Archive for October 25th, 2008

Lost your Licence? I’ll flip you for it.

Australia calls itself the Lucky Country and growing up here, I’ve always believed it. Look around, we have great beaches, great weather, great lifestyle, great grandparents, it’s really, well….. great! This is all very cool, until you take some time to think about WHY we call ourselves the lucky country. Is it because of our golden soil and wealth for toil? Our Natural gifts of beauty, rich and rare? I always thought so… But perhaps I was wrong. Maybe we’re all just hoping for a quick win. The thrill of gambling it all on the roll of the dice.. or more correctly, the push of the poker machine button. Getting LUCKY.

Nobody loves to gamble more than we do. Sure, Vegas has a great reputation, but think for a second about our very own NSW..

In 2002, Australia had 20% of the WORLD’S poker machines. By 2007, NSW alone had 43% of the ENTIRE WORLD’S poker machines..  that’s a lot of poker machines.. Think about it. The USA (home of Reno and Vegas) has 15 times more people than Australia and more than 40 times the population of NSW and yet only double the Pokies..  thats like 35 times more pokies per capita!! OUCH..

Of course, 72% of all gambling related statistics are invented on the spot for the purpose of making a good argument and this itself is only 16% likely to be true (I’d bet the farm on that..)

No matter what the numbers are, it’s clear we like to gamble. Our most famous International event on the sporting calendar is the Melbourne Cup. Even the PM stops to have a punt. We just can’t seem to stop the insanity. With all this in mind, it really shouldn’t surprise me that the rest of our system is a gamble as well.

Someone I know recently lost their Driver’s Licence. Not in a little way. Not say, sitting on 110 Km/h on the M7 from Sydney to Canberra and forgetting that the M7 is a 100 zone even though it’s WAAAAY safer than most of the 110 zones on the rest of the drive. Not that, NO. But in a BIG way. (I love starting sentences with BUT by the way..)

She lost her Licence doing nearly DOUBLE the limit in a school zone. Where little kids walk around. Where MY little kids walk around. So it’s tough to be sympathetic. But (there I go again) even though I might not be sympathetic, our loving Government wants to give everyone a fair go. What does a fair go mean?? Well it means taking part in the Lucky Country philosophy. You’ve got to be in it to win it! So.. lose your licence and we’ll flip you for it. Not literally, it’s actually more of a Double or Nothing kind of scenario.. I’m not kidding, go check it out. You have 12 Demerit points which are lost for various offences. You lose all your points and you lose your licence for 3 Months OR you can gamble and instead of losing it for 3 Months and going back to normal, you can have just 1 point for 12 Months.. If, during that time you so much as fart while driving, now you’ve got a DOUBLE suspension: 6 Months..

Seriously, the only thing this is missing is two brightly coloured boxes and a Game Show host in a loud Jacket.. What’s it gonna be honey? You’ve come so far tonight.. red light cameras, mobile phone use and now a SCHOOL ZONE.. Will you risk it all and play on??

The Money or the Box?

The Money or the Box?

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