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WHAT COULD A HUNG COUNCIL DO?

How unstable could local politics become when an elected council becomes hung?

If party politicians join independents on the cross-bench, would developments wanted by the public be more or less likely to be approved?

‘Presumed Dead’ is a novel by Martin Knox set in a fictional council chamber within the Westminster system. Corruption at the big end of town is suspected when Jane Kenwood, a feisty councillor, disappears.

http://www.martinknox.wordpress.com

PANDEMIC DYNAMICS NOT UNDERSTOOD

The coronavirus organism is keeping humans guessing at the microscopic, medical treatment and political levels. Could its behaviour be complex, are situations diverse, or is detection and recording of its presence variable, local, partial and haphazard? Is it possible that behaviour is random, unpredictable, unrepeated, invisible and baffling scientists?
Manifestation could be determined by a stochastic algorithm of processes that is constantly changing and beyond analysis. No-one has the full picture. Is it asking too much that scientists should collaborate? After 6 months, pandemic control is still uncertain, without any definite prospect of a vaccine or any other treatment.
This was once the situation with AIDS, so there is hope.
No-one seems to be interpreting a global data set with authority beyond generic cautionary advice at an unprecedented large scale of economic impact, with catastrophic impacts. Normal scientific caution in establishing causes is being widely interpreted as epistemological deficiency. The causality vacuum is permitting growth of political authority and totalitarian rule.
http://www.martinknox.wordpress.com/news

OPINION: LIBERTY COULD BE REDUCED


Individuals exposed to infection by COVID19 have responded mainly in three ways. They have accepted the risk unprotected, self-protected, or have obtained protection by government restriction of their own and others’ activities. Consequences are not yet fully known but government intervention has already created a precedent for public health policy.
Given a choice between catching a dangerous virus and losing employment, few people would hesitate to stay home. Response to past influenza outbreaks was largely individual, without regulation of individual activity. Regulative response to COVID-19 has attributed new potential for infection but this has not been manifest in all countries. Virulence of COVID-19 has been summarised by Swiss Policy Research as follows.
‘In countries like the US, the UK, and also Sweden (without a lockdown), overall mortality since the beginning of the year is in the range of a strong influenza season; in countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, overall mortality is in the range of a mild influenza season.’ 
Compared with previous responses to influenza, lockdown in Australia for COVID-19 has had new levels of social control compared with past outbreaks, when it was left to individuals to decline risks, or accept them with mild social sanctions. Unless COVID-19 is significantly more virulent, social and economic consequences of government protection seem disproportionate to other influenza treatments. Perhaps public health care has advanced and people expect better protection nowadays. Ordinary influenzas nevertheless continue to kill without social regulation. In Australia in 2017, 4269 deaths from influenza and pneumonia had less social control, whereas in 2020 there have been 103 deaths to June 25 from COVID-19. Protection imposed by restriction of public behaviour for COVID-19 is relatively a loss of liberty, compared with for example: inability to go to work by accepting personal risk similar to crossing the road. Young lives could be stunted. Those who want protection would be free to self-protect at home, especially elderly people who are most vulnerable. Supposing that COVID-19 hangs around for repeat seasons, or new virulent viruses arrive, the regulation of the many, for the benefit of the few, could threaten restoration of society, unless we revert to the kinds of voluntary behaviour that were accepted for so long. When difference in virulence numbers between countries is clear, actions needed could be clearer.
https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/

EXPECTING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE

A person becomes mature when their character and integrity stabilise. National maturity could have similar precepts. Racial maturity could be absence of racism as a facet of national character, aggregated somehow for all members of the population. The election of Barack Obama, a person of colour, to be President of the United States of America from 2009 to 2017, was a milestone in the nation’s maturity following the ending of slavery with passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. His appointment demonstrated Kant’s Categorical Imperative: people should act as they would want people to act towards all other people, viz: Without racial prejudice.
Is it possible that the Black Lives Matter protests, consequential to the Obama experience, have been fuelled by unfulfilled expectations of even more racial maturity?
In 2020, Australia’s indigenous population is 3.3% and one in four Aboriginal people are in custody. For an indigenous person to become president of an Australian Republic, more racial maturity would be required. In my speculative fiction novel The Grass is Always Browner, set in Australia 250 years in the future, the British monarchy has been displaced by an Aboriginal dynasty in the core of government. The nation would then have achieved the racial milestone the USA has already achieved.
My concern is inclusion of all races, rather than to change governments.
http://www.martinknox.wordpress.com

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