Author Topic: Homework help, Australian culture  (Read 10509 times)

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StarFaerie

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #90 on: April 30, 2013, 05:26:55 AM »
Just in defnce of our australian cuzzies, I would like to add that I go to Australia a couple of times a year, and not just the main centres.  I Have been to Wallumbula in Queensland, and Condobolin, Narrowmine and West Wylong in NSW.  To my regret I have seen neither kangaroo, wombat, snake or spider.  Drop bears though that is another story.

Really? (rubs hands gleefully) Next time you're over, drop in to Perth, and I'll give you the special tour . . . .

Never seen a roo? Come visit me. I'll take you for a quick walk to see a field of wild ones.

Did you drive all the way to West Wyalong and not see a roo? Were you only driving in the dark or middle of the day?

Craftyone

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #91 on: April 30, 2013, 06:22:20 AM »
And talking about our animals.  You don't get wombats, kookaburras and koalas (and I'm sure there's other 'generic'* ones I can't think of at this moment) in Western Australia.  Those critters didn't make it across the deserts in the middle of Australia (from top to toe).  We do get kookaburras in the wild but they were introduced by pioneers (in 1898 according to Wiki), from memory, who thought they'd eat the snakes, they do but they don't eat that many and I've got a feeling they've got a taste for things like our native mice but I can't find it on the 'net.  We do have wombats and koalas but only in the Perth Zoo and wildlife parks. 

I've just moved from Perth to Canberra (west to east) and my work friends can't believe that Western Australia doesn't have the above animals naturally.

We lived in a suburb which had quite a bit of bush nearby and we had a big gum tree in the back yard.  We used to get the red tailed black cockatoos (cockies) go through in a mob.  These birds are big! and so beautiful.  They were also destructive.  They would sit in a gum tree and shred all the gum nuts off the tree, looking for just the right nut to eat, and make a #$(*@ mess on the ground.  Then fly off to the next tree in a black cloud, making a racket as they went.  I miss those birds.  We get the pink and grey galahs and the sulphur crested cockatoos here but they're not as majestic as the blacks cockies.

* by generic I mean not ones specifically named after an area like Sydney funnel web spider or Tasmanian Devil. 

Redsoil

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #92 on: April 30, 2013, 08:44:14 AM »
Amandaelizabeth - that'd be "Narromine".  Just up the road from where I used to live, and the reason for my nic here, from the red soil.  So how did you like the area, and what on earth took you to Narromine???  Not exactly a tourist destination!
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #93 on: April 30, 2013, 12:11:30 PM »
-we have compulsory voting. If you're a citizen, or even a permanent resident, you have to vote, or you'll be fined.

Have just discovered this thread. I've always found Australia's compulsory voting (if I'm right, the only democratic state on Earth, where this rule obtains), surprising. Especially because of a distinct impression I get: that it's a very big national trait of Aussies -- more strongly than with most peoples in the world -- to hate and detest (beyond the very basics) anyone ordering them around as to what they may or may not do. I think that if I lived there, I'd rather resent being obliged by law, to vote.

(Presumably it's the standard set-up with a secret ballot; so if you really, truly did not want to vote -- you could show up at the polling station, get your name ticked off, go into the booth, and spoil your paper by writing something or other nonsensical on it...)

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #94 on: April 30, 2013, 05:13:35 PM »
No, we're born the only ones. There's one other country, Switzerland, I think.

We also don't take away the right to vote. They set up polling in jails, for instance.

As for being told what to do...well, it has the trade off of being able to put your vote in and tell who you don't like to **** off. Elections are held on weekends, so there's no excuse. But, we're not very political. We'd like our pollies to get on with governing and not grandstand or waffle on. You'd never see filibustering in Australian parliament, they'd be told to shut up and sit down.

fiveofclubs

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2013, 06:27:04 PM »
There are 10 countries which enforce compulsory voting and 13 which have it on their books but don't enforce

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting

It's a secret ballot, so no one knows if you donkey vote (don't vote correctly and thus have an invalid vote - writing a different name in, scribbling, or a blank vote), you can pre vote the week before, either at a ballot station or fill in a form at the post office, or you can provide an reasonable explanation for not voting (e.g. sick, not in the country).

And I think more Aussies have an attitude of "she'll be right" or "do what you gotta do" and since voting is something that you have to do, most people just shrug, vote, and get on with their day. Our elections really are designed to allow as many people as possible to vote as easily as possible.

I personally, like the compulsory voting system. It gives a more accurate reflection of what the average person wants. It guarantees that the core issues (health, education, police) are always addressed. It means that you don't need to spend millions to get elected to the highest office. And at the end of the day, it means that people are voting in based on their policies and if you don't like the party, don't vote for them.

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #96 on: April 30, 2013, 07:13:18 PM »
I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread so hopefully not a repeat, but I found Easter to be quite different. While the part of the US I was in was very expressively Christian (something you don't really see here in Oz) everything was open on Good Friday and I had to work. Here on Good Friday NOTHING opens. It seems even more strict than Christmas Day. Also, we give chocolate not candy or painted eggs. We will have a whole supermarket aisle filled with chocolate eggs/bunnies. You might get a half a dozen non-chocolate choices for those with allergies. 

CakeEater

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #97 on: April 30, 2013, 07:25:59 PM »
-we have compulsory voting. If you're a citizen, or even a permanent resident, you have to vote, or you'll be fined.

Have just discovered this thread. I've always found Australia's compulsory voting (if I'm right, the only democratic state on Earth, where this rule obtains), surprising. Especially because of a distinct impression I get: that it's a very big national trait of Aussies -- more strongly than with most peoples in the world -- to hate and detest (beyond the very basics) anyone ordering them around as to what they may or may not do. I think that if I lived there, I'd rather resent being obliged by law, to vote.

(Presumably it's the standard set-up with a secret ballot; so if you really, truly did not want to vote -- you could show up at the polling station, get your name ticked off, go into the booth, and spoil your paper by writing something or other nonsensical on it...)

You certainly could. It's called an 'informal' vote. The fine is only $20 - so more of a formality than a deterrent, really. I don't think hating being ordered around is really a particular trait of Australians. In fact, we have a lot of laws that I think people from the US would fine confining - random breath testing, for example.

CakeEater

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #98 on: April 30, 2013, 07:29:39 PM »

It's a secret ballot, so no one knows if you donkey vote (don't vote correctly and thus have an invalid vote - writing a different name in, scribbling, or a blank vote), you can pre vote the week before, either at a ballot station or fill in a form at the post office, or you can provide an reasonable explanation for not voting (e.g. sick, not in the country).

No, a donkey vote is numbering the candidates from top to bottom in the order they appear on the ballot.

amandaelizabeth

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #99 on: April 30, 2013, 08:14:11 PM »
Hi Starfaerie and Redsoil.

I was there on behalf of a National Organisation who wanted me to go and visit small centres and explain how we had coped with similar legislation over here.  It was just before GST was introduced and we had it for about 10 years at that point.  I had some IT solutions that were very specific to a niche industry.  Anyway it became a bit o a joke that I just could not see a kangaroo  Everyone had suggestions for a road or area that was guaranteed to swarming with them.  Nope not a glimpse of them.  The children back here were agog for pictures of me and Australian wildlife but nothing.  A couple of years later, I was doing the same sort of thing only traveling between Brisbane and Roma.  The Queenslanders had heard about the failure of their NSW colleagues to show me a 'roo and were determinded to show me one.  I did manage to see (and smell) several dead ones, but nothing.  One farmer heard about this and offered, jokingly I think, me lots of money to drive through his paddocks and solve his pasture problems.

The third time I went to the Zoo and saw them there.

I did enjoy my trips and thought the people were great, and the scenery very different from ours.  The thing that made the most impression on me thought, was the avenues of trees in the small rural towns that were planted in memory of those fallen in the two wars.  I am not sure if they were also planted for the  Korean and Vietnam fallen, but in some places they just went on and on.  Heartbreaking.

katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #100 on: April 30, 2013, 08:32:46 PM »
-we have compulsory voting. If you're a citizen, or even a permanent resident, you have to vote, or you'll be fined.

Have just discovered this thread. I've always found Australia's compulsory voting (if I'm right, the only democratic state on Earth, where this rule obtains), surprising. Especially because of a distinct impression I get: that it's a very big national trait of Aussies -- more strongly than with most peoples in the world -- to hate and detest (beyond the very basics) anyone ordering them around as to what they may or may not do. I think that if I lived there, I'd rather resent being obliged by law, to vote.

(Presumably it's the standard set-up with a secret ballot; so if you really, truly did not want to vote -- you could show up at the polling station, get your name ticked off, go into the booth, and spoil your paper by writing something or other nonsensical on it...)

It is, and people do.  Why on earth would you NOT want to vote?

IMO if you don't vote (or donkey vote) you don't get to whings about anything going on in government.

katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #101 on: April 30, 2013, 08:36:06 PM »
-we have compulsory voting. If you're a citizen, or even a permanent resident, you have to vote, or you'll be fined.

Have just discovered this thread. I've always found Australia's compulsory voting (if I'm right, the only democratic state on Earth, where this rule obtains), surprising. Especially because of a distinct impression I get: that it's a very big national trait of Aussies -- more strongly than with most peoples in the world -- to hate and detest (beyond the very basics) anyone ordering them around as to what they may or may not do. I think that if I lived there, I'd rather resent being obliged by law, to vote.

(Presumably it's the standard set-up with a secret ballot; so if you really, truly did not want to vote -- you could show up at the polling station, get your name ticked off, go into the booth, and spoil your paper by writing something or other nonsensical on it...)

You certainly could. It's called an 'informal' vote. The fine is only $20 - so more of a formality than a deterrent, really. I don't think hating being ordered around is really a particular trait of Australians. In fact, we have a lot of laws that I think people from the US would fine confining - random breath testing, for example.

If you don't pay the fine though, you may find your driver's licence suspended.

katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #102 on: April 30, 2013, 08:37:04 PM »
I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread so hopefully not a repeat, but I found Easter to be quite different. While the part of the US I was in was very expressively Christian (something you don't really see here in Oz) everything was open on Good Friday and I had to work. Here on Good Friday NOTHING opens. It seems even more strict than Christmas Day. Also, we give chocolate not candy or painted eggs. We will have a whole supermarket aisle filled with chocolate eggs/bunnies. You might get a half a dozen non-chocolate choices for those with allergies.

Not QUITE true.  Petrol stations, fast food resturants (Maccas sells more Filet of Fish on Good Friday than any other day of the year) and some other eateries, and emergency services (obviously).
There's no retail trading though.

Bluenomi

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #103 on: April 30, 2013, 09:47:41 PM »
Compulsory voting was brought in because of our small population. Now we've grown we probably don't need it but it's easier to keep the rule. If you don't vote it's a $50 fine unless you've got a good excuse (I didn't vote once because I was on an international flight coming back to Oz after being away for almost a year so that got me off)

It can be annoying at times. Last local election there really wasn't anyone I wanted to vote for so I spend a bit of time staring at the piece of paper!

StarFaerie

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #104 on: April 30, 2013, 10:46:40 PM »
I love voting. You go to your local school on the Saturday, spend 5 minutes or so marking some boxes on a piece of paper (I've never had to line up) and then you get to go out th exit door and buy a sausage from the sausage sizzle and a cake from the cake stall. I call it sausage sizzle and cake day. I look forward to it as a treat. It's like a mini school fete without the crowds or children. Bring on September 14!