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Monday Message Board

February 24th, 2014

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please

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  1. Ikonoclast
    March 5th, 2014 at 08:37 | #1


    Say one thing while doing the opposite.

    “We will reduce the greenhouse effect by putting more greenhouse gases into the air.”

    Doublethink! 1984 + 30 = 2014.

  2. J-D
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:14 | #2

    On the one hand I have a detailed report from an official observer mission about faults in the Russian electoral process.

    On the other hand I have allegations about the Australian electoral process, with no detailed report of observations, from an anonymous commenter on a blog.

    I don’t know much about the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but it is an established international organisation with some sort of public recognition. I cannot say the same about you. So it would be wrong to attach equal weight to the observers’ report and your allegations.

  3. J-D
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:15 | #3

    If that figure of 60% wasn’t just something made up out of thin air by you, your complaint might carry more weight.

  4. J-D
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:51 | #4

    You are absolutely correct to point out that I mistakenly read your comment as coming from Megan and responded to it on that basis. The error was mine and I apologise.

  5. Megan
    March 5th, 2014 at 10:01 | #5


    As far as missing votes – see: the Court of Disputed Returns, for government spending – see: just about any government ads since GST, media favouring one party – see: News Ltd.

    When someone says “it’s like…” they are giving an illustrative example, not stating anything as a fact. I didn’t pretend “60%” was anything other than that.

    I would invite people to read the OSCE report (or at least the executive summary, 2 pages) and decide for themselves whether it means what you say it does or not.

  6. J-D
    March 5th, 2014 at 13:18 | #6

    Of what is ’60%’ an illustrative example? It’s an illustrative example of a percentage, but so are 0%, 8%, and 100%. Anybody who knows what a percentage is doesn’t need an illustrative example.

    If you mean that it’s an illustrative example of a mark that I would not accept as a passing grade, you are mistaken.

    Possibly what you meant is that I would not accept that a country qualifies as democratic unless there is nothing in its electoral process that could legitimately be judged a flaw, but if that is what you meant then you’re still mistaken.

    I agree with you that as between the two options of reading the OSCE report and relying on your assertions, people will do better to judge political conditions in Russia by what the OSCE reports.

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