Waiting for a Result

Australia voted on Saturday to decide who will run our country for the next three years. It looks like we have a hung parliament so both major parties are now scrambling to ensure the support of independents in an effort to form a minority government. It may be some time before we know who will be our next Prime Minister.

Voting is compulsory here in Australia so we’re guaranteed the largest possible number of Australians over the age of eighteen play a part in selecting who leads the nation.

We’ve moved house since the previous election so we’re in a new electorate and we had to find a new polling place. We’re used to turning up, walking straight in, voting, and then heading on our way. This time we had to wait in a queue for quite some time before finally casting our vote.

The people running the booth seemed completely unprepared for a big turnout. We were there around 10:30 a.m. and the senate ballot box was already crammed full. It was a struggle to get my vote into the box.

One of the electoral workers told us that it was the only box they were given for the entire day. It was expected that it would be a fairly small booth. I guess the electoral commission didn’t notice the huge amount of development in the area in the past three years. Hundreds of houses have been built in new housing estates in the area over the past few years. I can only imagine that some frantic phone calls would have been made to hurriedly rectify the situation.

Mind you, while it was an inconvenience to wait in line, I’m still very glad that we live in a country that gives us the opportunity to play a part in the democratic process.

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I won't vote for Obama or McCain

vote.jpgI won’t be voting for either of the main candidates in the US Election.

Of course, being an Australian living in Australia, I’m not actually eligible to vote.

There are over 6 billion people in the world who have no say in who will become the United States President, but considering that whoever takes up residence in the White House will become the most powerful man on the planet, the choice still has an effect on every country around the globe.

So what if everyone could vote? It would seem that Obama would be heading to the top job in a landslide result.

At the site If the World Could Vote you can choose your preferred candidate from anywhere in the world.

At the time of posting, the statistics have Obama leading McCain 667,472 votes to 99,226. That’s 87.1% for Obama and just 12.9% for McCain. Votes have been collected from over 200 countries.

It seems that while the USA is still deciding who should live in Washington, the rest of the world has made a very clear choice of who they’d prefer already.

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Ritchie and the Fonz team up again

This has got to be one of the more bizarre celebrity political endorsements I’ve seen but at least it’s fun seeing Ron Howard revisiting some of his early TV roles.

I’m not endorsing either candidate. Being in Australia means that while the choice of President in the US will certainly effect me and everyone else in the world, I don’t have a say one way or the other.

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Rodney Olsen for President

So … are you going to vote for me?

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Violence escalates in Kenya

While most of us have had a fairly quiet introduction to 2008, Johnny and Kate Brooks have experienced a troubling start to the year in Kenya.

Johnny and Kate, together with their children, have been bringing healing and God’s love to people in Kenya for some time now but their job has been made even harder by the escalating violence in that country following recent elections. The following comes from a recent post titled Troubled Beginning for 2008.

This past week has been a tense one here in Nakuru, in fact not just here but all over Kenya. Some places have been rocked by serious violence and ethnic cleansing.

The last I heard the official death toll was 145 people, I am not sure if that number includes the 30 mostly women and children burned to death in a church in Eldoret. That is what the officials are saying, however the death toll must be much higher. Hundreds upon hundreds have possibly lost their lives. Thousands have lost their homes and livelihoods.

The end is no where in sight. I am sure we will see the violence in the cities end soon enough, police and paramilitary units are being deployed in large numbers. This past week has left scars that I think will take a generation to heal.

You see this fight is not political. The fighting is about what language you speak. Racial hatred is the root of the problem, the faulty elections were just an excuse.

Our ministry will respond, but the scale of the damage is massive. There are at least 30,000 displaced people. New orphans have been created. Poverty has been intensified. The bottom of the ladder has just become much more crowded, not that there was much room down here before this past week.

We will need more help to deal with some of these people.

Father, I thank you that you have put us in a position to be able to help as many as possible. I ask you for the resources to reach out and feed, clothe, counsel, provide medical care, and reassure these hurt people that you love them. Thank you for bringing us to Kenya for such a time as this.

This report from BBC News has further details on the situation. Many news sources are claiming over 300 dead and that tally is sure to continue rising.

You might like to visit their blog and leave a comment to let them know that you’re standing with them during this time.

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