Robert Ray’s prognosis on the federal ALP

September 21, 2006

Just quickly, here’s a story on Robert Ray’s prognosis for the capacity of the federal ALP to win elections. Part of the story is that:

He said the party is not winning federal elections because the Liberals are perceived as having more credible leadership, being better economic managers and much more credible than Labor on national security.

He said turning that around will take renewal, which will come from getting more talent into the Caucus.

I agree with him.

Darfur dead higher than thought, Islands appear in the receding Arctic

September 16, 2006

From Scientific American I just noticed two particularly interesting stories: a very sad one: Darfur Dead Much Higher than Commonly Reported  and this one: Polar bears drown, islands appear in Arctic thaw.

Preselection of election candidates

September 16, 2006

The Liberal Party has just preselected Greg Smith over Pru Goward to be its candidate for the state seat of Epping in the upcoming NSW election. The NSW Liberal Party preselects its candidates using a panel of representatives from the local branches rather than the local members voting directly or there being some combination of local voters and central executive committee votes.

Branch stacking has been part of both major political parties, especially when the goal is to preselect a particular candidate. It seems to me that it’s preferable for local members to directly vote in preselections – there’s no need for an intermediary panel when the number of local members is fairly small (at most hundreds). Having an intermediary panel allows local member’s preferences to be distorted.

A paper and units being individually water metered

September 16, 2006

I’m writing a paper on my idea about how two quantum link invariants are really “the same” that I outline here. Like to submit it for publication within the week.

A while ago I wrote about how I thought it might be positive if renters directly paid for their water use rather than through the rent paid to the landlord, and that units be individually water metered. I found the following web-page on the Sydney Water website about how a trial is beind conducted on putting individual water meters on new apartment and units: Read the rest of this entry »

A diabetic cat and the Kings Cross medically supervised injecting centre

September 16, 2006

Remember the nonsense from the Daily Telegraph about some syringes found near the Kings Cross medically supervised injecting centre (see Well the Inner City Hub ran a story about how the syringes were from a diabetic cat, and I was going to write a post on it except that Media Watch has done the good deed:

The response from David Penberthy is interesting – by almost all accounts most of the local community supports the MSIC. Alan Jones and Peter Debnam got into the MSIC on the basis of the syringes – havn’t heard an apology from either of them have we?

Hong Kong and the last fortnight

September 16, 2006

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog in the last fortnight – I’ve been quite busy and I havn’t rested enough since coming back from overseas (went to south-east Qld last weekend), with the result that I’ve been a bit sick for the last few days, and I’ve spent most of the afternoon in bed not exerting myself. Read the rest of this entry »