Saturday, April 23, 2011

If the Premiership Was Decided On FPTP

I'm getting a bit tired of all these "If sporting events were decided under AV then..." arguments from the NO campaign.

Because election races aren't really athletics races. If they were, they wouldn't let men and women compete in the same elections. And they aren't really horse races either, because if they were, the Lib Dems have won Orkney and Shetland so many times they would have to be given a big handicap in the next contest. And they aren't really boxing matches, because if they were Cyril Smith would have been in a separate election all by himself.

And election races certainly aren't football matches. But if football competitions were decided on the first round, this is how the Premiership would have been decided this season:

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 14 Aug 2010 23:59 UK
Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 1 6 3
2 Blackpool 1 4 3
3 Aston Villa 1 3 3
4 Wolves 1 1 3
5 Blackburn 1 1 3

Like I said, I'm tired of these sporting comparisons.....

Friday, April 22, 2011

In Saudi Arabia, FPTP = Females Prevented Taking Part

From the Arab News:

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced Monday that it was not yet ready for women participating in next month’s municipal elections as voters or candidates. “We are not ready for the participation of women in these municipal elections,” Election Commissioner Abdul Rahman Al-Dahmash said.

On the Saudijeans blog, there's a call for an elections boycott:

The municipal elections deserve to be boycotted because democracy is not a ballot box. Democracy is about conceding power to the people. When the ballot box does not lead to conceding power to people and using this power effectively, then the ballot box does not lead to democracy. The municipal councils had no impact on the lives of people, and the comical manner in which their mandate has been extended for two years shows that they have nothing to do with the power of the people or delegating that power from them. How can an elected councilman gets his power from voters, then keeps to exercise it thanks to a government decision? This is, by the way, why democratic countries hold elections on schedule, because an elected official cannot continue to use his power without the consent of those — the voters — who have given him this power in the first place.

Have you noticed that they are using the same excuses that they have used to exclude women in 2004? The lack of separate polling stations for women, the need to learn from the experience with a promise to take part the next time around, etc. During the past seven years, we have built KAUST and sent 80,000 students to study abroad but somehow we still can’t prepare polling stations for women’s participation. Due to all this comicality and lack of seriousness, the municipal elections deserve to be boycotted.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Farewell, Elizabeth. Goodbye Sarah Jane.

Shocked to hear of her death....

For so many , she was "Our" Doctor Who Girl. This Mitch Benn song has a little extra poignancy now:

And I don't think pain and loss do define us as much as happiness and love:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Are Either Going To Love This Or Hate It

It's at

The webapage describes it as:

Simple sinewave synthesizer triggered by an ordinary 16step sequencer. Each triggered step causes a force on the underlaying wave-map, which makes it more cute.

As Kim Ayres explains here

Some of you will already know about this, indeed will probably have it as an iPhone app or something. So far as I can make out, it was created a couple of years ago. But I only found it today. I wanted to put it on my blog so I would be able to find it again any time I wanted to for the rest of my life.

There's some other interesting stuff here too....

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Politics Doesn't Have To Be Bad Tempered.

From The Ticket:

Jefferson Smith loves a good political joke.

Early last year, the then-freshman Oregon House member from Portland was getting ready for bed when he and his wife, Katy, began bantering back and forth about what might be the ultimate political prank, something that could lighten the increasingly divisive political mood among his colleagues.

As Smith recalls, the idea came almost instantly. "What if we were to Rick Roll the legislature without anybody noticing?" he wondered.

The lines had to be delivered on the House floor during a lawmaker's regular floor speech--which is, under Oregon law, videotaped for public records purposes. And the lines of the lyrics had to be spread out, so as not to tip off the state House clerk or other observers to what lawmakers were up to.

"It was way harder taking words and spreading them out than simply manipulating them (on video)," Smith says. "There are some easy lines in there to say without getting noticed. 'You're never gonna' is easy. 'I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling' is easy. But an 'ooh?' That's tricky." ..

Hat-Tip : Andrew Sullivan

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Missing Majority

Rochford District Council is very blue. We have 32 Tories, 5 Lib Dems, 1 Green and 1 Rochford Residents Party councillor. So we don't win many votes....

But it was a slightly bizarre evening tonight.

Our Standards Committee consists of 4 Tory District Councillors, 1 Lib Dem District Councillor (myself), plus a number of parish councillors and independent members.

Tonight none of the Tories turned up!

For the first time in ten years our party outnumbered the Conservatives in an official council committee (albeit by one to nil).

Everything went very smoothly and we made some useful decisions...

Actually poor attendance by the Conservatives is becoming a trend here.
Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

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