Last weekend the details of candidates for the upcoming Australian Federal election were posted. Here’s a visualisation I’ve made of all the parties with group voting tickets for the Queensland senate. In general, parties closer together in the diagram give one another better preferences on the group voting tickets.
Where is the data from?
The Australian Electoral Commission makes data available in machine-readable form here.
What metrics did you use?
The ideal distance in arbitrary units between parties A and B is calculated as the number of candidates who would have to be eliminated before a vote above the line for party A would be transferred to party B, added to the number of candidates who would have to be eliminated before a vote above the line for party B would be transferred to party A. In cases where a party lodged multiple group voting tickets with the AEC, the average was taken between the values obtained using each ticket.
What algorithm did you use?
I used simulated annealing to minimise the mean square difference between actual distance and ideal distance for each pair of parties. I then adjusted the visual by hand to avoid having parties whose names overlapped one another.
Dancing involves leadership
Regular readers will know that I enjoy dancing. When I dance, I am a leader with a single follower: my dance partner. In life I am a leader with many followers: at work, church, and in other areas of life.
I’m going to tell you some things about being a leader on the dance floor. It’s up to you to figure out how far these things apply to the rest of life.
As the leader of a dance partnership:
- it’s my role to think several moves ahead
- it’s my role to create opportunities for my follower to look good
- I need to lead confidently and clearly or my follower cannot follow
- I am responsible for my follower’s well-being
- the dance is limited by the risks that I’m brave enough to take
- I need to be creative and take initiative
- I must tune in to the rhythm and tempo of the music, or I force my follower to choose between following me and following the music
What do you learn from dancing that you can apply in your life?
To complete this article, I leave you with some lyrics from Lord of the Dance.
They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
—from Lord of the Dance, by Sydney Carter
God’s living word
My friend Dani has recently returned from 5 months in Nepal. One part of her reflections especially stood out to me:
What’s hard is watching the Bible go from being a staple to a snack. I’ve come from a place where due to language barriers, the main thing that bound me together with other Christians was the Bible. This encouraged me to read it and desire it more and more. I’ve come from a place where Christians can’t seem to get enough of the Bible, to a place where it’s hardly even read. Sorry Australia. It’s not just me being a crazy person, either… I have statistics! Apparently only 1 in 5 Aussie Christians read their Bible daily. That makes me sad.
I have written about this before. The Christian church should be more than a social club. If the God of the universe has chosen to give us written record of has dealings with humankind, surely it’s worth devoting some of our time to reading it. And if, as the apostle Paul writes, God’s words are alive and powerful, then it’s worth not just reading the Bible, but soaking ourselves in it, and allowing it to transform the way we think, the way we treat others, and every other part of how we live.
In recent times I’ve been a part of a group of Christians learning to take passages from the Bible and turn them into good stories (without sacrificing accuracy). I’ve seen God do some amazing things through this process. Here are two reasons why I think this is worthwhile:
- It excites Christians about the Bible. People connect deeply with stories, and when Christians connect with Bible stories, it makes them want to go back and read the original, and maybe even tell the story to others, or craft another Bible story.
- It lets Christians talk about what they believe. Our culture says “Thou shalt not tell anyone what to believe”, and many Christians are afraid that if they talk about what they believe in front of people with different views, they’ll be seen as a militant evangelist. But stories are not confrontational. When you tell someone a Bible story, you can tell them what you believe without telling them what to believe. You can genuinely share who you are and what you hold important without fear of making others feel threatened.
Perhaps sharing Bible stories with one another will be part of the solution to the crisis of Christians who don’t connect with God’s word.
It’s election year in Australia, and one major party is trying to divert attention away from the party as a whole towards their leader while the other is trying to divert attention away from their leader towards the party as a whole.
I wonder… what would happen if the leader of a major party actually encouraged people to vote for representatives on the merits of the representatives in question rather than on the merits of their party or their leader? That would put pressure on candidates to actually prove to their electorates that they’re worth voting for. Perhaps candidates would try to do what’s best for their electorate and the nation rather than just what’s best for themselves and their party.
Posted in short
Tagged musings, politics
I think the TV was put there for kerbside garbage collection. Perhaps the couch was the same…?
Posted in short
Tagged life, photo, random