Saturday, March 20, 2010

sizzling sausages at the State elections

It’s State election day here in South Australia.  Unlike New Zealand, voting is compulsory (but only for Australian citizens).

That’s not the only difference between Australia and New Zealand. Party placards are still up all around town even while people vote.   And outside all voting booths various party promoters are allowed to stand, hawking their party.  (If people really do make a decision between a party promoter and the ballot box, it certainly doesn’t say much for a carefully considered democratic process!)

I was asked to help at the nearest polling both, which is also the hall of the local Uniting church. Not in the name of politics, but because each election (state and federal), the church throws a sausage sizzle, as a fundraiser.  All monies go outside the local church, to School chaplaincy and an orphanage in Thailand. So it was a neat way to be useful and serve.

Plus it was a good chance to cast an eye over the community. Seacliff is a slowly gentrifying beach side suburb. So the suburb is a real mix: of wealth more likely to be younger, of long term residents more likely to be older, of some rental accommodation, more likely to house a mix of migrants and the mentally challenged.  It’s a fascinating suburb.

The local newspaper was also out and about, sniffing for news. Our sausages lured them over. Asked for my opinion on the fate of the election, I announced that all exiting voters seemed happy with their choice. And that my name, if they wanted to quote me, was Spin Doctor.

I also got photographed for the same newspaper. This was to be an action shot, so that involved me cooking sausages.  I’m a vegetarian, which raised an interesting ethical question. But a local Green party promoter was also tucking in, so we shared a guilty grin.

If you’re from Adelaide, look for my mug in the Sunday mail.

Posted by steve at 01:55 PM