The Pope and the PM: Compare and contrast

On 30th January 2013 Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, announced that the next general election for the Commonwealth Parliament will be on September 14th.

That's a wait of 227 days.

On February 11th Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was renouncing the Papacy with effect from 8pm on 28th February (6am on 1st March in Sydney).

According to John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis n.37, there has to be a period of 15 days from "the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant" before the Conclave can begin. The Cardinals can wait a maximum of twenty days. Given the advance warning it seems unlikely that the conclave will begin any later than 15th March. The mean length of all conclaves from St Pius X onwards is 3.1 recurring (you may want to check my arithmetic). Modal length is 3. Median is 3.5.

There should be a new Pope before 20th March 2013, Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent. 178 days later Australia should get a new Prime Minister.

Philippa Martyr discusses the chances of the next Pope being a black lesbian. She also predicts every idiot and his dog (usually the less idiotic of the two) giving his opinion. She is pleased by this.
The good thing about it all is that the world - for whose salvation the Catholic Church exists - sees the Church as genuinely everyone's property, and something about which everyone can and should have an opinion. It was actually always meant to be that way - out in the open, big enough for anyone who wanted to join, and plenty of room for all comers.
Just after the Conclave of 2005 began I heard a reliable report that BBC news announced the extra omnes as "we will soon have a new Pope". The Reformation seemed to be over.

Brendan O'Neill – former editor of Living Marxism (which I heard him coyly refer to as "LM" when he was in Australia recently) and an agnostic – is honestly disappointed.
The news that the Pope has resigned sends out a powerful and probably unwitting message – that the Papacy is just a job, like being a bank manager or librarian. It is apparently something you can jack in when you feel past it or whacked out. I think the reason people have felt instinctively startled today by the phrase "Pope resigns" is because most of us, even non-Catholics, probably even the fashionable Pope-bashing set, feel that being Pope is not just a job but a calling, or at least a vocation; something one feels summoned to do and more importantly to be.