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Queensland proposed electoral redistribution (updated)

Sunday July 26, 2009

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 6:09 pm

Here is a quick look (thumbnail below) at the proposed redistribution for Queensland (see the graph below). Using Antony Green’s estimates of notional margins, I’ve plotted the notional margins of the new/proposed districts against the margins recorded in the 2007 election (Labor 2PP; Kennedy and the new/proposed division of Wright are excluded from the graph).

The 45 degree line shows where seats would line up if they were unchanged by the redistribution (seats above the 45 degree line indicate a shift in a pro-Labor direction; seats plotted below the 45 degree line are being shifted in a pro-Coalition direction, under the proposed redistribution).

Qldproposedredistscatter-1

Observations and additional analysis, below the fold….
(more…)

Comments (9)

the Onion

Saturday July 25, 2009

Filed under: general — jackman @ 11:21 am

Acquired by Chinese interests. Their homepage as of this morning appears in the thumbnail below. The new look Today Now is a great improvement.

Picture 3-9

Comments (1)

inside story re Obama, health care

Tuesday July 21, 2009

Filed under: politics — jackman @ 1:12 pm

I did a podcast (via iChat) with Inside Story’s Peter Clarke. This was fun. Great questions, and the long form of the podcast allows more expansive answers than the typical interview.

Comments (1)

beautiful graphs

Wednesday July 15, 2009

Filed under: computing,statistics — jackman @ 8:42 pm

An e-mail correspondent made my day with the following:

As a student who received little to no training in quantitative
analysis, I am regularly amazed by the beautiful graphs that you
attach to your blog posts.

My short question is, what software do you use, and what resources
would you recommend to someone who would be interested in learning how
to produce these graphs? I often see graphs on blogs like yours or the
Monkey Cage, but authors rarely post the code and data used to produce
such outputs.

Thank you for the comment.

The answer is that I use R, with a lot of customizations etc to tweek things here and there (text and symbol size, location and orientation of axis labels, margins, colors, etc).

The default in R is to make an acceptable looking graph, and it is pretty easy to take it from there. There are oodles of books on graphs in R as well (here is an example). And then there is the R gallery with lots of links to other on-line resources.

Comments (6)

ongoing airline pain (1984)

Tuesday July 14, 2009

Filed under: flight nerdery — jackman @ 10:20 pm

From the NY Times:

In fact, when the latest round of capacity cuts takes effect in September, the number of seats on domestic flights will drop to 66.5 million — the lowest September figure since 1984, according to OAG Aviation, which tracks flight schedules.

September 1984. 1st term Reagan. 25 years ago.

The same article mentions that United is being watched very closely, with continued big declines in international passenger numbers in 1st and business (the pointy end of the plane where they make their money). Trans-Pacific routes are some of the hardest hit.

I’m particularly interested in how United are doing on the suddenly-very-competitive Australia-West Coast routes. The airlines have been slashing fares to try to keep the planes full (and not doing too badly on that score, afaik), but it does make me wonder if anyone is making any money on the route at the moment, and how long they (UA, QF, V-Australia, Delta) can keep it up.

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Senator Franken

Monday July 13, 2009

Filed under: politics,statistics — jackman @ 7:23 pm

Al Franken’s short voting history thus far (12 recorded votes) is reasonably liberal, putting him just to the left of the Democratic median, in the neighborhood of Bernie Sanders, Daniel Inouye, and the two NY senators Schumer and Gillibrand. Franken’s underlying ideal point (as revealed by analysis of these 12 votes) places him unambiguously to the left of the other MN senator, Klobuchar.

A PDF graph of ideal point estimates and 95% credible intervals appears here.

Comments (3)

Stern Hu

Sunday July 12, 2009

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 9:25 am

Two words come to mind in all the clamor around the Hu case: Mohamed Haneef.

And as for complaints that China doesn’t respect the distinction between commerical interests and national security interests: didn’t Australia turn down a proposed Chinese investment in Australian mining because one of the sites borders Woomera?

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