Monday, October 11

Breathing easier

Many sighs of relief this weekend. After one of our nine chartered buses broke down (the one I was one, of course), we made it into The Swamp 5 minutes before kickoff. It didn't look promising for LSU early on, but much-maligned Marcus Randall coolly led a touchdown drive in the final two minutes to win the game. Say what you want about the kid, but he's got heart.

I've been fortunate enough to see LSU win twice at Florida, and it's a great atmosphere for football (but not as great as Death Valley). The Swamp is loud, the fans are close to the field and I don't think there's a bad seat in that stadium.

Sigh of relief 2: John Howard won re-election in Australia. I commented a bit on my perceptions of the Australian situation here. It's a big win for Aussies as they stated their support for the GWOT, rejecting opposition candidate Mark Latham who had proposed pulling Aussie troops from Iraq by Christmas. Tim Blair also has some good perspective (HT: Hugh).

An Australian political primer: The preferential voting system allows voters to list candidates in order of preference, thus allowing multiple parties to win seats. The current governing coalition is led by the Liberal party (thus Howard, the leader of the Libs, is prime minister). The Australian Liberal party's beliefs are more in line with American Republicans, with the Labor and Green parties more reflective of American liberal ideologies. Anyway, the system often has some peculiar results, such as this. If anyone understands the Australian system better or can explain it better, please comment.

I'm holding my breath on sigh #3: Can the Astros pull it off tonight?

More later on some situations in Louisiana, as well as my thoughts on Kerry's accidental honesty.

2 Comments:

At October 12, 2004 at 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh,

The electoral and voting systems in Australia and Europe give a whole lot of power to minority parties and candidates. If you want to learn more about this kind of stuff, I suggest reading "Analyzing Politics" by Shepsle and Bonchek of Harvard. It was my favorite book as an undergrad.

Basically democracy operates under the assumption of the validity of Aarow's Theorem which basically says there is no perfect way to take a set of articulated interests (people's voter preferences) and aggregate them into a coherent group choice (election result).

Hence, humans have devised many forms of "democracy," each giving varying degrees of protection/power to minority interests usually (but not always) in an effort to avoid what Madison described as "tyranny of the majority" in Federalist #10.

Anyways - check out the Shepsle and Bonchek book. If you like this kind of stuff, its a quick read. Find out if any classes are offered teaching out of this text. If you have the opportunity take the class. You won't regret it!

Rick Brady

 
At October 13, 2004 at 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh,

This is Ryne. What's up man? I still want to hang out, so call me up sometime. I'm very much enjoying reading the new blog. You sound wise beyond your years. Call me sometime, i miss hanging out man. Later.

 

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