These are some of the stories from the “inside pages” that caught my eye the week ending May 20:
This NYT headline may well elicit a reaction from some. However, as the New York Times articulates, numbers do not lie. Over the past decade:
Every Australian of age had to go to the polls on Saturday, May 21 as voting is compulsory. The result – Aussies have elected Anthony Albanese, Labour over the incumbent, Scott Morrison, Liberal. Liberals in Australia equal Conservatives in Canada and the UK. So, a move to the left!
This is not what I found interesting. Friday’s Monocle Daily reminded me that every Australian voter must cast his or her ballot. While neither Morrison or Albanese inspire, voter turnout is assured. Monocle puts forward the argument that Australia’s political placidity results from the compulsory vote. Not only does this rule force turnout, it ensures that voting rights and poll access are as broad as possible. Geez! The makings of a real democracy?
“Australian politicians cannot win by winding up a partisan minority base and must pitch their case more broadly”. Andrew Mueller, The Monocle Daily, May 20, 2021
The economist features an interesting article on the drop of public transit trips in London. Some selected statistics:
Much of the commuter decline relates to changing work habits and not fear of public transit. While the statistics will be different from metropolitan area to metropolitan area. However, the trends will likely be similar.
So what to do? It seems to me that the surge in gasoline prices should drive more people onto public transit. So, lower and simplify fares to make the choice between car and bus more self-evident? Also, continue to encourage active transportation – more pedestrian streets and cycling lanes? And maybe, better coordination all forms of public transit including bicycle-share programs. Ease and convenience of use will drive ridership.
“The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”Liz Cheney, Representative, Republican, Wyoming
That’s it for the week ending May 20.
Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]
I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]
Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]
We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie and Norry Wilson. So, we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]
Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]
Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land. Or a vertical build-out that […]