Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Tories are falling

All around the world, Conservative parties have gained great ground but has the time of downfall about to come again?

In Canada, the Conservatives had a majority which was lost in 1993 Federal Election losing 154 seats. It never recovered until the 2006 Federal Election led by Stephen Harper with a minority government. It later had a majority in the 2011 Election. The 2015 Federal Election looked tight as polls showed that it was either Conservative or Liberal despite the New Democratic Party enjoying the Official Opposition. The Conservatives successfully launched a devastating campaign which threw the Liberals out of Official Opposition but it's latest campaign to keep the Liberals at bay did not work according to polls. 

In the United States, the Conservative Republicans were successful during the 80s with Ronald Reagan and again in 2000 with George W Bush. There were chances that the Republicans could throw make Obama a one term president. This made Mitt Romney overconfident to the point where he never wrote a concession speech. The Republicans lost the 2012 Presidential Election but they still believed that they have a good chance in 2016 after Barack Obama finishes his second term as President. 

New Zealand  swung to the right with John Key's National Party sweeping to power ending Helen Clark's nine years in office. Key did face challenges like pulling the country out of the recession, dealing with the Christchurch earthquake and asset sales. He won the 2011 General Election with Labour's result going down. Heading to the 2014 General Election, the polls were tight with the possibility of a Labour - Green Government after the election. This was due to National's partners in crisis giving Opposition parties an advantage. The 2014 budget showed a surplus giving National a boost for the 2014 election. 

Australia was completely controlled by Labor towards 2007 but was later retaken by the conservative Liberal/National Coalition. Since taking over eastern states, the State Coalition parties were in a tough fight with polls favouring Labor. In Western Australia, The Liberals managed to hold on to power along with extra seats. The Liberals were about to control every state but failed in South Australia despite having a higher share of votes. Labor retained power in South Australia with the support of the independents who had the balance of power. This happened in the 2010 Federal Election when the Julia Gillard's Labor returned to government with support of the crossbenchers. After the 2013 Federal Election, the polls were tipping towards Labor indicating that if an election were to be held tomorrow, Labor might win. 

The United Kingdom was controlled by New Labour during Tony Blair's time in office. The Conservatives lost their majority in a massive defeat in the 1997 General Election. After three General Elections, David Cameron was very close to winning the 2010 General Election but was short of a majority. It was possible to govern as a minority government but due to the crisis in Europe, the tough measures would not have been able to pass in order to protect the UK from a financial catastrophe. Both Labour and Conservatives knew of this and wanted to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives successfully formed a stable coalition with the Liberal Democrats in order to be in government and avoid an anti Tory majority in parliament. Over the years of the Coalition Government, Cameron went through tough times with polls showing that if an election were to be held tomorrow, Ed Miliband will win an outright majority. Cameron aimed to win a majority for the next election and was keen to avoid putting the Tories back to the old days of Opposition. The Conservatives in Scotland had little popularity with only one Westminister seat and the Scots choosing left wing parties like Labour and the Scottish National Party. There were speculation that the Scottish Conservatives might rise if Scotland voted for independence. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Last Supper

The Last Supper painted by Leonardo Da Vinci is a famous painting which has been in the spotlight as American author Dan Brown showed different views of the painting instead of the traditional views. It was explained in his book "The Da Vinci Code".

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Melbourne Memories #2

Eureka Skydeck

Standing at 297 metres, the Eureka Tower is not only an apartment building but also Melbourne's tallest building. The Skydeck is located on the 88th floor at 285 metres which is the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. It provides a 360 degree view of Melbourne and has a caged outdoor viewing deck called "The Terrace". It also provides "The Edge" experience for an extra cost which is an extending box to allow guests to look down. "The Edge" has special windows that can blind and unblind windows to give the surprise feeling for visitors. It is also fitted with Key Landmark Viewfinders to easily locate and identify Melbourne landmarks. To prevent conflict with the apartment tenants, a special lift takes guests up to the Skydeck at the speed of 9 Metres Per Second. A helicopter experience is also available for guests wanting a helicopter tour around Melbourne. 

Eureka 89 is a restaurant located on the 89th floor giving guests a great view while enjoying a meal. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Is welfare a trap?

If you're unemployed, you get benefits from Inland Revenue/Centrelink. If you need money to study, you're given student loan and allowances. If you injured yourself, you get ACC compensation. If you're old or a veteran, you get pension.

Living in the west is a golden privilege and honor while in other nations; it's every citizen for him/herself. Of course it's good that the government helps it people but what are the costs?

As the population rises, the bills go up and the government is forced to pay more. It comes to the point where the government is broke and needs to borrow money to keep the flow going. Borrowing money meant increasing debt like the US with almost $17 trillion of debt. The government borrows to the point where lenders will eventually stop and the government is forced to pay back. When a government tries to pay back it's debt, they have to cut spending and this will result in riots, protests and lose the next election. This is because people are stuck in a routine of getting government help and are happy if the help suddenly stopped. This is why welfare is a trap. As a result, politicians (so called educated people who are meant to look after the interests of the people) realize that the only way they could win the election is to make promises they cannot keep.

One good example would be Greece which had over half a trillion dollars of debt. It made austerity measures to repay the debt at the cost of riots and snap elections. In New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key pushed for a budget surplus in order to start repaying the debt at the cost of cutting jobs like hospital kitchen staff and selling state assets. This resulted in unhappy responses accusing Key of selling the nation to foreigners as a result of state assets sale. He worriedly faces a prospect of losing the 2014 General Election with the opposition ahead in the polls. In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron created an austerity budget but the spending kept going up. Opinion polls stated that he might lose the 2015 General Election.

So would you make painful austerity measures to make the nation debt free and leave the next generation a better future OR keep borrowing money and helping people leaving a huge debt and make the next generation pay the ultimate price? Of course, no matter what political party is in power; the same problems and issues will continue as this world will remain divided and will never be perfect.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Melbourne Memories #1

State Library of Victoria

Largest and oldest library in the state located in CBD (Corner Swanson and La Trobe Streets) with Melbourne Central the closest station. The La Trobe reading room is famous for its dome and structure. From November 2012 to November 2013, it celebrated it's 100th birthday. Paintings, old documents and Ned Kelly’s original armour and death mask are on display in hallways. It was established by Sir Redmond Barry who saw it as the "people's university" where information and knowledge was available to every Victorian regardless of social or financial status. Victorian students use the State Library to study using the great availability of resources and internet access. Coming in with a small bag is alright but coming in with a big bag will require the person to rent a locker. The library's outside has a big lawn where students take a break or study in the sun. There is also a specialized room for kids to play while adults study. Tourists also visit due to it's long history and heritage with artifacts and scripts displayed showing Victoria's long history. Every state in Australia has a State Library but La Trobe reading room and dome makes Victoria's State Library unique and stand out.