23 February 2004
louie: doesn't the fact that the introduction of a third credible candidate causes problems is in fact a problem in itself?
There are vote counting schemes in use that don't penalise similar candidates, such as the single transferable vote system used in Australia to elect MPs. Rather than splitting the vote, the votes for the least popular candidate's votes get transferred to their second preference. This process gets repeated til there is a candidate with a clear majority. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where a minor candidate does more harm for their cause than good.
It's due to similar reasons that I've brought up switching to the multiple seat version of STV (which is used for Australian senate elections) for the Gnome Foundation elections.
It feels really weird to agree with John Howard. There are currently two Australian citizens who have been held at Guantanamo bay for over two years without being charged (one of them wasn't even in the war zones -- he was captured in Pakistan). Apparently the US will only release them to Australia on the condition that they be prosecuted. Unfortunately neither person committed any crime under Australian law as it was at the time.
We now have Mark Latham offering to support the Government if they want to change the new terrorrism laws to allow them to be applied retrospectively to the two. This seems like such a bad idea at so many levels (think about the precedent). It doesn't look like that will be happenning though, since John Howard rejected the offer.
Maybe the US will get a new sensible president, and the situation will get resolved sensibly. Maybe not.