Today, I was denied my democratic right to a sausage sizzle at my local polling booth.
There are few things more Australian than the sausage sizzle, it is one of those age old traditions that brings everyone together. And as everyone knows, there is no more important time to unite people than an election.
As long as I can remember, at every election, my local polling booth has rolled out the barbeques and made sure that everyone hasn’t just voted, but has also been fed. Even as a child, I would accompany my Mum and Dad to the local public school, waiting in line for a freshly barbequed sausage on white bread whilst they waited in line to vote. Governments and politicians have come and gone, and yet the sausage sizzle has remained constant.
That is, until today.
With the #democracysausage hashtag making the rounds on Twitter, and an all-out celebration of local sausage sizzles taking over social media in general today, you can imagine my disappointment when I went to vote and there was no sausage sizzle – no barbeques, no volunteers in aprons turning lightly charred sausages, no tins full of gold coin donations. Nothing.
I wasn’t asking for anything fancy. I know a lot of barbeques taking place at polling booths around Sydney were offering Vegetarian options, or even in some cases, Vegan options – allowing even more people into the tradition of the voting booth barbeque. Our local area has never gone that far, always sticking to the no frills white bread and snags. This year, they have left us disappointed.
My Dad and I lamented the loss of the local tradition with me after we voted, and we could not help that we had lost a little piece of our community right there. Well, our community and our lunch. Who in their right minds can make sense of the ballot papers on an empty stomach anyway?
On a more serious note, all Australians over 18 should go out and vote today. We are lucky enough to vote freely in this country, a privilege not afforded to everyone around the world, so we should really make sure to take advantage of our opportunity to choose our government and ensure our futures.
As for me, I’ll be going and exercising my democratic right to eat as many sausage sizzle sandwiches as I want at my local Bunnings.
© Hayley New 2016