Linked by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:13 UTC
In the News Those up top (the Presidential Inaugural Committee) chose to utilize Microsoft's Silverlight technology to stream the upcoming inaugural events for the new president of the United States. Though Microsoft certainly likes this idea, this leaves out thousands of people in the US and elsewhere who still cannot run Silverlight or an open source alternative on their systems from viewing the streamed video online. Update by Thom: Linux and PowerPC Mac fans rejoice, as they can watch the inauguration as well using Moonlight. Migel De Icaza wrote: "Microsoft worked late last night to get us access to the code that will be used during the inauguration so we could test it with Moonlight." Microsoft and the Moonlight team fixed this issue in one afternoon, so it might be a little rough.
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way over the top
by unclefester on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:06 UTC
Member since:

The whole inauguration process is totally over the top.

Here in Australia the new Prime Minister just goes to visit the Governor General to be sworn in a day or two after winning the election . The whole process takes only a few minutes with half a dozen people present. The Prime Minister then goes back home.

Reply Score: 8

RE: way over the top
by karl on Tue 20th Jan 2009 11:17 in reply to "way over the top"
karl Member since:

this is my tongue-in-cheek-response ;) (if you take it too seriously someone must have damaged your funny bone)

Perhaps Obama's inauguration, like that of any other U.S. President, seems to be "over the top" due to relative power and importance of the U.S. President, both domestically and internationally. On the one hand the Governor of California has arguably more power and influence than the Australian PM (I believe California alone has more people, and the GDP of California dwarfs that of the continent of Australia). And the last Australian PM simply asked "how high" everytime the last U.S. President, W, said "jump".

Reply Parent Score: 1

The US President is not powerful
by unclefester on Tue 20th Jan 2009 14:48 in reply to "RE: way over the top"
unclefester Member since:

The USA is an economically and militarily powerful country. However the US President has extremely limited political power. In fact the US president is one of the least powerful political leaders in the world.

The Australian Prime Minister has personal political power that no American President could ever dream of. He can call a federal election whenever he wants within his three year term. He appoints his cabinet personally (from his elected party members) without any validation process. He normally has almost total control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Australian politicians are obliged to vote along party lines and public dissent is absolutely forbidden. So the PM does almost no wheeling or dealing.

The Prime Minister does not have any term limits. John Howard, the previous PM, was in power for 13 years. Robert Menzies was PM for 17 years until he retired.

It is absolutely unimaginable that any Australian Prime Minister could ever be publicly cross-examined like Bill Clinton was by Kenneth Starr. In fact the Prime Minister can only be censured by a majority of both houses - it has never happened.

In essence the PM of Australia is an elected dictator with almost unfettered personal political power as long as he has the support of his party and the electorate.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: way over the top
by darknexus on Tue 20th Jan 2009 11:43 in reply to "way over the top"
darknexus Member since:

I'm from the US and I agree, it's utterly ridiculous.
Personally, I'm not even going to watch it. Talk is cheap. I do not judge anyone by their words, but by their actions. Obama's actions will speak louder than any words he might say today and, if his actions are contrary to the words he speaks, the words are meaningless and a huge waste of my time.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: way over the top
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:58 in reply to "way over the top"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Its a celebration of a peaceful transition of power in a non hereditary fashion, often between diametrically opposed individuals. Something that truly was remarkable when we first started doing it, so no its not about the power or prestige of the country. The occasion of the inaugural address has also been a moment where the new executive lays down his plan for the country. Some of the most important speeches by US presidents have come during their inauguration.

Reply Parent Score: 2