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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Australia, Australia, Australia, we love you, amen

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was race to my laptop. As I do every morning. But this morning, I specifically raced to check the Australian election results and YOU LITTLE RIPPER!!

John Howard, the racist, short-sighted bastard whom I clearly recall speaking out against Asian immigrants in the 1980's, has lost. The slightly-right Liberal Party has been replaced with the slightly-left Labor Party (which, in American terms, translates to the liberal party being replaced by the hippy communist unions welfare state liberal party). More than this, John Howard lost his seat, the first PM to do this since 1929.

Kevin Rudd, the new PM speaks fluent Mandarin. In fact he was a diplomat in Stockholm and Beijing for seven years. Diplomat ... you know, as in diplomacy. What is this strange and foreign concept, di-plo-ma-cy?

Rudd also promises to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, leaving the USA as the only major country that refuses to sign on. And, hey, maybe it is too late, but at least Australians aren't sticking their head in the sand like so many Americans and refusing to believe in global warming (or evolution, for that matter).

The Labor Party also has a female deputy leader, which may not mean we're quite as progressive as New Zealand or India or Ol' Blighty, but at least we're not as bad as America getting there.

In bizarro (old) news that tells of how removed from Australian politics I have become, I only just found out that the representative for my old seat, Kingsford-Smith, has been Peter Garrett, lead singer of Midnight Oil, for the last three years.

I am completely delighted by all this news.

More so because, having filed for US citizenship in September, I was not allowed to vote in the Australian election (voting in a foreign election would void my citizenship application). This puts me in the surprisingly uncomfortable position of being unable to vote in any election for the first time since I turned 18. Since there is a massive backlog of citizenship applications, I won't be able to vote in the US election next year either (hell, the BCIS haven't even cashed the $675 check I sent them, a sure sign they're in trouble). I sort of feel as though my human rights have been infringed.

In personal news, Mum got out of the psych ward last week. She still sounds a bit high to me, but ... what can I do?

Since I haven't blogged in forever, here are a bunch of links and random trivia.

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