Preferences are out

The Senate group ticket preferencing deals are out. These are the preferences that apply for the majority of voters who vote above-the-line. Some interesting things have popped up -- I'm looking at the NSW tickets, you can see the full list on the AEC site.

  • The Liberal Party are preferencing the religious fascists (Fred Nile, then Family First), but they aren't returning the favour.
  • A vote for LaRouche nutjobs Citzens Electoral Council is essentially a vote for the Coalition, with preferences going straight there and likely to stay.
  • Family First are pretty keen on the Liberty & Democracy Party, with preferences going there straight after Carers Alliance. Have they actually read and understood the LDP's policies? Not really compatible with the heavily-regulated sexuality state they're keen on.
  • As I suspected, Climate Change Coalition are doing dodgy things. They've preferences The Fishing Party ahead of The Greens! Family First are well ahead in their list too.
  • What Women Want have tried to screw Labor by giving their first preference flowing to the party to the third person on the Labor ticket. Not sure if this works though. Any amateur psephologists care to comment?
  • The LDP's ticket shows their policies don't quite match their actions. Family First benefit from their preferences, so it looks like both sides have put aside their (substantial) ideological differences for a grubby preference swap. Here we have a party that wants top install a theocracy regulating all sexuality doing a deal with a bunch of self-proclaimed libertarians. That's Catholic levels of ideological contortion!
  • The Democrats have shown their true colours again, preferencing LDP ahead of The Greens. I guess this probably tallies with the core values of the party, given they were the small 'l' splinter group from the Liberals, but I suspect most people voting that way wouldn't realise they'd take libertarianism as far as the LDP!
  • No surprises that Conservatives for Climate and Environment preferences essentially flow to and stay with the Coalition. So if you're looking to give Howard a bloody nose, this isn't the way to do it.
  • Democratic Labor Party, in case you don't know, were a hardcore Catholic splinter from the Labor Party. No surprises, then, that they preference Fred Nile and Family First. More interesting though is that they preference the Coalition ahead of Labor. Given the effects on families of the odious WorkChoices legislation, this is very interesting.
  • The Fishing Party seems to have done some judicious deals. They've got a lot of people preferencing in, so their outgoing preferences seem quite erratic as they pay back the favours. Certainly seems little ideological rationale behind it.
  • Fred Nile is definitely beind a shrewd player, similar to the Fish Party strategy of harvesting a lot in, then repaying back out.
  • Non-Custodial Parents Party is a dark horse, with preferences going straight to Pauline, into Fishing Party and Family First. I doubt most single parents would want their preferences flowing to parties like that.
  • Group V seems to just be harvesting votes for the Coalition.
  • Labor are honouring their agreement, with preferences going straight to The Greens, having learnt their lesson in helping get Steve Price elected for the religious fascists last time around. Interestingly, they preference DLP quite highly -- some unrequited love going on there.
  • Carers Alliance seem to have gone down the grubby preference path. Surely preferencing CEC is a grubby step too far, and won't be worth much in preferences anyway!
  • So lots of interesting deals in there, some extremely grubby. It's hilarious hearing Family First talk about the (open and honestly discussed) preference deal between Labor and The Greens as "grubby" given their filthy deals with LDP and Non-Custodial Parents (surely they'd be encouraging the parents to stay together?).

    WTF is this Plaxo crap?

    I just received a message from some social networking crap called "Plaxo".

    Subject: John added you as a connection on Pulse

    I'd like to connect to you on Pulse.

    Pulse is the easiest way to stay up-to-date and share photos, contact info, recommendations, or just about anything from the sites you already use (YouTube, Flickr, Digg, etc.) with the people you know.


    To accept this request and see what I'm sharing:<removed tracking code>

    Though member-sent, this e-mail contains promotional content. If you would prefer not to receive such mailings in the future, click here. Plaxo's office is at 203 Ravendale Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043.

    So someone who is only identified as "John", and I don't know many of those wants to connect with me in some vague social networking bollocks? And to opt out I have to follow their process to stop receiving their spam?

    Spam! At least Facebook lets you permanently opt out with a single click. These guys, I have no idea who they are and don't care. I won't be following their multi-step process for "opting out" (or rather, verifying I'm a real, live human).

    Liberty and Democracy Party: some enthusiasts respond

    So my previous post about the Liberty & Democracy Party got some responses. I had a long conversation with one Terje Petersen and he seemed pretty rational, a nice guy really. We disagree on a number of issues, of course, especially gun control.

    Just now I received another one which appears somewhat less rational, from a harry1233 at (perhaps that should be Rather than actually read my blog post, he's immediately jumped to the conclusion that I'm dissing the party. Far from it, though of course I did point out the overlap between libertarians and the tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorizing anti-semites. While it may have nothing to do with the LDP, they inhabit the same part of the intellectual spectrum as these nutjobs. Just as those of us on the Green side of politics have our tree-hugging, gaia consciousness, deep ecologist hippy nutjobs that we're all embarrassed of, like a nutty old uncle who only gets rolled out for Christmas and birthdays.

    Anyway, for your amusement:

    Hello Simon,

    Please do yourself a favour and rewrite the Liberty & Democracy reference honestly. Why slag them as nutters associated / inferenced to the Citizens Electoral Council. Do you have an agenda of sorts to undermine them (the LDP)?

    Look forward to you doing the right thing, you might even join the party - yes it is liberterian in precept, but very much of an Australian flavour.

    You too can make the world a better rather than bitter place.


    Planet Feed Reader bug

    I've been trying to post to Planet's development mailing list because I've found a bug. It moderates posts from non-subscribers, and I can't see any other way to report a bug. So I'll report it here, and hopefully someone will spot it. I've asked Jeff separately to approve the post, but haven't had any luck -- he's a bloody busy guy, so fair enough.

    Here's the bug report:

    Hi folks.
    For some time I've noticed that feeds slurped from planets, which are
    in turn using my old-format, link to non-existent URLs.  For example,
    if you look at and grab the RSS, you get this:
    <title>Simon Rumble: Crazy Egg rocks</title>
    <description>[snipped for clarity]</description>
    <pubDate>Mon, 22 Oct 2007 05:13:13 +0000</pubDate>
    Now the contents of the <guid> element is just plain wrong, if
    used as a URL.  The contents of <link> are, in fact, correct.
    Now if you look at the RSS 0.91 I'm sending at you see this:
          <title>Crazy Egg rocks</title>
         <description>[snipped for clarity]</description>
    Or if you grab the RSS 2.0 I'm sending at you see this:
          <title>Crazy Egg rocks</title>
          <description>[snipped for clarity]</description>
          <author>Simon Rumble
          <pubDate>22 Oct 2007 05:13:13 UTC</pubDate>
          <guid isPermaLink="false">Crazy_Egg</guid>
    Now if you look at the spec, guid is meant to be a unique identifier.
    If the "isPermaLink" property is true (or not specified),
    it's also the URL that can be used for the item.  So the RSS readers
    are interpretting this correctly.  However, I don't know how Planet is
    concocting these guids, and they shouldn't be putting the isPermaLink
    property on regardless.
    The blog software I'm using is blosxom -- so I suspect this isn't an
    isolated incident.  You can also see this same example manifest in the
    RSS 2.0 of
    I'm not on this list, so if you want any further details, copy me in.

    Got access to a photocopier in London?

    The Australian federal election is coming up and this time around I'm not in London to coordinate for The Greens when the 20,000 or so people vote at Australia House in London. Instead we've got the very dedicated Michelle doing it. However, she's having the perennial "no budget" problem and is trying to find people willing to photocopy the How To Vote brochures that will be handed out.

    So do you have access to a photocopier and are able to do some bulk copying for us? If so, get in touch.

    Alternatively, if you'd like to make a donation to cover it, or volunteer to help out handing out the How To Votes, also get in touch.

    Who's this Liberty and Democracy Party?

    So anyone got any details of this new Liberty & Democracy Party? They push themselves as libertarians, but that often tends to start sounding like LaRouche nutjobism. So do these people talk about vast global Jewish conspiracies or are they, as they claim to be, classical liberals into small government? Their policies on drugs (legalise) would tend to be the opposite of LaRouche.

    I always find the libertarian outlook fascinating. Libertarians and anarchists, to my mind, seem to have arrived at the same place from different starting points. Anarchists start out thinking individuals are generally good but governments and authority are bad. Libertarians start out thinking individuals are out for nobody but themselves and governments and authority are bad. They both end up with basically the same view, except that anarchists tend to believe that people can voluntarily work together (syndicate) while libertarians want big fences around their property backed up by big guns to protect their stuff.

    I doubt this new party will do well. Australians aren't actually that averse to taxation. Poll after poll shows that we'd prefer better public hospitals and schools, in preference to tax cuts. We also don't have the critical mass of UFO-spotting, UN-helicopter-fearing, gun-polishing indvidualist nutters that you get in the US.

    Long Tail not that long

    The Long Tail in a remainder pile

    This really tickled my funny bone. In case you're wondering, The Long Tail was something a certain business nerd stick mag was trumpeting a few years back. The basic premise of it was that, with minimal cost to holding inventory, non-traditional stores can stock an almost unlimited range of products, which means niche products can thrive.

    But I guess the time of this particular niche is over.

    Parties should show their commitment

    Glen Turner has good things to say about political parties showing their comittment to a cause. Why aren't they out there building houses, paying doctors' bills, rather than just promising to use our money to do it?

    In some parts of the world that's exactly how parties build their power base. Both Hamas and Fatah have social services at the heart of their power base in Palestine. Ditto Hezbullah in Lebanon. Many political movements based around the poor and the left in Europe and South America work this way.

    But what services would a political party supply to gain the support they need from the swinging, debt-laden middle classes? Help pay their mortgages? A Labor or Liberal childcare centre? Not sure I'd trust my offspring to those bastards though -- these are the kind of people where you'd count your fingers after shaking their hands.

    Howard: the grumpy old codger

    I didn't see last night's "debate" (how can you have a debatge when they agree on almost everything?) as we went to see the absolutely amazing Control, about the life of Ian Curtis of Joy Division. The consensus on the "debate" seems to be a Rudd win, with Howard coming across as even more an out-of-touch codger.

    The rodent really has been starting to sound like the grumpy old codger in the corner. You almost expect him to come out with:

    You kids never had it so good. Back in my day when there was a Labor government, we used to have to steal loaves of bread from union thugs so we'd have something to eat. But we was happy.