Life hack [stickers!]

As a huge fan of Sanrio (I actually currently have my My Melody house slippers on as I’m working away at some university assignments as we speak- on a bit of a coffee and forums break) I totally support that, LOL.

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In return we get year after year of surrealist farce. But somehow the country keeps rolling.


France and The Netherlands doesn’t :frowning:
It’s a shame. Those stickers seem fun to have…


What the – and I use this language rarely and advisedly – absolute fuck?

We finally were able to get our son fully vaccinated (the below-five experience has been a little challenging what with the late approval in the US, and figuring out to fit it in with all the other vaccines was nontrivial), and man is it a load off my mind!

Ha, that’s awesome! Would be cool if more counties adopted that in future years – might add that to my letter :slight_smile:

I should really know this in more detail, but didn’t y’all not actually have a government for like two years?

(I’m thinking after today, and especially 2024, I might be feeling jealous).


I know, right?! It was a shock when I heard that that was why they were cancelling- apparently it was because they thought ‘well it can’t be that bad if they’re letting all the kids go back in person.’ A lot of parents kind of see it as nothing more than a case of the overblown sniffles.

That sort of attitude is surprisingly common. That area is quite notorious for being crunchy, though- many people are hugely anti-fluoride (…and ironically, there’s quite the booming number of dentist offices about, including those that specialize in pediatric dentistry) and very anti vaccination in general (which leads to quite the spats over ‘WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WON’T LET MY KID INTO THIS PLAYGROUP / WON’T LET ME GO TO THIS PEDIATRICIAN’S OFFICE,’ though thankfully, for public school at least- you’re required to have the basics of warding off ye olde tymey plagues.)

I think it’s sometimes a combination of poor education, a general distrust in the governmental response, and also just prejudice (a lot of people seem to think it won’t do anything to them, only schlubby people who brought it upon themselves, or disabled people, who they’d much rather stay indoors all of the time anyway so God forbid, they don’t have to deal with the delay of the public trams deploying the accessibility ramps on their morning commute… There’s also a lot of judgemental mommies in mommy and me playgroups that think it’ll like, give their kids autism.) It’s really unfortunate. For their kids’ sake, I really hope they don’t get the 'vid.

Also, so happy to hear that you were able to for your son! Hope the little guy has been well after it, my kid brother was a bit fussy and feverish for awhile after his.


Nah, it was a trifling 589 days.


Yeah, makes sense – we have a lot of those same dynamics in California, where I live. The twisted logic of not needing protection if things are opening up is something else though.

Thanks! It didn’t slow him down for even a minute, thankfully, unlike his folks :slight_smile:


Ha, I was going to ask if people wished they were in Ulster County, NY so they could get the really cool stickers…


Thanks for the “y’all”. I have no qualms now reading any and all of your posts out loud in my best 'meric’n slur.

But yeah, 541 days of negotiations of who was going to be prime minister and which political parties were going to be part of the government. We beat previous world record holder Cambodja (353 days) and earned ourselves a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Yeah… It’s complicated
2010–2011 Belgian government formation - Wikipedia.
FYI: the preceding government was still doing its duties, but they did not have the authority to make any important or far-reaching decisions and reforms.

I could attempt to explain that Belgium’s made up of two regions: Flanders and Wallonia, which have extensive political autonomy in some areas (healthcare, economy, education to name the most important ones in my view). Any national government is a balancing act to reflect at least partially the distribution of power in the regional govenments.

The main reason though is that Belgians have such a deep and real and heartfelt passion for democracy. If it were possible to combine a dayjob and a family with a political career, every household in the country would be a political party of itself. Instead of America’s pitiful two-party system, we have dozens! And all of them get votes! A while back (ok, 20 years ago, but still) we had “Partij Banaan” (“Banana Party”), a protest party that managed to get an impressive number of votes.

In short, we are so democratic that it’s becoming impossible to have a limited number of parties to form a coalition government. Today, there are 7 parties in our federal (national) government. We’re so darn democratic that we can’t get to the governing part!

EDIT: I’m aware that there are fringe parties in American politics. But they’re not really there, are they? Not when it counts. Then it’s Blue against Red. (Probably seriously lacking in nuance here.)


Ha! I’m actually from New York so my accent is not at all Southern – y’all is just the gender-inclusive substitute for “guys” I’ve managed to drill into my head through long repetition – but I suspect my posts would be friendlier and more pleasant when rendered into a drawl, so please go ahead.

Anyway thanks for the info! I know a little of that, but cool to get more detail.

Yeah, that’s right – structurally, we don’t have a parliamentary system so there’s not the same potential for coalition government, plus our federal legislative elections are all single-member, first-past-the-post, which makes third parties irrelevant (some people call themselves as “independents”, largely as a branding thing, but they’re all actually either Democrats or Republicans). At the local level, there are some places where third parties have some relevance, especially New York where they have a slate approach allowing candidates to run on multiple tickets, but the Red v. Blue dynamic you’re seeing is how things actually play out.


Really, what it means is that each of the two parties is a coalition. The coalitioning still happens, but it’s inside-the-party politics and then everybody calls themself a “Democrat” or “Republican” for the election.

(Or, as Mike says, “independent” but everybody knows which party you’re attached to.)


Oh yes, we have that here in the UK! Only without the mandatory voting, or passion for democracy (or stickers). I assume you all heard about our last prime minister being beaten by that lettuce…


We have true independents, but they don’t make it into office. They’re often single-issue folks who campaign for change on that issue from outside of the system as activists.

Right – the point is that (under the US system) that’s almost always a bad idea. If you want to promote your single issue, you can nearly always get more leverage by joining whichever major party it fits and then working to shift the party from within.

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Agreed. Honestly, I wonder if you quizzed our Congress on the actual documented planks of their own individual party platform how many of them would get more than half of them correct? I suspect many use it as a convenient vehicle to power and simply pick the party that involves the least nose-holding for them (Or in the example of Tulsi Gabbard, if you’re living in an area that only has one viable pathway to national power, you pick that party regardless of whether or not you and your father campaigned against gay marriage. She could have chosen the Republican party in Hawaii, but that would have thrown away the political capital of her father and closed any pathway forward for that state. We’d be saying, “Tulsi who?” Not much different than running as a Democrat in Wyoming. You either choose to be a moderate Republican or move. Or lose a bunch, I guess.).

When I first started reading this thread, I couldn’t work out what it was about. After reading further, I’ve got it all figured out…

In north America, you get rewarded with a sticker if you vote.

In Australia, you get rewarded with a fine if you DON’T vote.


I actually did get that second sticker, btw. The guy behind me heard me ask and handed me his own on my way out the door; said he was going to throw it away otherwise.

I guess that makes me the one with the contraband sticker, @DeusIrae .


How big a fine? Please express the amount in sticker equivalents.

:open_mouth: Sticker fraud!


No idea, as I’ve never been fined. We have three levels of government - federal, state and local. A bit of Googling indicates that the fines are $20, $55 and $55 respectively. Taking the worst-case scenario, and assuming 20 cents per sticker, that would be 275 stickers.


I actually voted early on Saturday. It was at a community center where 2 birthday parties were being held. One kid was 5, the other was 7. Their parents apologized for them running around but if you can’t run around during a birthday party, when can you?

Voting’s surprisingly convenient in the Chicago area. The 2016 and 2020 primaries had lines out the door during the weekend, but I was impressed how well organized the process was.

That’s probably because here in Illinois, our retiring Secretary of State (since 1998,) Jesse White, has been by all accounts very good at his job (both parties liked and respected him immensely before he got into politics, so I hope this isn’t/doesn’t turn into a Political Discussion.) He’s done well enough, the usual stock jokes about lines at the DMV just don’t land.

Perhaps a large part of that is due to better technology, but government services, as much as we groan about them, can and do get better.

They even waived late fees for renewing my license by mail during the pandemic.

Oh. I lost my sticker. Oh well.