Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

Become a Patron!

Archives for October 2000

US Gubernatorial Contests – 2000

There are 11 contests for Governors’ mansions in the 2000 US mid-term elections.

Currently, the Republicans hold 30 positions, the Democrats 18, Reform Party 1 and Independent 1. [Read more…]

Peter Costello on Australian Prime Ministers

This is the text of a speech given by the Treasurer, Peter Costello, on launching “Australian Prime Ministers”, a book edited by Michelle Grattan.

Text of speech by Treasurer Peter Costello at launch of Michelle Grattan’s “Australian Prime Ministers”.

Peter Costello, Federal Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the Liberal PartyOne of the reasons this book has been published is that research commissioned by the National Council for the Centenary of Federation showed 64 per cent of Australians did not know the name of Australia’s first Prime Minister.

Apparently Australians were far more comfortable identifying the first President of the United States than in identifying the first Australian Prime Minister Edmund Barton. [Read more…]

The Tasmanian Bacon Labor Government

This is a photograph of the Tasmanian Labor government, led by Premier Jim Bacon, in 2000.


The Electoral College And The 2000 Presidential Election

The American Presidential election is actually 51 separate election contests in the 50 States and the District of Columbia (Washington DC). The winner is not decided by a national tally of votes, but is chosen by an Electoral College composed of State representatives.

Each State is allocated a number of electors equal to the combined total of its representation in the House of Representatives and Senate. For example, California has 52 members in the House, plus 2 Senators, so receives 54 Electoral College votes. [Read more…]

Bill Of Rights: Australian Democrats Bill

The Australian Democrats have proposed a bill to give Australia a Bill of Rights.

The bill has been presented to the Senate by Senator Andrew Murray.

The full bill is shown below as a downloadable PDF. It is followed by an explanatory document.

Summary of Australian Democrats Bill of Rights.

Summary of the Australian Democrats Bill of Rights


In 1973, Lionel Murphy introduced a proposed bill of rights in the Commonwealth Parliament. It was based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘the Covenant’), to which Australia is a signatory. That bill lapsed when the Parliament was dissolved in 1974. In 1983, Gareth Evans again attempted to implement the Covenant, overseeing the drafting of another bill of rights. That Bill was given Cabinet approval but was never introduced into Parliament. After the 1984 election, Lionel Bowen replaced Gareth Evans as Attorney-General. He had the bill redrafted to water down its legal effect, and it was introduced into Parliament in 1985. [Read more…]

Gore And Bush Prepare For Debates As FBI Investigates Video Leak

Vice-President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush are preparing for their encounter this week in the first of three televised debates that have assumed a high degree of importance given the closeness of the presidential election campaign.

Gore campaign poster
The debate takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, at 9pm eastern time on Tuesday (midday Wednesday Australian eastern time).

Opinion polls indicate a see-sawing contest, some showing Gore ahead, others putting Bush in the lead. Allowing for standard margins of error, the polls indicate an election that is, in the words of the much-loved media cliche, too close to call.

The debate takes place amidst an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the leaking of a video of Bush practising for the debate. The tape was received in the mail by former Democratic congressman Thomas Downey on September 13. It was accompanied by a briefing book used by the Bush campaign. Downey is assisting Gore in his preparations for the debate.

It appears that the package was leaked from the office of Maverick Media, the Bush campaign’s advertising firm. Suspicion has centred on an administrative assistant at the firm, Yvette Lozano, who is recorded on security video with a package she took to the post office from where the leaked package was sent. Lozano has denied being the culprit, claiming that the package simply contained khaki pants her boss was posting home.

The Democrats appear to have handled the incident well. The video was turned over to the police soon after it was received and it is suggested that the video was only viewed to the extent necessary to determine its contents. The Democrats have suggested the package may have been part of a dirty tricks campaign to discredit them prior to the debates.

Intriguingly, Lozano once worked on the campaign for Ann Richards, the former Democrat Governor of Texas. Richards, famous for her line about Bush’s father that he was “born with a silver foot in his mouth”, was defeated by George W. Bush in 1994.

Preparations for Tuesday’s debate have been intense, with both sides haggling over details such as the height of the lecterns, whether lapel microphones will be used and the use of props by the candidates. The lecterns will be 48 inches high, lapel microphones and props are out.

Both candidates have engaged in practice debates with other politicians playing the part of their opponent. Bush has joked that Senator Judd Gregg (Republican, New Hampshire), who played Gore for Bob Dole in 1996 and is repeating the performance this time, has become so good in the part that he is winning the debates!

Gore has gathered a group of 13 citizens to assist him in his debate preparation. The group includes a high school principal, amongst others. Gore is looking for a way of connecting with swinging voters, particularly in close states like Florida.

It was said recently that if Gore was forced to spend a lot of time in California, then Bush would win the election. Conversely, if Bush spent a lot of time in Florida, Gore would win. Polls show Florida is a dead-heat and it is widely believed that the candidate who can secure Florida’s 25 Electoral College votes will probably win the election.

The debates are sponsored by the Commission On Presidential Debates.

Televised debates have been a fixture of American elections since 1960 when then Vice-President Richard Nixon met with Senator John F. Kennedy. It is commonly argued that whilst Nixon was regarded as the winner by radio audiences, television viewers awarded victory to Kennedy.

  • Watch the first 1960 presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon (58m)

Charter Of The Australian Greens – 2000

This charter was originally taken from the web-site of Senator Bob Brown.

Charter of the Australian Greens.

Reflecting an awareness of the interrelatedness of all ecological, social and economic processes, the general principles of The Greens are to: [Read more…]