Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bali November 2012

Improving Post

State of the free world (US Presidential Elections)

This post comes with a disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert on the inner workings of how the American government works, or believe that any candidate is better than another per say, there is a lot of issues some of which affect individuals greater than others and you should always look at all the candidates on offer and their plan of attack / what issues they consider to be the most pressing and base your vote accordingly. Whilst I may be Australian and the state of politics in the states does not really affect me, the subject does seem to get a lot of attention here and according to some circles the US is the foundation of the free world and things that happen there will have a follow on affect in the countries associated with it. This aside these are simply my thoughts / opinions as an outsider looking in.

This will be one of my rare thoughts and reflections when it comes to politics as itโ€™s a freaking rabbit warren of a topic with so many different views / agendas which gets infinitely more complicated with the sheer vastness of issues affecting the world at large today. In regards to the recent election in the United States during the lead up to the election as well as during the opening states it was called that it was going to be a really close election and it was ripe for the republicans to win.

The result of the election of course is known now President Obama 332 vs 206 for Romney in my book this isn’t exactly a close race. In regards to what this says to me, America is faced with a lot of issues at present we all know this it also has a president that doesn’t rank all the best in regards to popularity of rule but even with this taken into account he still deserved a shot at a second term to continue to tackle the issues that face the country. The guy isn’t to blame for all the ill that is currently befalling the country that shit was coming regardless of who was in power for the last term or not, the question of dealing with it lays with the president.

Unlike the election in the US our election was actually close, so close in fact there was no true winner; neither the labour party nor the coalition of the Liberals and Nationals were able to form majority rule resulting in a hung parliament. This lead to back room political negotiations in which some independents agreed to support the labour party to give them their second term. Unlike the states we don’t vote for a candidate we vote for a party, in 2007 Kevin Rudd went to the polls as the leader of the Labour party and lead his side to victory for the first time in what was a liberal dominated government for a long time. During his term however his party decided to get rid of him and replace him with someone else being Julia Gillard to be Australia’s first female prime minister by default. In my personal opinion it didn’t really count as we didn’t elect her so it wasn’t really her gaining the position in her own right with the support of the people which I think partly contributed to the next election resulting in the hung parliament of the last election.

This result however culminated in the uneven distribution of power in the upper house of government. In our case this is not so much of a bad thing, the liberals really hold labour to prove the validity of what they are proposing and act as a check / balance against some not so nice changes (compulsory internet filtering comes to mind) proposed by those in power. Now from what I can see with the US it is a similar scenario with each party holding the majority in one side of the fence. Given that the republicans and the democrats traditionally do not get along too well they hold in their power the ability to be assholes and block anything that the duly elected president may wish to put forward. Now given that the president is supposed to be elected by the people and for the people in being a blocking agent you don’t really do any favours in pissing them off. Sure you should definitely be a check / balance against really stupid decisions, however if you really want to push your case as a better candidacy for leadership of the nature wouldn’t it be better to allow the duly elected representative of the people royally screw up and you can then pull the I told you so card and sweep in to save the nation?

President Obama may not be the best leader or candidate but the power of democracy has spoken the majority has ruled that he deserves a second term to continue to try and improve things for the United States, and for that I say hats off to you sir, you came in last time around at the dawn of a bad era regardless and good luck in working towards a better future for your country. But perhaps given the rather large issues facing the nation it is time to put aside the traditional republican/democrat animosity and meet up at the country club over a cigar and fine brandy to discuss options of working together on different approaches to improve the situation for the people that they are supposed to represent.

In the aftermath of this election I have seen a lot brandished around the internet about how stupid / fucked America is for re-electing president Obama and Donald Trump going on record via twitter to call it a travesty against democracy and how a few have even said they will move to Australia, to this I have a few things to say:

– I will make this statement, people as a whole do tend to be sheep, but in this case sheep or not (I would like to think there are some educated / eccentric people out there that would still vote both ways) the majority has spoken, this is one of the core tenements of democracy and it has been upheld
– Being the leader of a country is not the easiest of jobs, compounded even more so when there are some serious issues affecting your nation but if you are willing step up to the plate and try to tackle these issues you deserve respect, even if you may not like the guy he is your leader and you should at least show him some respect

In regards to the Americans considering moving to Australia, we are a multicultural country based and enjoy diversity we would be happy to welcome you into our nation (but there will be some friendly banter thrown your way so come with a good sense of humour and a thick skin) but there are some key points to note:

1. Australia is not a republic, our head of government is the Prime Minister but our head of state remains as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and her representative here in Australia the governor general
2. American is not a language; we speak English as do you
3. Our version of Obamacare is called Medicare we have had it since the 1970’s and 1.5% of your income will be taken as a levy for this, if you are over the age of 30 and do not have private health insurance you will be required to contribute an additional 1.5% (this is not part of income tax levels)
4. Our income tax has 5 levels (0% for low income earners, 19% for $18-37k, 32.5% for $37-$80k, 37% for $80-180k and finally if you are lucky enough to earn more than that a flat 45% above this)
5. Our prime minister is not Christian, if this bothers you, she is an unmarried atheist that lives in the prime ministers lodge with her boyfriend / de-facto partner
6. There is no such thing as any of the amendments of the constitution here, we have implied freedom of speech / action but it is not set in stone as a right as protected by your constitution
7. Firearms are not permitted without a license and possession of them comes with strict guidelines, I can’t even buy an airsoft gun ๐Ÿ™

In closing I would like to offer my congratulations to President Obama in his victory in the election, and wish him the best of luck in his coming term I have a feeling he will need it.