Spurious math: 480,000 bribes elect next Federal Government


In an election unlikely to reveal a tangible difference in economic policies or capacity for large-scale taxation bribery, it appears that symbolic issues might become more important, and so might local personalities.

However, judging from the uninspiring personality contests hinted at in the analysis of Queensland marginal seats below, and the disingenuously disputed fact that even on social  or cultural policies (cultural policies?  What would those be?) the major parties hardly disagree, the end result might be no more complicated to predict than some really spurious claims about statistics.

Looking at the seats below as a national mean, which they are not, 28 per cent of seats may determine the outcome of the federal election.  That’s 42 of the 150 single-member divisions.  Should we just limit the lies and pork barreling to suit the constituents in those electorates?  Tell me after the election whether that ‘was’ as foolhardy an idea as it sounds right now.

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Swan’s Australia Day message for generations gone by

Wayne Swan, channeling John Howard.
Wayne Swan, channeling John Howard.

Reading Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan’s Australia Day message was a disconcertingly embarrassing experience. It made me cringe to think Sawn is almost part of my peer group, and quite so chauvinistically stuck in a pre-war mindset that he thinks recalling the Bodyline discourse is of relevance or appeal to any contemporary Australian demographic.

For sane people everywhere, but particularly outside the cricket-playing Commonwealth, Bodyline was the style of attack used by English fast bowlers during the antipodean summer of 1932-33. That’s right: 80 years ago. The bodyline strategy was simple: bowl the cricket ball straight at the batsman with intent to injure or wrongfoot him. It was considered an unsportsmanlike reaction to the almost superhuman batting skills of Australians like Don Bradman, whose batting average was an astonishing 100 per game.

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