Feast of Christ the King (RC & Anglican Calendars)
Yes, yes, yes. We’ve had our election and down here in Australia, we have a new federal government. I’m usually more inclined on a two-party preferred basis to vote Labor over the Liberal-National coalition, so I’m somewhat happy about the result. But given that I’m also a swinging voter, Labor better not get slack and back-track on what they’ve made election promises on (including their pork-barreling of voters who have kids in primary and high schools and will love the election handout of promised deductions for their kids’ school expenses even though to me, that is clearly expenditure that would be of a private or domestic nature, per subsection 8-1(2) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997).
As for the former Prime Minster and member for the seat of Bennelong, John Howard, all I’ll say is that to have spent 30 years representing your constituency is no mean feat and is a laudable achievement. Am gonna wish him and Mrs Howard well for their retirement or if Johnny feels up to it, a well-paying consulting job that should be waiting for him somewhere now that he’s out of office. Now, this is gonna be interesting to see whether the Labor party member-elect, Maxine McKew will represent the people of Bennelong well rather than just being a person who gets by on their relative star-power (i.e. she was former journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who had interviewed Howard on countless occasions on “The 7:30 Report”).
Was really surprised at the swing against the Liberal candidate in my electorate, Forde. The Liberal candidate (Wendy Creighton) who was replacing the retiring Liberal MP (Kay Elson) had a swing of -19.3% against her. Most of that swing went to either the Nationals candidate, Hajnal Ban (who incidentally, is one of the better looking candidates out there, I’m sure that if she got into office, men might be swooning over her as they did with Natasha Stott-Despoja a while ago, +12.37%) or the Labor candidate, who’s also the member-elect, Brett Raguse (+12.54%).
Overall, after preferences, Labor won the seat on a +14.48% swing to it, which is a ridiculously high swing by any standards. Personally, I was expecting Creighton to be elected, though given the blue-collar nature of Forde, the “Work Choices” legislation probably would have played a major part in the swing towards Labor here.
For the Libs/Nats, this must be an embarrassing moment given that Labor governs all state and territory governments in Australia along with their addition of the federal sphere now. When compared to the US, it must be like how the Democrats felt when the Republicans controlled not only the presidency, but also Congress and the Senate not so long ago.
Apart from the election, what else has been going on in my life and what else have I been paying attention to? On Friday, I headed off to a day at the CPA Australia Mining & Resource Industry conference at the Marriott Resort at Surfers Paradise with a colleague from work. If not for my office paying (I won’t make mention of the price given that I think you’d reckon it was ludicrous), I would not have been able to afford it (despite being interested in a number of sessions on the day). Wasn’t too bad overall, though the traffic issues at Smith St in Southport leave a lot to be desired (and my colleague and I have no idea what on earth brought traffic to a virtual crawl on the M1 northbound at the end of the day either).
Dr. Keith Suter’s keynote address at the end of the day was a great one that gave us food for thought on the role that resources would play in the future given the current state of the global and regional economy. The first keynote address of the day by Ms Pragna Bhakta, Global Operations Risk Director from Newmont Mining on their risk management process was very, very good. There was a lot of management theory by the late Peter Drucker, that I recognized from reading Dad’s old textbooks he used in his Masters management university subjects, translated out into the real world for us by her. That plus she is one seriously smart woman; I heard in her introduction that she had qualifications in the mining/geology field for her undergraduate degree as well as a postgraduate degree in something to do with nuclear physics (by that stage, I was in awe and felt suitably dumb with my law/accounting degrees). Having said that, I wish that she would have delved a little bit more into Monte Carlo testing when evaluating project risks than the one or two lines that she did mention in her talk (every time I use PokerStove on my computer, that’s an example of Monte Carlo testing). As for the other sessions, I wasn’t that impressed by them (apart from the R&D tax concession one which left me with plenty to think about this weekend).
Anyways, I’ve blogged too much on topics that I’m sure would have bored you all to death by now. I’ll stop now and wait until 9:30pm when the ABC appears to have a story on Worth Abbey in the UK and the BBC series, The Monastery. On that very issue, those of you down here Oz who want to see what life is like in a monastery (namely that of the Benedictine Sisters at Jamberoo Abbey), the recent 3-part ABC series The Abbey is now available on DVD and is a very good watch (available at JB Hifi and ABC Centres).