Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vote 1

For the last couple of months, the catchphrase (above) has plagued our lives: on television, on the radio, on billboards, in the mail each day… I suppose it’s to be expected in an election year. Despite the ever-invasive election campaign however, this year’s state election was an exciting one for me for one main reason.

I was able to vote!

It’s quite a bizarre feeling to listen to the commentary on the television while watching the pie charts and bar graphs swing this way and that, knowing that your ballot paper is being factored in there somewhere. I have always loved election night for some weird reason. I mean, I currently don’t even know enough about politics to be able to intelligently take the micky out of politicians! However, ABC’s Anthony Green does do an excellent job of making it somewhat entertaining.

My role in this year’s election was a little bit more significant than in previous years, although still quite minor. I did a fair bit of letterbox-dropping in the last couple of months and also worked on one of the booths this morning – I even managed to get in a sneaky speech at an opponent’s Rotary Club breakfast meeting a couple of weeks ago! It was the least I could do for this particular sitting MP, however, who has donated both time and money to the community (including the community garden!) in such a caring and compassionate manner. No other politician could be this genuine. 

The desire to be involved in the political scene in some capacity was instilled in me at a young age. In year one, aged six, I declared that I was going to become the first female prime minister of Australia. I didn’t anticipate Julia Gillard beating me to it… although I still have a chance to become the first Australian born female prime minister of Australia. So there. Ha.

Dad used to work as an electorate officer for a state MP during my primary and secondary school years so that kept me somewhat in the loop I suppose you could say. I was still a bit too young to fully comprehend the issues surrounding this particular MP in the media and the implications of her actions; my most vivid memory of this lady is one where we are both hiding behind the couch at  staff party of some sort, downing five or six ice-creams apiece and giggling like naughty children. We also gained one of our closest and most beautiful family friends by Dad being in that job so for me, it was quite a happy time. The office was also an excellent place of refuge during school holidays when the summer heat was beyong extreme. 10 year old me didn’t care about having to stuff and seal hundreds of envelopes as long as it meant I was in air-conditioning!

By the time this goes online, I will probably be among various old farts and fartesses, watching the numbers on the television through the haze that always seems to descend on the bars of RSLs and football clubs. Hopefully there will be something to celebrate later tonight :-)

- Matilda 

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