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Old 5th March 2019, 06:15 AM   #1
Beelzebuddy
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Tell me about your local politics

I'm tired of roasting marshmallows over the bonfire of modern civilization. Let's talk about the small disputes which might not matter to anyone more than a kilometer away but are keenly felt by those involved. The cat ladies, the rich jerks down the street, the amoral developer. The more bitter and petty, the better.
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:23 AM   #2
JoeMorgue
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Jacksonville is in the middle of a pretty heated mayoral campaign, pretty much a one issue race abut whether or not to sell our community owned electric company. Our incumbent mayor is a major supporter of the idea and one of the city council members who was pretty much the voice of the opposition has thrown her hat into the ring as a mayoral challenger.

So for all practical purpose our mayoral election is a referendum on whether or not to sell our power company.
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:29 AM   #3
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It's a few years ago now, but the mayor of our little area complained to the cops in the nearby bigger town that there wasn't much of a police presence in our parts. So the top cop sent down a couple of cars one Saturday night and busted a bunch of locals for drunk driving.

The mayor then shut up
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:51 AM   #4
Dave Rogers
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I'm not certain we even have local politics. This is Ipswich, where nothing has happened since 1978 and even that was just a game of ******* football. What is there to be political about?

Dave
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Old 5th March 2019, 07:48 AM   #5
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We actually had an honest-to-god election bribery scandal with the last election for my city councilor. The incumbent, who was initially running unopposed, was accused of trying to bribe they guy who filed on the last day possible, in order to get him not to run.

It was silly on several levels:

  1. There was no real need to eliminate the opposition, the incumbent had won every previous election with, like, 80% of the vote
  2. The scandal was literally the only reason anyone ever even heard about the challenger
  3. The alleged bribe itself was pathetic: a donation to the Food Bank!
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:02 AM   #6
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At various times in the past our local politics have had a controversy or two. The school budget sometimes gets people in a flap, and back in the 90's our little town set a long-standing record for consecutive defeats of budget proposals (13 as I recall)*; and some years ago zoning was a hard sell. But little happens most years these days. It's town meeting day today, and I'll probably skip it, though I'll go vote at some point for local offices.

I like small towns.

*For a while we had on our school board a person who was so dedicated to budget capping that she voted to reject an offer of free computers from IBM out of fear that it would increase the electric bill. Outvoted by the board, she, along with her husband who tried every year to introduce a flag protection ordinance made town meetings a bit of a circus. A budget was finally passed when the State threatened to take over the school district.
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Old 5th March 2019, 10:48 AM   #7
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Let's see... Last year we had a shootout between municipal police because the dividing line between municipalities runs through business/restaurant district. Both municipalities try to claim that district as theirs for tax/bribe purposes. Our mayor's bodyguard was killed and a few cops got wounded. Good times. I'm talking full on rifle fire. Sounded like a war was starting. I was eating tacos about 2 blocks away.

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Old 5th March 2019, 01:29 PM   #8
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We're a Midwest cow-town that is being inundated with developers who seem to have us confused with Portland or Austin. The city council finally decided to formally declare what "affordable" means in terms of approving TIF for new rental units.

They said $1,100/mo. 30% of the median income here. Not sure how "the maximum recommended amount of your income that you should spend on housing which half the people who live here don't make" is somehow "affordable."

Nevertheless, we've got luxury condos hemmorhaging out all over. 300-some square foot micro units for $800+, and endless waves of 4-over-1s coming soon...
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Old 5th March 2019, 02:06 PM   #9
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The local political story in Damascus Oregon is that the voters decided to get out of the business of politics. The community voted to incorporate as a city in 2004. Over the next nine years the council, city manager, and mayor failed to agree on much of anything. In 2013 a vote was held for disincorporation. The city government contended that a supermajority, rather than a simple majority was required (a provision not found in the state constitution). A second vote, under state supervision was held. The city was disincorporated in 2016.

The only other city in Oregon to disincorporate was Antelope, which did so to prevent the Rajnishees from taking over the government. After they left the town reincorporated.

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Old 5th March 2019, 03:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Jacksonville is in the middle of a pretty heated mayoral campaign, pretty much a one issue race abut whether or not to sell our community owned electric company. Our incumbent mayor is a major supporter of the idea and one of the city council members who was pretty much the voice of the opposition has thrown her hat into the ring as a mayoral challenger.

So for all practical purpose our mayoral election is a referendum on whether or not to sell our power company.
We had a referendum for just the opposite a few years ago -- taking over the territory from a private company to form a Public Utility District. This being extremely liberal Port Townsend, the tail that wags the more conservative county, it passed. We weren't voters here at the time or I'd have voted against it. The PUD is on about its sixth CFO in as many years, having failed audit after audit. They aren't crooked, just incompetent.
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Old 5th March 2019, 05:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I'm not certain we even have local politics. This is Ipswich, where nothing has happened since 1978 and even that was just a game of ******* football. What is there to be political about?

Dave
Jeezus... the Tractor Boys used to play in the Premier League. Not much chop now are they?


* * * *

My political region is the Tasman District. Our big deal locally is the furore over the construction of a controversial $100 million 53M high irrigation dam in the Lee Valley, just south of Nelson.

Those against say its risky (being built between two active fault lines) and they claim that it will be of no benefit to urban dwellers who claim they don;t need it (I'm Alright Jack), but as rate payers, they will be paying for it for many, many years to come.

Those in favour say its vital to the local fruit-growing industries of the regions, and without it, those industries, a major employer both directly and indirectly, will be at risk. They say that it will secure the region's water supply for the next 100 years and increase employment.

There have been very emotive arguments on both sides, such as

Against
"Urban supply does not need the water and the rate payer should not be paying one dollar towards it," (local resident Murray Dawson).

"Do they want their diesel costs on their tractors to be paid for as well?" (Richmond resident Maxwell Clark).

For
"If the dam hadn't gone ahead we would have had to make hard decisions at certain times of the year, what was going to be left to grow and what would be left to basically die off," (Gardener Pierre Gargiulo).

"We wouldn't be able to continue growing apples like we are today into the future." (Orchardist Richard Hoddy)

In the end, the council vote 9-5 to go ahead with it against the public's wishes.

However, at the moment, we are in the grip of an extreme water shortage in both the rural and urban areas. There has been no rain here since late October 2018. There are severe restrictions on water (no garden sprinklers or hosing), businesses are being told to reduce their consumption by 75% or risk having the council shut off their water supply. The pro Dam people are busily telling anyone who will listen that if the Dam had already been built, there would be more than enough water to overcome the current shortage.
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:04 PM   #12
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The blue-green algae bloom in Lake Tuggeranong is getting worse, and government funding for a treatment programme is drying up in a couple of months. The ACT government is being forced to look for other ways to clear it up.

Okay, it's not exactly "politics" but it's still pretty nasty.
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:05 PM   #13
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Our local council covers an area that is almost 100% almost impenetrable national park. The population lives along a main highway and railway line. It is also one of Australia's premier tourist destinations just outside Sydney. Herein lies the problem.

There is a major national project running currently called "the NBN" which is rolling out fibre connection to the internet for all Australians. But the quality of that connection has been severely compromised by successive governments. Naturally, people in "government" electorates get funding for high-quality connection. Those in the "opposition" electorates get...less so.

We are just outside the metropolitan area of Sydney. Because Sydney is a major city, it gets high-quality NBN with fibre to the premises. Country electorates start just to the west of us. Country electorates are currently "favoured". They get high-quality NBN too. We fall in between - not metropolitan, not country. So have to make do with two bits of fencing wire or some 60-year-old phone line per house which get burnt out with each passing lightning storm as our NBN solution for internet access. Speeds are measured in singular bytes per second. This is planned to be "upgraded" to "dunno, maybe wet string?" in a few year's time. Maybe. And our mobile phone (cellphone) reception is dogs' bollocks as well.

So the local politics is getting heated about this. Because they are about to shut down our old phone exchanges as we are cut over to NBN-only phones. Political bums are getting kicked now. But meanwhile, we will have to snail-mail our emails to a friend in Sydney who will type them in for us on their high-speed link.

https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com...lue-mountains/
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:10 PM   #14
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Staying in New South Wales, a Labor Party official is being charged with making child pornography. It's recently been revealed that he is also an ex-Catholic priest.
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Old 5th March 2019, 10:26 PM   #15
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In further moves to ingratiate themselves to developers and landlords, HB899 in Missouri will make fast-track evictions skate by in just 9 days. Okay, it's up to 30 days in theory. But it's 4 days from summons to the scheduling hearing and 5 days from judgment to move-out, trial date no more than 21 days from the scheduling hearing.

There is no "anti-SLAPP" for this statute. So landlords are free to use it to retaliate against tenants who want to exercise their rights. I personally experienced this with some drama over a failing heater a few years back. The best I could muster, and only by virtue of impeccable record keeping, was a wash. Move out without the civil case black mark or a breached lease agreement was confirmed by the lawyers on a Sunday night, must vacate by the night before the trial date (Wednesday morning) and I was basically homeless for about a month and a half. That summons landed the week before Christmas and the hearing was the week after New Years, so already rather quick in terms of business days.

But the point is to make it nearly impossible to find a lawyer, tell work to (kindly) stuff it, find someone to watch the kids, get your suit dry cleaned, whatever.

Don't even get me started on the Legislature basically totally overturning numerous popular ballot initiatives from last cycle. Oh, and one of the most regressive Abortion bills on offer.

"Race to the bottom? Hold my beer..."

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Old 6th March 2019, 10:42 PM   #16
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Here's a good one for you. The state of New South Wales is having a state election shortly, and the ballot listings have just been released.

Running against the current NSW Premier (the head of the governing party - basically a little like American governors), Gladys Berejiklian is this fellow named Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow. Yes, that's his real legal name. His previous claim to fame was being fined for trying to use an implanted chip to access public transport services.
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Old 7th March 2019, 06:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
We had a referendum for just the opposite a few years ago -- taking over the territory from a private company to form a Public Utility District. This being extremely liberal Port Townsend, the tail that wags the more conservative county, it passed. We weren't voters here at the time or I'd have voted against it. The PUD is on about its sixth CFO in as many years, having failed audit after audit. They aren't crooked, just incompetent.
The funniest thing is... our entire thing is pointless. There's already a law on the books that any sell of JEA is going to be approved by a voter referendum. No matter what the next mayor wants, it's gonna have to go to a public vote to sell the company.

Which is weird because... like I said that's all this mayoral race has been about. It's the only topic being discussed. But the end result can only be the position of the mayor that calls for a vote from the citizens of the city as to whether or not to do it, their opinion is secondary at best.

And every citizen poll has shown at least a minimum 75% support for not selling so whole thing really does just seem all kinds of pointless.
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Old 7th March 2019, 03:24 PM   #18
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In my former home town:
the U of I is considering a new mascot finally
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/loc...ing-thing.html

I am sure the naysayers will say "Nay we want the Chief!"
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Old 7th March 2019, 04:20 PM   #19
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The house next door to mine, sold for $750,000 last year, one down the street sold for one million.

There have been a spate of demolitions, and four two-storey homes built, where one bungalow stood before.

Soon I won't be able to find my way home, because all the landmarks will be gone...

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Old 7th March 2019, 07:12 PM   #20
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Your thread's title has made me think that not knowing is nothing to be proud of. I don't know anything about my local politics.
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Old 7th March 2019, 07:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
Your thread's title has made me think that not knowing is nothing to be proud of. I don't know anything about my local politics.
It's always better to know stuff than not to know stuff.
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Old 7th March 2019, 08:32 PM   #22
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The reason why the above is local politics, is that the State Labor government, unilaterally rezoned the area where I live, against the wishes of the residents, and the local government.

So this place is changing from a nice suburb where families can live in homes with gardens, to a high-rise hell-hole, because developers.

In theory, I have "gained" because I can now leave the formerly nice place to live, and make a profit on my home.

It doesn't feel like a gain to me.

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Old 7th March 2019, 08:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It's always better to know stuff than not to know stuff.
Unless you're a representative of the Know-Nothing party, in which case the existential dilemma is unbearable.
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Old 7th March 2019, 09:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Unless you're a representative of the Know-Nothing party, in which case the existential dilemma is unbearable.
I remember a documentary about their founder, Sgt Schultz...
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Old 7th March 2019, 11:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
The reason why the above is local politics, is that the State Labor government, unilaterally rezoned the area where I live, against the wishes of the residents, and the local government.

So this place is changing from a nice suburb where families can live in homes with gardens, to a high-rise hell-hole, because developers.

In theory, I have "gained" because I can now leave the formerly nice place to live, and make a profit on my home.

It doesn't feel like a gain to me.

What suburb, may I ask?
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Old 7th March 2019, 11:35 PM   #26
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Many suburbs up and down Anzac Hwy.

I can understand high rise on Anzac Hwy, but extending the rezoning two blocks either side seems to be a bit nasty.
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:37 AM   #27
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There's a dream sequence in (iirc) the the TV series Coupling, where Steve, the main character, is on a plane and the Stewardess approaches, asks him what meal option he had and when he answers tells him that everyone else on the plane had the other meal and is in the process of coming down with a violent stomach bug and will shortly be vomiting and voiding themselves uncontrollably, including the Captain and Co-Pilot. Steve steels himself for the duty and is ready to march into the cabin but the Stewardess stops him, tells him that autopilot will land the plane and hands him a mop and bucket. That is politics in Brexit Britain (okay, I don't know how local you wanted to go, we're a small country). Except there's no autopilot.
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Old 10th March 2019, 06:19 PM   #28
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This is our local Greens candidate for the Senate in the upcoming election:

‘Gaming nerd’ Green candidate hones strategy for the Senate

Quote:
Amid ongoing calls for more political diversity, Senate candidate Dr Penny Kyburz is possibly unique: have any other Federal pollies honed their professional strategy and battle skills on a computer screen?

Kyburz is the lead Senate candidate for the ACT Greens in the forthcoming Federal election. She currently teaches computer science at the ANU and she’s been a video game designer here and in the United States (her credits include work on Bioshock and Total War, and she ran Iron Helmet Games with her husband). “If you’re a gaming nerd you’ll know what I’m talking about,” she says with a grin.

But lying awake at night feeling anxious about her children’s future prompted her entry into politics. “I’d worry about the kind of world we were leaving them, the problems we were creating for them to deal with and I thought I really cannot sit by and not do something,” she says.


Image source: https://greens.org.au/act/person/penny-kyburz
Hosted on Imgur for hotlinking

I haven't met her personally, yet, but I do really like what she's been doing and saying.
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Old 12th March 2019, 01:04 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Many suburbs up and down Anzac Hwy.

I can understand high rise on Anzac Hwy, but extending the rezoning two blocks either side seems to be a bit nasty.
Adelaide has so much space. Why do they even need high-rise? What is the compelling reason?
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Old 12th March 2019, 01:21 PM   #30
ahhell
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It's always better to know stuff than not to know stuff.
Unless what you know is wrong.
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:23 PM   #31
arthwollipot
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As you're probably not aware, Canberra has a light rail construction thing going on right now. This project was a big political promise at the last election, and it has been extremely polarising. People either love the thing (me) or hate it (my dad). The first stage (Gungahlin to the City) is undergoing testing now, with the first passengers scheduled to be served in April.

Recently, the tram ran a red light and almost hit a car.

Light rail near-miss under investigation

Quote:
Canberra Metro has suspended a light rail driver after dashcam footage showed the tram almost colliding with a car after running a red light on the weekend.

Uber driver Khawar Jadoon said he was lucky to be uninjured after the light rail vehicle ran through a T-intersection at Randwick Road in Mitchell about 8.30am on Saturday.

...

A Canberra Metro spokesperson said based on CCTV footage, the near-miss was caused by driver error.

"In accordance with Canberra Metro Operations policies, the light rail vehicle driver has been suspended from driving duties while a full investigation takes place. As the investigation is still underway, we are unable to provide further information at this stage," the spokesperson said.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:02 AM   #32
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A local left wing businessman and a local right wing politician were friends. Then the businessman worked to get a statue of a woman beating a Nazi over the head with a hand bag moved to the city and the politician said no. Then the businessman brought criminal proceedings for shoplifting against the politician. The charge was theft of a breakfast bun at one of the businessman's hotels.

The politician was acquitted.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:26 AM   #33
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Currently considering a national consultation on whether to allow short-sentence prisoners to vote. Not seeing much consensus
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:00 AM   #34
Horatius
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
As you're probably not aware, Canberra has a light rail construction thing going on right now. This project was a big political promise at the last election, and it has been extremely polarising. People either love the thing (me) or hate it (my dad). The first stage (Gungahlin to the City) is undergoing testing now, with the first passengers scheduled to be served in April.

Recently, the tram ran a red light and almost hit a car.

Light rail near-miss under investigation

At least that's something that can be easily fixed.

We've been building a light rail system here in Ottawa. It's mostly above-ground, with a couple of kilometers of tunnel where it passes under downtown. It was supposed to be ready last May, but it's still not operational, and won't be before at least summer this year.

What are the issues? Among other things, we knew last year that the tunnel was prone to flooding. We found out this year that the above-ground portions are not well suited to winter weather.

In Ottawa. Canada. You know, the country known 'round the world for being mostly winter?



We're all really wondering how they missed this little requirement.
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:55 AM   #35
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I would really like to know where our mayor got enough money for a new football pitch, complete with top of the line turf flown in from the US. Can't even feed everyone, but a couple mill for a football pitch is doable. *sigh*
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:00 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
As you're probably not aware, Canberra has a light rail construction thing going on right now. This project was a big political promise at the last election, and it has been extremely polarising. People either love the thing (me) or hate it (my dad). The first stage (Gungahlin to the City) is undergoing testing now, with the first passengers scheduled to be served in April.

Recently, the tram ran a red light and almost hit a car.

Light rail near-miss under investigation
It's a cookbook!!!
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Old 14th March 2019, 04:27 PM   #37
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
It's a cookbook!!!
I was going to say "serviced", but that makes them sound like prize mares.
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:35 PM   #38
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Our state, New South Wales, is having an state election this Saturday week. The incumbent premier, i.e. state leader, is likely to lose her job because her party is crap and is going to be voted out and she is their leader. A pity - she is a competent, capable, experienced woman politician.

I will see if we can give a running illustrated commentary of a state election in Australia for our international viewers. First thing to know: voting in this election is mandatory for NSW residents.

FYI, the party in trouble are called "Liberals", which is, in Australia, the major right-wing party in our politics. Their political stance aligns more closely with the Democrats in the USA than anything else. However this is the state-level Liberal party contesting the election, not the federal-level party.
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Old 15th March 2019, 12:47 PM   #39
Horatius
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Here's an amusing one about Ontario politics this week.

Quote:
A provincial politician has been kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus days after he alleged he was being penalized for butting heads with the premier’s inner circle.
The PCs would be the party that's in power now. Lead by Doug ******* Ford, the former drug-dealing brother of former crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, whom you may remember.

Quote:
Hillier said in his letter that he challenged the rationale for his suspension and was presented with a list of what he called “questionable and childish” issues, including complaints that he didn’t clap enough in the House and wasn’t sufficiently sharing government posts on social media.

Now, you might think this is just a he-said-he-said kind of situation, but I'm giving Hillier the benefit of the doubt, because "You didn't clap for me!" is exactly the sort of complaint I'd expect from a premier who has paid staff members clap for him at press conferences and other such events.
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Old 15th March 2019, 03:25 PM   #40
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I'm in Los Angeles. We continue to not solve the massive problem of homelessness here. It's huge and incredibly visible. You literally cannot miss it in large parts of the city. Not just poor neighborhoods either. We talk about it alot though.
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