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suze
872643.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:18 pm Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
Maybe with hindsight not a smart request.


Especially since Australia paid money for it.

Christmas Island was initially administed as a part of the Straits Settlements, and then later as a part of Singapore. But Australia wanted it, and so in 1957 it paid Singapore 2.9 million for it.

Christmas Island has a legally resident population of about 1,400, and has eleven miles of railroad. That is seven times more railroad per head of population than any other country in the world. (Australia, as it happens, comes next.)

 
Zebra57
872778.  Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:07 am Reply with quote

I know that it is nit-picking Suze, but Christmas Island is not a country. It is a non-governing territory of Australia with representation in the Northern Territory Assembly.

Christmas Island was once administered by Ceylon prior to the formation of the Straits Settlements.

Singapore only became internally self governing in 1959 so the agreement for transfer was with the British Crown in 1957.

Australia wanted the island for its phosphate. Today the island has similar problems as Nauru in trying to kickstart an alternative economy (eg failed casino resort). It was not the nuclear test site of Christmas Island.

Christmas Island (Kiritimati) was part of the UK administered Gilbert Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is a coral atoll in the Northern Line Islands. Part of the Republic of Kiribati it was the location of the 1950/60s controversial UK/US nuclear tests.

 
suze
872815.  Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:24 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
I know that it is nit-picking Suze, but Christmas Island is not a country.


Whenever a question on Pointless asks one to name countries, it is explained that a "country" is an independent state in membership of the United Nations - and for sure, Christmas Island is not one of those.

But I do struggle a bit with defining "country" in this way, because it requires one to accept that Greenland is not a country. If Greenland is not a country, then it's part of Denmark - and we usually consider Denmark as a small foggy country between Germany and Sweden, not as a vast wilderness in the Arctic.

 
Zebra57
872823.  Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:32 am Reply with quote

This enclosed link tried to untangle the complexities of definition

http://geography.about.com/cs/politicalgeog/a/statenation.htm

 
Zebra57
875174.  Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:32 pm Reply with quote

Nauru is famous for not having a capital city. From 1901 until 1927 the seat of the Australian Government was Melbourne, but was it ever officially the Australian capital?

 
suze
875176.  Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:51 pm Reply with quote

At first sight, the answer to that question is "no". Then again, does Australia even have a capital defined by statute?

The relevant legislation seems to be the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, which forms the basis of Australia's constitution.

125 of that Act notes that "The seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the Parliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney."

This was a compromise. Both Melbourne and Sydney wanted to be the capital, and both cities were taking the line that the other would be capital only at such time as the Pope had ceased to be a Catholic.

So the arrangement was that a new city would be founded, that city to be the seat of Government. That city was to be in New South Wales (because it was the most populous state), but was not to be in the immediate vicinity of Sydney. Two locations were proposed, and Canberra won out over Dalgety (these days, a cattle station with a population of about 70) on the grounds that Canberra was nearer to the Sydney-Melbourne railway line, and so would be easier to connect to the rail system.

The Act goes on to note that "The Parliament shall sit at Melbourne until it meet at the seat of Government".

So there was initially no seat of Government, and until such time as one were created the de facto seat was to be Melbourne. But even once that seat of Government existed, s-of-G was all it was to be - there is no mention of it being the capital of Australia.

PDF of Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900

 
Arcane
876719.  Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:21 pm Reply with quote

Link on the history of how Canberra came about, and if you read, some pretty interesting potential names.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Canberra

In Bill Bryson's "Down Under", he mentions even more. Some of them are....quite giggleworthy: "Wheatwoolgold, Emu, Opossum, Gladstone, Thirstyville, Kookaburra, Cromwell, and Victoria Defendera Defender."

 
Zebra57
876742.  Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:06 am Reply with quote

What makes a city the capital city of a country?

A settlement does not necessarily have city status to be the capital but it nearly always is one. Canberra is located within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) therefore one assumes that it is the capital.

QI is Jervis Bay Territory created in 1915 to give the Federal capital at Canberra would have access to the sea.

Often treated as part of the ACT it was always a separate Commonwealth territory

 
suze
876860.  Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:47 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
What makes a city the capital city of a country?


At one level, a city is only the capital if the nation's constitution or some other statute so declares it. So for instance, the Canadian Constitution notes that Ottawa is the capital of Canada until such time as Queen Victoria shall rule otherwise (which she hasn't done, and probably won't know).

The US Constitution does not state where the capital is, but the Residence Act 1790 defines its location on the Potomac. Incidentally, Washington is not properly its name. The District of Columbia used to be larger than it is today, and it contained three cities - Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington. Alexandria reverted to Virginia in 1846, while Georgetown and Washington were abolished as separate cities in 1871. The capital of the United States is the District of Columbia.


But at another level, a place is the capital if everyone thinks that it is. It is only on that sort of basis that London is the capital of the UK.

 
Jenny
877143.  Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:42 pm Reply with quote

Australia has more kangaroos than people - around 23m people and around 25m kangaroos.

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63?OpenDocument

http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/morinfo/BACKGR1.HTM#1

 
Zebra57
877244.  Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:12 pm Reply with quote

There are estimated to be 1 million feral camels in Australia

 
Rias Gremory
964347.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:33 am Reply with quote

I'm from Aus too; Tasmania. Which a lot of people don't even know the existence of!

 
WordLover
964351.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:19 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Whenever a question on Pointless asks one to name countries, it is explained that a "country" is an independent state in membership of the United Nations - and for sure, Christmas Island is not one of those.

But I do struggle a bit with defining "country" in this way, because it requires one to accept that Greenland is not a country.
Greenland is a country, but it's dependent: it is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark. Problem?

 
CB27
964352.  Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:26 am Reply with quote

That's the point suze is making. Greenland is not a member of the UN as an independent country, it is represented by Denmark. If this came up on Pointless it would not be accepted as a country.

Similarly, you have the question of England, Scotland and Wales, none of them have independent representation in the UN, so cannot be counted as countries on Pointless :)

 
Zebra57
968700.  Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:23 pm Reply with quote

On an episode of pointless a contestant answered Taipei as a capital city beginning with T. Taiwan is a country but not in the UN, the answer was rewarded with 100 points (incorect).

 

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