from the weirdest places. Browsing through the iTunes store I saw what looked like a cute kid’s book. It was free so I thought what the heck, I’ll download it.

It turned out to have a few unexpected quirks. Machine translation tends to give some pretty weird results. At least, I hope it was machine translation. I’d hate to think someone translated it this way on purpose.

Quite a few viewers called this one of the funniest things I’ve done which is always nice to hear. Not least because I wasn’t assuming I’d get that response. This was one of those videos where I’m quite unsure of how people will react. I certainly thought it was funny (or I wouldn’t have posted it) but I didn’t bank on it being regarded as “funniest ever”.

On one level I’m not a very good judge of what my audience will really like. Every now and then I’m surprised by how strongly people react to a video. I’m surprised how often a video I’m really not sure of ends up being really popular with my audience. More than once I’ve almost decided against uploading a video and it turned out to be really popular once it was up.

So I’ve learned to simply do my best with videos and not second guess myself. If I think the video is worth making the audience usually thinks it’s worth watching.

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What’s it like being your own boss?

I’ve been my own boss for about two weeks now and people want to know how it’s going. Well, you know the old saying about working for yourself – the boss is crazy and you can’t get away from him.

I do find myself putting a lot of thought into what I should be doing with my time – what can I do now to build my audience? So far, I haven’t really been doing anything different but I will be expanding over the next couple of weeks. I might even get a bit organised and put a big to-do list on my wall to remind me of what I should be doing.

But I do think my boss is crazy.

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Filed under Work, YouTube