Victoria went to the polls yesterday.
I’m not much into politics, to be honest. I don’t think either Labor or the Liberals/Nationals are much chop. Most politicians are only out to feather their own nest. I don’t see much evidence of working for the best outcomes for constituents. I don’t truly understand how the preference systems works (much to Hubster’s disappointment and disbelief), and devoid of shame, I don’t want to know. Mostly whoever is in power doesn’t actually affect my everyday life. It doesn’t change the fact that I wash children’s clothes, cook meals for them, ferry them from school to after-school activities. I know, of course, that impacts are under the surface: rates, rent, mortgages, jobs, utility bills, roads and transport issues all come into play. But the party in power doesn’t affect my life, not in a crash bang boom kind of way. Life goes on.
As I queued for my turn in the cardboard polling booth, I wasn’t even sure who I was going to number first. I stood, waited. Chatted with friends (my kids’ primary school hosted the AEC and put on a great mini-bazaar to raise funds) while mulling over who to choose for . I have in the past flouted with my democratic right (this time to Hubster’s abhorrent shock) by simply drawing a line through the selection. But questions from my children prevent me from doing that these days. Aren’t kids fabulous for teaching adults how to live life better? I think so. If I am trying to convey the positives of a democracy then I can’t really defy its foundational right.
At the front of the queue, I walked towards the chirpy girl who looked thirteen. She took my details, and asked if I’ve voted before in this election (would anyone??). I stood in the narrow cardboard booth. I wrote 1-5 in the order of my choosing. Then for the senate, I took the lazy option. One above, none below. I slotted them into more cardboard, the receptacle, guarded by what appeared to be another happy teenager.
I walked out, took my place beside other school mums for my turn volunteering behind a stall to raise funds for what’s important in my life. My community. My friends. My children.