We all know that feeling.
We all know that feeling.
Its been pretty hard managing to get thru 2016, but I made it. I look back on the progress I have made and really do think I’m finally able to be happy.
2017 is going to be a crazy year, I just hope I can make it thru without losing any more of my mind. The first few months brought many folk together to fight fascism and tyranny. Some small steps in the right direction have been made, but the struggle; both personal and global is still going on. We’re all in this together…
Except the Trump supporters. Fuck those guys.
I’m not using this space to rant anymore.
UPDATE: Sometimes art takes on a whole new meaning due to cultural understanding…
Now onto the rant…
Time may not heal all wounds, but it does give us all a chance to grow, learn and reflect on our lives. I never knew what a “TERF” was until later in life, I just assumes all feminists were hateful toward my community; and dismissed feminism entirely until I started giving up privilege, and realizing I need feminism. Not the feminism of hate you so energetically displayed to me, but that which is inclusive and sympathetic to the struggles of transwomen.
I realize now that when you would foam at the mouth calling me a “pervert” and a plethora of other names, just for expressing my gender identity, you were doing so due to your own mental health problems, not mine. I was never the “sick” one, as you would often tell me.
I never received a congratulatory phone call when I got into a Bachelor of Laws, nor one when I first ran for council. I didnt have a shoulder to cry on when I was sexually assaulted, nor someone to be there when depression left me catatonic. I did it hard, harder than you ever had to.
Don’t try and narcissisticly congratulate yourself for my achievements with your application of “tough love”; it wasnt “tough love” that got me clean from heroin, it was getting your toxic influence out of my life that created an environment which I could get clean from hard drugs.
You would often call me an “underachiever”; my psychiatrist says I’m an overachiever; since he has had more contact with me in the past decade, I’m certainly more incline to hold his view above yours. He has certainly been more caring to me than you ever were.
I have no idea how you view me now. It could be that you might have changed your attitude to transwomen, but even if this is the case, does that mean your attitude toward me has changed?. I know my attitude toward you has changed; from hate to pity. I cant carry that much hate with me, it was a burden I had to drop.
It was a long road from the time you made me homeless to today, and there had been many hands that helped pull me up from the gutter. None of those hands were yours; for years I would cry myself to sleep at night wondering where I went wrong–but I never did “go wrong”, I just lived my life and did the best I could with what I could.
After seeing how abhorrent and abusive the TERF community are to us online, I realized it was you who “went wrong”. A parent should do everything they can to support their children and allow them to lead the best lives possible; a task which you have clearly failed at.
I am trans, out and proud, I dont know (or care) what you think of that. Maybe you still hold the view that I’m a “pervert”, “sick” and a “useless junky”; maybe you have grown and learnt from your experience being a bad parent, its all moot. I managed to get this far without you, I dont want or need you back in my life.
If you are still failing to comprehend the reason for this letter, its that I know now WHO I am, and I know now WHAT you are: a sick TERF sack of shit who would disown their own child rather than change their own misguided views on gender.
Portia Bethany Levene.
I started writing this in 2013 and was intending for it to be the beginning of a larger work, I have another couple of draft chapters, but here is the intro for those who wish to read it (References omitted in this introduction):
Fukushima disaster on March 11, 2011 was an event like no other. At no time in recorded history had the world experienced such a cataclysmic event. After the tsunami the international community looked on as we saw the prelude to what could be humanity’s Extinction Level Event (“ELE”). This initial response saw states-persons such as Hillary Clinton fly in to “assess” the disaster, as events have deteriorated; At the time of writing this in 2013 it has been just over 2 years, yet things continue to get worse.
Reports too get filtered out, either by deliberate manipulation of the editorial process, or by the public’s wish to invest heavily on the cataclysmic. “Doom-Porn” as it’s called in digital discourse, where every major disaster attracts a zeitgeist of end-of the world scenarios, creates a new environment where any anti-nuclear rhetoric is dismissed as conspiracy theory.
There is little discussion of the Fukushima disaster among the general populace; Broadcast news has barley mentioned Japan, let alone the three mini-suns burning under its bedrock. Yet in this year, after 2 years of Fukushima spewing toxicity onto the planet, there is now a decision to host one of the worlds biggest media events in the small nation—the 2020 Olympic Games.
Perhaps it’s the gravity of the situation that is lost on many, even those aware of the event; Are people really aware of the risks of radiation in the first place?. If we limit our understanding of nuclear energy to the average high-school text book, nuclear energy is often portrayed as a clean alternative to coal. The growing sustainable energy debate has in fact caused its rebirth from a public whose collective memory tends to forget Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island. Harvard Medical Professor Robert Jay Upton, in his opinion piece in the New York Times…:
Some have been objecting to the “doomsday language” used in connection with Fukushima’s radiation dangers. And it is true that exaggerations at all levels should be discouraged, exacerbating as they do fears on the part of everyone. But that doomsday language has its source in the doomsday nature of the stuff that is feared, and in the realization that we have created a technology with which we can annihilate ourselves as a species. Here too the association between bomb and reactor cannot be willed out of existence.
This “doomsday language”, a component of the doom-porn mentioned earlier, is a careful consideration when looking into the events of Fukushima. We do not need to concern ourselves with any dystopian doomsday fantasy where immediate mass population reduction is followed by years of anarchic tribalism where humanity rebuilds. We do need to concern ourselves with facts, and regardless of our views on nuclear energy we need to look objectively at all sources of information presented.
Again, this notion of Mutually Assured Destruction (“MAD”) can be lost on a generation that grew up without the threat of the Cold-War and its perceived climax in nuclear holocaust. Even those members of the younger generation who have read politics of the Cold-War may fail to grasp its sociological context; As is often the case, the battle of the super-powers is now read in context of the “War on Terror”, and the nuclear threat is treated as a technical constraint.
It is not the error of the younger generations that we have this disaster—that error rest on us who put that technology in place, and maintained its legal status. It is the responsibility of us all to know the dangers that face humanity from this disaster, and it is important that we work together to build resolutions for this event, before it reaches ELE. It is up to us to work together, to teach one another and to build a better world…
I can picture the earliest memory of when I wanted to be a girl, but I remember being very young arguing with my mother about why I had to stand up to use the toilet. Wearing girls clothes back when I was that young was awkward, being that I never had much chance when both my mother and my sister weren’t around. I was caught a couple of times, yelled at, physically abused. It was drummed into me that early on by my mother that anything not conforming to the gender binary was not tolerated.
Well that was my mother’s point of view, my father was largely absent in those years due to working 14-16 hour days in logistics, as we call it now. I recall an argument between them when I was about 9 or 10 about the film Rocky Horror Picture Show; A friend of mine had been singing one of the more well known songs from it and my mother was appalled that someone would let a child watch such “perversion”; My father argued that transvestism was not perversion, but part of normal sexuality… we left the room to let them argue, which was kind of normal for my childhood.
At around that age I had out grown my sisters clothes, so I found a box of my aunt’s clothes that were being stored in our shed while she was in England. She was a small lady, so they fitted me being a boy, and I had this collection up until my mother found them and disposed of them over time as they were found. Psychological and sometimes physical abuse accompanied such discoveries.
I changed friends in my early teenage years, mainly to fit in, but also as a safety mechanism. My friend I mentioned earlier was coming to terms with his own sexuality, he became openly gay in high-school. I didn’t want that stigma, I didn’t identify as gay–I had no interest in men, and the neighborhood we lived in was not very welcoming to diversity other than Ford or Holden.
I didn’t have my own clothes at this point, I would sneak some of my sisters clothes that would fit when I had the chance, but fearing being outed to my friends I didn’t keep anything incriminating in any draws or my wardrobe fearing discovery by my friends. That was until I discovered amphetamines at 14.
The first time I uses “speed” the urge to dress was uncontrollable, I ditched my friends and went home. Thinking my sister was staying at her friend’s house I went in her room to grab some clothes–she was home, and I had woken her up by the creaking noise of her wardrobe opening. I mumbled something and scuttled back into my room. I didn’t get to dress up that night, but from then on I knew this was a real part of me that had to be let out.
I collected clothes and makeup from my sister over my teenage years, to make sure nobody found them I put a lock on my wardrobe. Being someone who grew and sold cannabis, I figured this would more likely arouse suspicion related to that, than any choice is clothing.
I never shared my secret with any of my “love” interests at the time, I didn’t see how it would be compatible within a “heteronormative” paradigm. Storm was one of these interests.
I chose to keep closeted in my early 20s, so my social outlet when female was always the internet–I had built a pretty close relationship with the internet over the years and to say the web was my second home would be placing too much consideration for my physical location. I lived on the net, so I needed a name.
Fake internet names in the web1.0 era–I chose one that suited my love of automotive engineering: Portia Karraira (I have since chosen to use ‘Portia” with my real last name on most internet sites). I was content being a cyber-entity, I worked as a web designer/developer so it didn’t matter what I was dressed in when I was working from home–well when I had the place to myself.
In my 20’s I was living with just my mother in the same house I grew up in. My father had left to go live in a state of semi-retirement after my mother had kicked him out. I had the place largely to myself I could live almost up to a week en femme.
My amphetamine problem was getting quite bad by this point, and I was selling it to support myself; as I was becoming no longer able to maintain the self-employed web design status. This inevitably caused conflict with both my mother and the police and I soon found myself homeless with charges pending.
It was during my 20’s that I first shared my secret with a girl I was seeing, she was a law student and identified as a lesbian, so I didn’t mind telling the girl in my bed why there was a lock on my wardrobe. The relationship didn’t last, but from then I tried to make a point of mentioning it to whomever I was going to be involved with.
Homelessness is something you take any option out of so I moved in with my father into his tiny 2-bedroom place in Fremantle. The relationship with my father wasn’t the best when I moved in, and it was a few turbulent years while I got myself clean and back into employment. I had no female clothes during this time (I had no male clothes other that the shirt on my back that I was wearing when I arrived in Fremantle).
Once I started working again, I started to build a wardrobe of female clothes. I had no problem shopping for them–I had spent the majority of my income in the early yearsop-shopping so I had things to wear in public; I started spending on clothes I would wear in private. Living in such confined accommodation I found it difficult to hide my female wardrobe from my father and it became unspoken that it was known.
During this time I was drinking heavily and having random sexual encounters with women I would meet at pubs. This was unlike me, who had a somewhat limited sexual history up until then. I never told any of these women, there was never any intent to continue to see them.
I had largely avoided relationships when I was getting back on my feet, my theory being that anyone interested in me would have as much problems as I do. This meant I never took a sexual interest into a female, who I respect enough to not mention by name, (another “its complicated” who identified as lesbian), a good friend until it got past the its complicated point. We were close friends for about 2 or 3 years before we became intimately close. Then,unexpectedly, after 10 years of not speaking, a former love interest from high-school comes back into my life.
A good friend she was, ode to her, and returned to being the “friend”, She knew the Storm would pass and that she would be the one picking up the pieces of debris; she stepped aside as a lover and became the friend again. Of course Storm, being the destructive bitch she is, was out for maximum impact. I made the mistake of moving in with Storm instead of seeking adequate shelter from the rain.
Thinking I had reached my happily ever after with the return of my highschool sweetheart, I happily shared with her my secret. She claimed to be ok with it, that its something guys do. It was just a claim, she never wished to meet Portia, and upon seeing a picture of ‘her’ she insisted that it wasn’t me.
The relationship was turbulent and ended and my bestie and myself moved to Melbourne (well she moved, I just went with her to carry her books and guitar). I couldnt rebuild again, I was cold, I wanted to come home.So I left my best friend in Melbourne. Pretty much literally as we had an argument before I left.
When I arrived back in Perth I called a neighbour to pick me up from the airport and then I called Storm; Yeah I still missed her–she didnt even believe I had gone anywhere and just thought I had made it up and hid out for the duration of the trip. I recalled why I left in the first instance.
I needed to get my career back on track after this trans-continental sojourn so I went back to work for DEC (Department of Environment), doing a job I wasn’t “allowed” to do a few years prior–it made me feel go to be getting somewhere but it was hardly fulfilling. This was highlighted with 2 consecutive days work which ended up is us not saving a baby Swan River dolphin (which was ultimately saved by the water police the following morning), because as well meaning as we were none of the DEC staff present were qualified to handle marine mammals.
A few days later I was having my morning tea at my desk at work, a tweet came up regarding mid year enrolments at Murdoch Uni; I thought about actually having a job where I could make a difference–and do that job as me. I thought about my history with the law and my career as a public servant. I responded t the tweet and filled out the application. A few weeks later I was accepted to law school.
I thought I could transition at Murdoch; and I knew if I had a law degree at the end of it, I could use that to start a new career in trans advocacy if I couldn’t re-start my career in web.
Here & Now
I ultimately left my job at DEC for the Department of Housing (same job, same government–much different culture!) and subsequently left that after a serious bout of depression; I eventually came out after this, and was a major contribution to the recovery of my depression.
I was living about 20-40% of my live as female, depending on my study schedule, I was still not femme at uni, tho I am out to most of my social network there. To me that was the next important step to living full time as a female, I am aiming to start next semester en femme. I dress female around the house and out shopping, and am currently seeking suitable part-time employment where I can work in my desired gender.
The decision to seek hormone therapy was done after a great deal of independent research on my part and I feel that was an important step I need to take.
I am now one month on HRT, and my life is so much happier even tho I’m still in the same poverty trap as before. I intend to expand this text, give a lot more detail into the instances where I have been the victim of anti-trans violence. I do need my story, the full story to be told, but this is something I’m still living thru myself.
This is more a marker for me, than anything informative. Check them out if 3D web is something yo your alley
Tools which help to edit a scene or generate code with three.js
three.js editor – http://threejs.org/editor/
ThreeScene – http://errolschwartz.com/projects/threescene/
ThreeNodes – http://idflood.github.com/ThreeNodes.js/
ThreeInspector – http://zz85.github.io/zz85-bookmarklets/threelabs
ThreeFabs – http://blackjk3.github.com/threefab/
Many in my personal life know I have been on a transitional journey for some time, it was just something I kept out of my professional life.
There will be some changes to this site, however I will keep the “deadname” domain for at least a few years to come.
I wont make this blog a “livejournal” on my transition, but when business issues ares, perhaps out of sexism or transphobia, I will certainly make my voice heard.
Pleased to meet you, I’m Beth Levene, Portia Bethany Levene.
Now we have the blog “out”, its just time to swithch over the many accounts. Github was easy, Linkedin also; Facebook is going to require a bit too much of an unnecessary run-around, but those are the small problems when it comes to transition.
For those wondering, this in my updated Linkedin profile
My contract at the Western Australian Museum ends today, so I guess its back to unemployment and poverty for me.
The following list shows many of the LDAP controls that Active Directory supports with relation to searching, as well as how to use the more common controls with AdFind:
Specifying this LDAP control instructs the domain controller that it can return more results than can fit in a single page. This is useful when searching for large result sets and should generally always be included in an Active Directory search.
DirSync is an LDAP feature that allows you to ask Active Directory for all the objects in a given naming context that have changed since the last time the search was performed. Changes are tracked with a cookie that is returned by the server.
The DirSync control will only return modified attributes. If you want to return the full object when any attribute of that object has been modified, and you are running
Windows Server 2012 or later, use the LDAP_SERVER_DIRSYNC_EX_OID (1.2.840.113522.214.171.1240) version of this control instead.
Applications such as Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) use the DirSync LDAP feature to track changes. For more information on this feature, refer to this link.
To make sure that the domain controller does not return referrals to result sets that are stored on other servers, include this LDAP control in your request.
When this LDAP control is enabled, Active Directory will return the SID and objectGUID of each result as prefixes to the object’s DN in the result set. For more information, refer to this link.
This extremely useful LDAP control instructs Active Directory to return statistics about how the query processor will perform the requested search, as well as per‐ formance statistics about the result. We’ll discuss this feature in more detail later in this chapter.
When this control is specified, Active Directory won’t return a result until the re‐ quested object is modified. This is useful for tracking changes to specific objects in the directory and responding to them. For more information, refer to this link.
Similar to the paged results control mentioned earlier, this is typically a control you will always want to specify. The ranged results control is used when you need to retrieve values in a multivalued attribute in excess of the maximum number of values a DC will return by default. You can use the LDAP_SERVER_RANGE_RETRIEV AL_NOERR_OID (1.2.840.1135126.96.36.1998) alternate implementation of this LDAP control to ensure that errors will not be returned if you request more values than are available.
Use this control to tell the domain controller which components of an object’s ntSecurityDescriptor (the ACL) to retrieve. Depending on the permissions of the user performing the query, not all of the components of the ACL may be read‐ able. For more information, refer to this link.
This generic control’s most useful function is called phantom root. The phantom root feature enables you to perform a search across all of the naming contexts (application NCs excluded) hosted on a global catalog. If you have a multidomain
forest with disjointed namespaces, use this control to search across all of the do‐ mains at once. Use the -pr switch to enable this function in AdFind.
This control instructs the domain controller to include deleted objects and tomb‐ stones in the result set. If you have enabled the Active Directory Recycle Bin, this will only include objects that are currently recoverable. To include objects that have transitioned out of the Recycle Bin, you must also include the LDAP_SERV ER_SHOW_RECYCLED_OID (1.2.840.1135188.8.131.524) control.
Active Directory treats deactivated linked values (links to objects that are in the Recycle Bin) differently. If you want to include deactivated links in your results, add the LDAP_SERVER_SHOW_DEACTIVATED_LINK_OID (1.2.840.1135184.108.40.2065) con‐ trol.
To include deleted objects in AdFind, append the -showdel switch. If you also want to include objects that have transitioned out of the Recycle Bin, also append the -showrecycled switch. To include deactivated links, append -showdelobjlinks.
This control instructs the server to sort the results based on one attribute before returning the result set. You can request search results to be sorted with AdFind by using the -sort and -rsort (reverse order) parameters. This document provides a great deal more information about sorting, especially with regard to the language- specific ordering of a result set and phonetic sort functionality on Japanese- language domain controllers.
Server-side sorting requires the use of a temporary table in the Active Directory database when the attribute being sorted on is not indexed. Temporary tables are limited in size. Consequently, server-side sorting of large result sets with unindexed attributes will likely fail due to the size constraints of the temporary table.
Virtual list view (VLV) searches are useful for large searches that will be paged through in a format similar to scrolling through an address book or phone directory. In fact, some versions of Microsoft Exchange use VLV for building the address books shown in email clients. For more information, refer to this link.
Attribute scoped queries (ASQs) are useful when you want to perform a query based on a linked attribute’s value(s). For example, you might want to return all of the users who are members of a group called All Users. You can do this using AdFind with this syntax:
adfind -asq member -b "cn=All Users,ou=Groups,dc=cohovines,dc=com" -f "objectClass=user"
|Property name||Default value||Description|
|alfresco.cluster.interface||Specifies a particular network interface to use for clustering. May be wildcarded, e.g. 10.256.*.* would mean attempt to bind to the interface having an IP address beginning “10.256.”.|
|alfresco.cluster.nodetype||Repository Server||Not normally used. Human-friendly description of the cluster member – as shown in JMX under “non-clustered servers”. This is useful to give a name to non-clustered servers such as a transformation server that it attached to the same database as the cluster, but not participating in it (e.g. alfresco.cluster.enabled=false)|
|alfresco.hazelcast.password||alfrescocluster||Password used by the cluster members to access/join the Hazelcast cluster.|
|alfresco.hazelcast.port||5701||Specifies the port to use for clustering.|
|alfresco.hazelcast.autoinc.port||false||If set to true, Hazelcast will try several times to find a free port starting at the value of alfresco.hazelcast.port. Not recommended.|
|alfresco.hazelcast.mancenter.enabled||false||If enabled, the server will push stats and other useful information to Hazelcast’s “mancenter” dashboard application.|
|alfresco.hazelcast.mancenter.url||http://localhost:8080/mancenter||The URL where the mancenter application may be found (alfresco.hazelcast.mancenter.enabled must be true for this to have any effect).|
Alfresco User Attributes
|properties||An associative array of user properties.|
|id||The user identifier.|
|name||The Principal name (most commonly, this will be the same as the user
|fullName||The user’s full name (for example, Joe Dwight Smith).|
|firstName||The user’s first name (for example, Joe). Read/write.|
|middleName||The user’s middle name (for example, Dwight). Read/write.|
|lastName||The user’s last name (for example, Smith). Read/write.|
|The user’s email address. Read/write.|
|organization||The user’s organization. Read/write.|
|jobTitle||The user’s job title. Read/write.|
|location||The user’s location. Read/write.|
|biography||The user’s biography. Read/write.|
|telephone||The user’s telephone entry. Read/write.|
|mobilePhone||The user’s mobile phone entry. Read/write.|
|skype||The user’s Skype name. Read/write.|
|instantMsg||The user’s instant messaging ID. Read/write.|
|googleUsername||User name for Google account. REad/write.|
|companyPostcode||The user’s company post code. Read/write.|
|companyTelephone||The user’s company telephone entry. Read/write.|
|companyFax||The user’s company fax entry. Read/write.|
|companyEmail||The user’s company email address. Read/write.|
|companyAddress1||The user’s company address entry 1. Read/write.|
|companyAddress2||The user’s company address entry 2. Read/write.|
|companyAddress3||The user’s company address entry 3. Read/write.|
|isAdmin||Returns a boolean. True if user is an administrator.|
|isGuest||Returns a boolean. True if user is a guest.|
|nativeUser||Returns the underlying user object for access to additional methods on custom user
|capabilities||Get a map of capabilities (boolean assertions) for the user.|
I wish you all the best for 2016, unless planned otherwise.
This LDAP attribute return values that have to be interpreted with the following table:
|528||Enabled – LOCKOUT|
|530||ACCOUNTDISABLE – LOCKOUT|
|544||Enabled – PASSWD_NOTREQD|
|546||ACCOUNTDISABLE – PASSWD_NOTREQD|
|560||Enabled – PASSWD_NOTREQD – LOCKOUT|
|640||Enabled – ENCRYPTED_TEXT_PWD_ALLOWED|
|2080||INTERDOMAIN_TRUST_ACCOUNT – PASSWD_NOTREQD|
|66048||Enabled – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD|
|66050||ACCOUNTDISABLE – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD|
|66064||Enabled – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD – LOCKOUT|
|66066||ACCOUNTDISABLE – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD – LOCKOUT|
|66080||Enabled – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD – PASSWD_NOTREQD|
|66082||ACCOUNTDISABLE – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD – PASSWD_NOTREQD|
|66176||Enabled – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD – ENCRYPTED_TEXT_PWD_ALLOWED|
|131584||Enabled – MNS_LOGON_ACCOUNT|
|131586||ACCOUNTDISABLE – MNS_LOGON_ACCOUNT|
|131600||Enabled – MNS_LOGON_ACCOUNT – LOCKOUT|
|197120||Enabled – MNS_LOGON_ACCOUNT – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD|
|532480||SERVER_TRUST_ACCOUNT – TRUSTED_FOR_DELEGATION (Domain Controller)|
|1049088||Enabled – NOT_DELEGATED|
|1049090||ACCOUNTDISABLE – NOT_DELEGATED|
|2097664||Enabled – USE_DES_KEY_ONLY|
|2687488||Enabled – DONT_EXPIRE_PASSWORD – TRUSTED_FOR_DELEGATION – USE_DES_KEY_ONLY|
|4194816||Enabled – DONT_REQ_PREAUTH|
Trying to clean up some of the bloat on this WordPress, I decided to publish this–I probably chose not to post at the time of writing, for various reasons, but none I can remember, so here, have an out-of-date rant:
The 2010 Commonwealth election had a number of interesting outcomes–a hung parliament being the most obvious, but after the 2013 result I think it’s imperative to look at our system and how we can improve it for the future of all Australians. As many of you would be aware there has been much discontent on both sides of the political spectrum on the current state of Australian politics, and for us all to have a better say I have come up with four areas we should address.
Most Australians have a very abstract knowledge of our political system, and one of those areas that seems ambiguous to many voters is the preferential voting system. If you ask the average voter who they voted for the response would more likely be the head of the respective party, that the party which the candidate they voted for belongs to. This misnomer is what keeps local issues from the Commonwealth agenda, as they won’t engage in dialogue with a candidate that is invisible to them.
This education of Preferential voting does not necessarily have to be part of a school curriculum, it can occur from the candidates themselves; By getting out into the community and engaging with their constituents. But for this to be truly effective, addressing politics and the Australian political system in a curriculum aimed at school aged children will be a benefit for our future democracy.
As with the above this can be achieved with community engagement. Most people would have a hard time naming more than one senator from their State, and usually its one who has had some media exposure (for better or worse, most often the latter). If Senators became more media visible, and put themselves amongst the community then the Upper House would be more effectively representational.
Additionally, tho not directly related to Commonwealth democracy: Queensland must at some point in the near future install an Upper House as its mono-cameral system has lead to a number of fringe parties entering the political arena without any political background.
There are nations that disenfranchise, or impose penalties on voters if they do not participate in the electoral process if required:
Belgian voters who repeatedly fail to vote in elections may be subject to disenfranchisement. Singapore voters who fail to vote in an general election or presidential election will be subjected to disenfranchisement until a valid reason is given or a fine is paid. Goods and services provided by public offices may be denied to those failing to vote in Peru and Greece. In Brazil, people who fail to vote in an election are barred from obtaining a passport and subject to other restrictions until settling their situation before an electoral court or after they have voted in the two most recent elections. If a Bolivian voter fails to participate in an election, the person may be denied withdrawal of the salary from the bank for three months.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting
Personally, I don’t think these measure would be effective on the average Australian non-voter; The carrot, not the stick is the best approach. My immediate suggestion is a voting rebate, where after voting you are given a receipt which will allow you to be re-enumerated for the time taken out of your day to muster. (A possible side effect: By allowing rural voters larger re-enumeration due to distance travelled, it might soften the blow of adjusting rural malapportionment?)
This is an important factor; In the 2010 election there was 14,086,869 enrolled voters and only 13,131,667 (93%) showed up to muster; Of them 729,304 voted informally (5.55%). In 2010 more people voted informally that voted for the National Party, nearly twice as many. And when our seats are decided by just a couple of thousand votes, it painful to see that the result could have been different if they actually made their vote count1.
This is the big one. The media have taken issues away from politics and replaced them with the talking head. Today’s politicians are praised more for their media-savvy of being able to dodge unsolicited questions, rather than for their ability to address them with intelligence and substance.
There is no magic bullet solution to the media, regulations become ineffective once a new technology penetrates the main stream. The internet for example is exempt from a media black-out prior to polling, in an age where more and more people are relying on new media for their information is this short-sighted?; I think so.
I don’t know; Just some thoughts about today’s… what my cousin called “democracide”