Quote of the week

Although judicial proceedings will generally be bound by the requirements of natural justice to a greater degree than will hearings before administrative tribunals, judicial decision-makers, by virtue of their positions, have nonetheless been granted considerable deference by appellate courts inquiring into the apprehension of bias. This is because judges ‘are assumed to be [people] of conscience and intellectual discipline, capable of judging a particular controversy fairly on the basis of its own circumstances’: The presumption of impartiality carries considerable weight, for as Blackstone opined at p. 361 in Commentaries on the Laws of England III . . . ‘[t]he law will not suppose possibility of bias in a judge, who is already sworn to administer impartial justice, and whose authority greatly depends upon that presumption and idea’. Thus, reviewing courts have been hesitant to make a finding of bias or to perceive a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of a judge, in the absence of convincing evidence to that effect.

L'Heureux-Dube and McLachlin JJ
Livesey v The New South Wales Bar Association [1983] HCA 17; (1983) 151 CLR 288
19 May 2011

Election results update

Watching the SABC and ETV coverage of the election results is a bit like trying to watch a rugby game blindfolded with very loud and drunk spectatiors sitting all around you. There is a lot of noise but one is not able to gather much hard information from this exercise. And if one analyst or presenter says “It’s early days yet,” I am going to scream.

The leaderboard at the IEC results centre also provides utterly meaningless statistics because one does not know which wards or municipalities have reported their results, whether more results have come in from traditionally DA than ANC strongholds and which province has reported the largest percentage of those results so far. Idiotic. 

In any case, this is a local government election, so what happens in each Metro and in each town is far more important than the overall vote tallies for the parties. If one wants to get real information one must go to the Internet. Unfortunately the Electoral Commission site is outdated and is far too complicated to use and unless one is a serious number crunching geek it does not seem of much use.

News24 has probably the best and easiest to use page. It contains a map with both 20o6 and 2011 results, which gives one a far better picture of what is going on than the TV reports. Otherwise, for those on Twitter, it is very useful to search for #LGEResults or #LGER2011 and follow those feeds. From what I gather from my sources the DA did very well in Cape Town and will win in a landslide, while the ANC probably did better than expected in Johannesburg. (And, no, I am not going to caution that it is early days yet.)

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