As I wait in the cheerful queue to vote for our new government, dogs and kids around, listening to a mum explaining pretty well the main parties and what they stand for to her kid, we were offered a muffin by a boy from the school for a $ or so as a fundraiser for the school.
That’s Election Day here.
In Australia voting is obligatory and the vast majority turn out. How much people research and care I don’t know, but everyone I speak to knows who they are voting for and why. There are very different levels of understanding, passion and committed but … they are voting.
The local candidates and party supporters are out, handing out leaflets and spruiking their party. There’s a Greenie beside the Socialist Alliance beside the Hunters & Shooters guy.
In the UK, voting is optional, and it always felt like a bit of a chore. Here, and I’m aware I live in a socially aware and politically active area, it feels like democracy in real life, in action.
As I left the school, I passed the party faithfuls at the gate, I think a Labour guy, a Greens and a Nationals guy. They were chatting about Chris Hemsworthy and how he’d tried to convince Americans to eat Vegemite, debating his methodology and apparent lack of success. Totally different political views, one citizenship.
Who will win I don’t know. I care, deeply, as I think this election is a pivotal moment for Australia in terms of social responsibility and climate change policy. However, I’ll accept the result as the majority wishes of the population of Australia. That’s democracy.