Elections: bring out the worst in us?

Posted on August 21, 2010 by


Walking down the streets of Newtown, Marrickville and through the city on my way to Tony Abbott’s event this evening, I’m surprised by how visible people are being with their anger, frustration and intolerance.

It seems like our politicians have set a poor example.

In the space of less than an hour, I have seen a 4-wheel drive with “Australians have no reason to hide – ban the hijab”, two guys wearing T-shirts saying “Only true blue”, a bunch of climate skeptics and a “carbon tax now” university banner slashed multiple times.

Sitting at a café in Marrickville earlier today (taking a wee break from the hustle bustle of chasing Abbott around town!) I over heard the conversation of a table of eight next to me.

Well perhaps a eavesdropped a wee bit.

None the less it went something along the lines of:

“Have you guys voted yet” (young brown-haired woman, introduced herself by complaining about the slight wardrobe malfunction she’d had at the polling booth).

“Nah…. I don’t vote” (Dad of the family, kid on his lap, wearing a Liberal shoot despite his choice to not exercise his democratic right).

“Me neither hey, but I can’t….” (Orange bearded man)

“Ahhh yeah…. course mate…” (I’m a little bit confused here – possibly he can’t vote because he’s in jail but on parole? Not yet an Australian citizen? Was shipped here as an embryo in a vat and was never given a birth certificate and thus does not exist?)

“Hey, I voted for the Sex Party!” (wardrobe-marlfunction girl)

This was met with a pretty unified chorus of laughter, then awkward glances..


“Yeah, take a look, they have really good morals and stuff” (Okay so she wasn’t the most eloquent of spokespeople but she whipped the little ‘how to vote’ scorecard out and talked them through it)

“Fucking hell… Australian Sex Party”

“Hahaha… yeah, where do they get off?”

“Probably better than the Greens though…”

“Ha. What a joke.”

Even the waitresses looked uncomfortable.