Well today it’s the Queen’s Birthday holiday here in Australia and that means that we get to learn who of the good and the great have been recognised with a Queen’s Birthday honour. Of all the worthy recipients in 2017, one stands out for me, with an Officer of the Order of Australia going to everyone’s favourite election analyst Antony Green for “distinguished service to broadcast media and the community as a key interpreter of Australian democracy”.
Who hasn’t watched an election night unfold to the informed tones of Antony Green Australia’s leading psephologists and perhaps play a few drinking games with his fabulous phrases?
It’s just as well Antony got a gong from the Queen or I wouldn’t have learned a new word today. Psephology derives from Greek psephos ψῆφος, meaning ‘pebble’, as the Greeks used pebbles as ballots. It is a branch of political science concerned with the analysis of elections which first appeared in the UK. Green sits alongside other notable Aussie psephologists such Malcolm Mackerras who invented the Mackerras Pendulum.
Green has covered nearly 70 Australian federal, state and territory as well as city council elections and by-elections, four British elections (including last week’s UK Theresa May gamble) New Zealand elections and has also turned his trained eye and meticulously complied data to US presidential polls.
On receiving his honour, Green was quoted in news.com as saying “I like to describe election night as being bungee jumping for intellectuals — you leap into the void tethered only by the data link to the electoral commission.” Well put Antony – and after a few recent election results a few of us have certainly felt like Bungee jumping off the nearest bridge.
I do however really really like Antony’s take on the democratic act of voting:
“For all the public cynicism about politics, casting a vote is still the only time when we are all equal. No matter how rich or how poor, how weak or powerful, we all have one vote only,”
“Achieving change by peaceful means is preferable to revolution and is why elections and democracy should be cherished rather than sneered at.”
Well put Antony… which is why you are the inspiration for today’s Daily Wrap of wonderful green envelopes.
No… it’s not just a play on your last name, or the fact that greenery is the Pantone colour of the year, or the fact that envelopes are often used for secret ballots or because I am currently going through an envelope stage.…it’s because these envelopes are all lined up meticulously and mathematically yet present different looks from different angles– which is how I imagine you mind would work. When it comes to envelopes, these green beauties win by a wide margin.