Showing posts from August, 2010

Chinese Soft Power and Australian Elections

Listening to an Economist podcast recently, I was interested to learn how China has been trying to develop its soft power on the international stage. They have been trying to promote Confuscianism, and values of hierarchy and authority. Basically, 'wow, look how good authoritarianism is!' and there definitely are some benefits - the govt can make quick and sweeping decisions in response to large problems, such as the gfc and the environment according to the Economist. It strikes me that when authoritarianism and popular consent (through democracy) are juxtaposed in the context of govt achievements, the former is better at getting things done, while the later is better at accountability, ie ensuring the right problems are addressed, in the right way, and that they are actually completed and successfully. The reason China can interact successfully with countries that are supposedly diametrically opposed to their fundamental values, is that liberal democracies act as authoritaria…

I need to rant about Prop 8

It was quite exciting to see the US federal court strike down Prop 8 the other day, even if that does feel a little premature given that it was going to be appealed to the Supreme Court and that could take a few years. What made it so exciting though was how emphatically Judge Walker struck down the ban, in his 138 page ruling - calling out all the nonsense spouted by the anti-gay marriage brigade.

What infuriates me is the level of response in the media from the loosing side. I want to scream every time I see another idiot claim that the will of 'seven million Californians' was ignored, it's the end of democracy, blah blah blah. Of course it was ignored, that was will was prejudiced and bigoted. Do people not understand why we set up political systems that protect all people's rights, and that we don't subject the rights of a minority to a popular vote. That is one of the reason the federal and supreme courts exist - I know this and I'm not even American. It s…