Election Day

“Are there any local voters?”, one of the officials called out just a short while ago at the Bourke Street Primary School. “Yes”, I declared and was moved instantly from half-way down the queue to the very heard of the queue.

“Sweet”, I thought to myself, remembering it was the same during the NSW Election earlier this year. Thanks to a largely young, itinerant population, there was hardly anyone (it seemed) in the queue this morning who was actually enrolled in the federal seat of Sydney.

Outside the school there was just a lone-Liberal in an overwhelmingly Green-Labor conflagration of people offering how to vote cards. As I walked through the group I politely said, “No thankyou” to everyone who offered me their paperwork. I mean, if you know who you want to vote for it’s pretty simple, isn’t it? As I walked through I noticed hardly anyone had taken the paperwork, which makes me think everyone voting at the time I was there, had already clearly made up their mind.

Polling Day at Bourke Street Primary School 2007
Polling Day at Bourke Street Primary School 2007

“It won’t be long now”, a father said to his young son who was sitting on a seat inside, waiting patiently. As the little boy got up he went over to pat a dog which was sitting inside, avoiding the outside rain. When he asked his father why there was a dog inside, another bloke joked the dog was voting. Everyone laughed, reflecting the bouyant mood I sensed. I don’t think it was a drover’s dog, by the way.

I took the easy option for the Senate, voting 1 above the line, but found the House of Representatives a little more difficult. Once I’d voted for my preferred #1 candidate, it was then a case of “voting backwards” from the candidate I least wanted. “I don’t like them”, I thought to myself, “but I don’t like them even more”.

A far easier choice was the sausage sandwich with the lot, I bought at the stall outside. But of course being in Surry Hills, it’s not just a snag, some onions, and tomato sauce on white bread. A “sausage with the lot” at my local school meant a regular breakfast sausage on a bed of hommous, onion, BBQ sauce and some middle-eastern flat bread. “I wonder if that might be symbolic of some broader level of change in the community?”, I thought to myself as I handed over my money…

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