megpie71
megpie71
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Back May 17th, 2009 Forward
And the people have spoken... again

Well, Western Australia's just had its fourth referendum on Daylight Saving since 1975, and the voters have replied to this one the same as we did to all the others. We said "No".

I've lived through each of the trials of Daylight Saving in WA, and each time there's been a referendum about it, the answer has been "no". It's been "no" for a combination of reasons - one of which is that at least half of the land in the state lies north of the Tropic of Capricorn (and therefore gets absolutely no benefit out of daylight saving anyway), another of which is we're on the wrong side of the meridian our time zone is based on (so we don't actually need it in the first place), a third of which is that our summers are long enough and hot enough that we really don't need to save the daylight in the first place (we're too far north to get extended twilights). Each time we've said "no", however, there's been a break of about five to ten years, and we get it imposed again.

The people who generally want Daylight Saving over here are bankers, business types and such (most of whom work in air-conditioned offices on St George's Terrace, commuting to these offices from their air-conditioned homes in air-conditioned cars). They ask for it because Daylight Saving in the Eastern States (or rather, New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania) changes the gap between timezones from two hours (in winter) to three (in summer), and it makes it harder for them to connect with their counterparts on the Eastern Seaboard. To which the answer is, "well, you guys can always get up an hour earlier and finish an hour earlier - why should the rest of us have to do so?" Sadly, they appear to consider the response of the majority of the Western Australian population to be the wrong one - so about once a decade, we get another load of bitching about imposing daylight savings, and another trial, and another referendum.

Now, I'm waiting to see how long it takes before the business community starts telling the government that the voters got it wrong again, and that we're going to keep on repeating this process until we give them the right answer. Fortunately the current premier says it isn't going to be on his watch.

Current Mood: cynical cynical
Back May 17th, 2009 Forward