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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The US President is not powerful
by unclefester on Tue 20th Jan 2009 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE: way over the top"
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

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.

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