Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Watching World

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Similarly, when a British or European story reaches their attention, they interview some public school piece of toryscum

    Do we actually listen to the same National Radio there, Rich? Perhaps we don’t listen at the same time, but you’d call Kate Adie, Ann Leslie and long-time Guardian staffer Jon Dennis “public school toryscum” with a straight face? For reals?

    If you really want to be a dick about it, I guess you could stretch a point to include former Conservative MP Matthew Parris – but he left Westminster of his volition over sixteen years ago, and has been a freelance writer for much long than he was an MP. Nor have I noticed him drawing his claws any for the incumbent Coalition.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Kim Hill had an interview last Saturday morning with a woman who said the electronic voting process is so corrupt that the Democrats had to be at least 6 points ahead to ensure a victory, and that exit polls are banned in many states as they show up the discrepancy.

    Yeah I listened to that interview with Victoria Collier with horror. All the electronic voting systems are privately owned, mainly by Republicans. Mitt Romney's son, Tagg Romney, is apparently buying all the voting system companies he can . Shit even Anonymous is in on this action with this warning for republicans.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    YMMV. I've never heard Kate Adie or Ann Leslie on NZ radio.

    I have heard numerous public school accents droning on about the imminent collapse of the EU, yah-yah, "fault lines" yah-yah, and so on many times on the radio. Unfortunately one smarmy git sounds like another to me, and I'm normally driving when listening to the radio and don't take notes as to the exact CV of the speaker.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Awesome. Silver has started to run the numbers on the pundits. FRom his Twitter stream:

    Dick Morris says Romney will win 325 electoral votes. 538 model puts chances of Romney winning 325+ EVs at 1.1%.

    And:

    Jim Cramer says Obama will win 440 electoral votes. 538 model puts chances of this at: 0.004% (n.b. we use heavy-tailed distributions)

    How on earth does Cramer still have a job?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Does "heavy-tailed distribution" mean "we just assume all registered Democrats, black people, the poor and GLBT atheists get smote by God on Tuesday morning"?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Eric Dutton,

    Iowa Electronic Markets has Obama at 73cents, Romney at 27cents (and falling) to pay $1. Their graph shows Obama consistently ahead in the electoral college. The popular vote is much closer.

    http://iemweb.biz.uiowa.edu/quotes/Pres12_Quotes.html

    Whangarei • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Does “heavy-tailed distribution” mean “we just assume all registered Democrats, black people, the poor and GLBT atheists get smote by God on Tuesday morning”?

    Basically, yes. In my I am not a statistician but I know about data kind of way, a heavy-tailed distribution is one where factors giving unlikely results are given more importance. If you imagine a classic normal distribution curve, a heavy tailed version is thicker at either end than a typical curve.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    With regard to the BBC survey, some commentary I saw described Pakistan as voting for a third party candidate as, while Romney has more support than Obama, together both candidates have less than 25% support.
    I seem to recall from some earlier surveys that Israel comes in pro Romney (with support concentrated among Jewish Israelis, the more to the right the stronger the support).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Richard Aston,

    So why haven't we heard more about the voting machines and electronic system in the endless commentary about the election?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    o why haven’t we heard more about the voting machines and electronic system in the endless commentary about the election?

    THAT is a very good question.

    That format of voting is actually the death of democracy.

    I am not being paranoid.

    It is a fact.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    There was heaps of talk about Diebold and other dodgy Republican-connected voting machine-makers a few elections ago. Maybe it has become normalised in the US discourse, like the bailing out of banks?

    There's an interesting tension between security/audit and better accessibility in electronic voting, but it's reconcilable.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong,

    I notice that Nate Silver is going to be on the Daily Show later in the week. Day after the election, in fact..

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    There's an interesting tension between security/audit and better accessibility in electronic voting, but it's reconcilable.

    It seems like a classic example of where using technology actually makes things worse. People volunteer to do election scrutineering and counting. The labour cost is zero. People like to do it. It's an important task, an occasion, and a way of engaging citizens in the political process.

    Hearing that people had to queue up for miles to use a single machine in the US, many missing out altogether, had me scratching my head as to what actual benefits were conferred by using a machine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10646 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    had me scratching my head as to what actual benefits were conferred by using a machine

    Ask a blind person who currently can not cast a vote on their own in NZ.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha - that is not strictly correct. As a legally blind person, I can make my vote (all the overseer has to do is make sure no-one else interferes with my visual aids.) For fully blind people, if they read braille or have a trusted companion, they can also vote (all details are taken down by the registrar.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    Blind colleagues assure me they need someone to mark the ballot for them in national elections. I defer to their expertise on it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Ask a blind person who currently can not cast a vote on their own in NZ.

    Sure, there's advantages in some ways, that relate to small numbers of cases out of the vast mass of the population. So I'll rephrase my head scratching to "what benefits that aren't massively outweighed by the losses"? Being unable to vote without help vs being unable to vote at all because the machines weren't working, or were too slow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10646 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Hilary, I've heard similar things said including by one of my colleagues. She's able to vote and wants to vote for Obama but has described endless barriers she's encountered to register since being made to register as a Democrat.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    So, political junkies...

    Without using Google, which presidential candidate was arrested this week?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh yeah, and Sullivan is always good. Real good.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to George Darroch,

    Without using Google, which presidential candidate was arrested this week?

    To paraphrase Pinky and the Brain "The same one that's arrested every week, Pinky" (or at least also arrested in mid October).

    I may have been a little harsh on the calls from some of my minor party acquaintances in the U.S. this time round, but as I see it if they actually want national representation then the only real pathway is the one that Bernie Saunders (Socialist Independent from Vermont) took: Mayor of major state city -> House -> Senate.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Hilary, I’ve heard similar things said including by one of my colleagues. She’s able to vote and wants to vote for Obama but has described endless barriers she’s encountered to register since being made to register as a Democrat.

    Right now, in Florida. The Nation has stories on people waiting seven hours to vote.

    This is happening not because of a natural disaster or breakdown in machinery. It is happening by partisan design. Alarmed by the strong Democratic turnout in early voting in 2008, Republican lawmakers, including Governor Rick Scott, reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to eight. When the restrictions were challenged in federal court under the Voting Rights Act, a three-judge panel said they would have a discriminatory impact upon minority voters. But only five of the state's 67 counties are covered by the federal civil rights law.

    In one case, Tea Party activists have managed to prevent the provision of water to people standing in line by claiming it's a form of treating.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Worrying reports about barriers to voting in the swing states. Long queues for voting, laws that disenfranchise Democrat voters, as well as the Republican control of the voting machines.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Snap, Russell. I have Facebook friends in the US reporting similar examples happening to friends and colleagues. And there is an article in stuff this morning about one of the Las Vegas casino billionaires throwing everything ($multimillions) at Romney in the last week.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Very glad this is getting coverage. Barriers tend to be imposed while many aren't concentrating on politics and reporting has typically followed the election and the pattern repeats.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

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