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The latham effect

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Roaster, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. I had to laugh at this (if you don't laugh, you cry - right?)

  2. If you look at the demographics of Sydney's southern and western suburbs and add to that the fact that they were also the electorates that returned the highest proportion of informal votes in 2007, it is apparent that there is more at work here than Mark Latham's "influence"
  3. Absolutely.

    But I have to say that Dumbledore probably lives in less of a fantasy land than most of the nominees :p
  4. As Media Watch has pointed out, Latham has had a stupid amount of focus on him this election (which even he has commented on).
  5. More as a sideshow freak though?
  6. Ha, ha! It was only a matter of time before someone kicked off this thread... On ya, Roaster! =D>

    Just between us here, we all know that those who voted informally, or for Mr Donkey MP, are idiots. But I wonder if there is a slightly deeper question articulated in the link provided by our OP.

    The question is, although Latham's a tool, and the people who also threw away their vote are idiots (we are being charitable, here, and presuming that they did it deliberately), do they still have a point? And if so, what is it?

    Is it just a matter of equally unappealing campaigns run by both major parties? Is it that both major parties are equally unappealing in-themselves? (If so, the informal voters did have options other than The Right Hon. Mr Donkey, MP, AO. I know this, because many [most??] of us posting here on similar threads reported voting for these other options.)

    Is it a problem with the preference system, where preferences tend to flow eventually to either of the major parties, who get them purely by virtue of being the major parties, and who are the major parties, in part, because they get them? - Signs (i.e. "preference bleed") are that this is changing somewhat:

    Or is there something deeper? Is this a sign that the Australian electorate are moving from a healthy scepticism towards cynicism and total disengagement. Is this a problem, or is it self-selecting social-Darwinism within our electoral process? If it is a problem, what's the solution?

    (Sorry, Roaster, I'm not trying to high-jack your thread, just open it up to an angle I'd like to hear from you mob on. Hope this is OK. Mods, let me know if I've over-stepped the mark...)
  7. I disagree that those who deliberately voted informally are idiots. When presented with a range of options that the individual finds equally unappealing, why should they vote for any of them? It is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly. After all, people have died so that we have the right to vote. It is tragic that their sacrifice has not also ensured that we have candidates worthy of it. I gave considerable thought to the informal option but in the end decided not to. However, I can see why others may have reached a different conclusion.

    Perhaps if we had optional preferential voting at a Federal level, or an option on the ballot paper of "None of the Above" to make a positive statement of dissatisfaction, the informal vote would not be the only recourse for those of us deeply disappointed with what things have come to.
  8. Not at all! some interesting questions posed.

    I broadly agree with everything PatB said. I dont think that informal voting is a good thing (regardless of how funny it must be for the counters to find a picture of a pee pee), but it has given both the majors a kick up the arse - they realise that people want substance in their political parties, not a pair of clones trying to make the other major look bad.
  9. Does Latham have a book to sell or did the liberals give him a call hoping to throw a bull in labors china shop. What was his deal/purpose?

    Is it wrong for me to assume that his throw away your vote campaign probably only worked on usual labor voters?
  10. I suspect that many people were considering an informal vote long before Mad Mark reappeared. I know I was.
  11. Informal is NOT the Donkey vote (it's the Ass vote)

    Informal is not filling in the card correctly, (either deliberately or accidentally)

    The Donkey Vote is filling in the card from the top to the bottom in numerical order, from 1 to where ever. Parties covet the #1 spot on voting cards because some voters are either illiterate or careless and the Donkey Vote can yield some benefit.

    Either way, it makes you realise how we dodged the bullet by not having this boofhead as Prime Minister.
  12. Which boof head?
  13. Thanks, Roaster. It's appreciated. (Oh, and I think Hornet's referring to Latham...)

    This is fair enough, Pat. I kinda had my tongue in my cheek when I used that term. One of the original uses for the term was as an insult to those who refused to participate in the Athenian polis:

    The above is from the wikipedia entry on Athenian Democracy. (I tried to dig up a note somewhere more reputable, but couldn't find the book where I'd underlined it. Either way, I couldn't resist using it here, but, in hindsight its probably not useful to the conversation...)

    I totally agree with this, and think Latham is an effect rather than a cause. Still, I'm interested in exactly how people have defined the situation. Was it (a) the negative campaigning? Was it (b) the convergence of the major parties to try and capture the middle ground, such that there is no real choice between them? (There is greater choice, but many find the outer reaches of either wing unappealing.) Or is it (c) something broader? (Democracy reduced to consumer choice?)

    Of course its partly 'a' and partly 'b', but I think they only make sense in the context of 'c'? But it's only a bullshit theory if no one else thinks this too, so I'm genuinely interested in what people have to say on this.
  14. Ah, fair enough. I lack a classical education so I missed that.

    My own rationale was the fact that I was forced to choose between the party of censorship, versus the party of the selfish wealthy. Not much of a choice really. In the end I voted on the basis that I can learn to get around an internet filter, but I can't come up with an individual substitute for operational public health and education systems.