Do we really need election campaigns?

AUSTRALIA is in the middle of an election campaign that will culminate in polls being held on September 7. By law after an election is called, there needs to be a minimum of 33 days before the poll itself. And the polling day has to be a Saturday.

Campaigns involve a lot of repetitious sloganeering and politicians from all sides of the spectrum promise this, that or the other. The major parties throw as much money as possible at various groups in order to literally buy their votes.

And this goes on and on and on. No-one stops to ask – do we really need such campaigns?
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US must take responsibility for the mess in Egypt

SOME people say that the US is always blamed for what happens in the Middle East. And they argue that laying blame in such a manner is not really justified.

But in the case of Egypt, the US must take the blame. There are no ifs and buts about it. The 400-odd people who have died would still be alive if the Obama administration had indicated clearly that it did not approve of the people’s choice of leaders being ousted in a coup.

That never happened. From the time the military ousted Mohammed Mursi, Obama and his cohorts began to indulge in semantics. By not condemning the coup, and even refusing to class it as one, the US clearly gave the military its support. Aid was not cut off as would have been necessitated had the Obama administration labelled the toppling of Morsi as a coup.
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Using video technology right: Craig Joubert shows the way

OVER in England, cricket captains and authorities are beating their heads about the use of video technology to keep umpiring mistakes to a minimum.

Last week, in New Zealand, a South African match official demonstrated how you use the technology in a game. And he did it in a final, the Super Rugby final, between the best teams in Australia and New Zealand, the finale of the 15-club competition.

Of course, in rugby union, the video footage is used sensibly; the umpires decide when to use it to prevent incorrect decisions. It is not left to the captains to call for adjudication when they want and then complain. And it has been in use for some time – the worldwide body running rugby union is made up of people who have some commonsense, unlike the dinosaurs who run cricket and then claim to be protecting tradition.
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AFL is not all it is made out to be

IF YOU live in Melbourne for any length of time, you will invariably end up at an Australian rules football match. That is if you have any degree of curiosity – I know people who have lived here for 40+ years and not bothered.

But as a journalist, one often feels that one should explore aspects of one’s living environment that wield a fairly powerful spell on people and it was that that drove me to accept an invitation from a close friend to attend a game between North Melbourne and Geelong a few days ago.

The AFL is played as a league of 22 rounds until the end of August; after that in September the teams which have finished one to eight on the ladder play finals, resulting in the champion emerging on the last Saturday in September. It is a massive occasion for the city, hosted at the grand old Melbourne Cricket Ground, a ground that can accommodate 100,000 people.
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