Saturday, 28 August 2010

Elections & Sausages

The Australian elections were held a week ago and the result is a hung parliament. Discussions are on going with the two major parties attempting to woo the independents. Although I am Australian I have been out of the country too long to vote, nevertheless I accompanied my friends to the local polling station, a school, and witnessed the famous Sausage Sizzle. I don't remember this at all when I was still living and voting in Australia, but it is now a popular tradition.

 Voting is a strenuous task in Australia, it is compulsory and preferential. Not only do you vote for the lower house - the House of Representatives but also for the upper house - the Senate. Voting for a candidate in lower house is simple with a choice of 5 or so candidates that you have to number in order of preference. The upper house however is a real test - over 60 candidates that must be voted for in order of preference - leave out a number or double up and your vote is invalid. There are boxes at the top of the Senate ballot so you can follow a political party recommendation but it still requires filling out half a dozen boxes.

Needless to say after all that effort you need sustenance and so the sausage sizzle. Provided by the local butcher, sausages and onions are cooked up and for a small donation to charity you can enjoy a sausage, with or without onions and tomato sauce (read ketchup) added at your discretion.

The sausage is served on a slice of plain white bread with a piece of paper towel underneath. Almost everyone emerging from the voting booth ordered a sausage. Perhaps they should introduce this tradition to Canada - it might encourage more people to vote. The outcome of the Aussie elections will probably not be known until the end of this week and who knows how long the minority government will last. I think there will probably be another sausage sizzle soon in Australians future.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Glad to see that you have spent your time wisely while sitting around the airport! I do hope to see more than just the humble sausage in future posts - I know we have more to offer in the food range than a 'sanga in bread!'

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