In case you’ve been living under a Beeliar Wetlands-sized rock, there is an election coming up. And don’t you just LOVE IT? You can smell the tension in the air. You get to empty out the plethora of pamphlets in your letterbox on a daily basis. And you get to drive past an endless stream of roadside posters, banners and balloons all featuring floating heads of your local candidates. What a time to be alive.
Now we all know that “talking politics” isn’t everyone’s jam, but you still need to be ready and raring to play your part on March 11. So to help you be as prepared as possible without putting you to sleep, here are 10 things you need to know before Election Day.
- Choose your voting location based on which school is offering the best sausage sizzle. Word on the street is that Banksia Park PS, Freshwater Bay PS, Cottesloe PS and St Mark’s Anglican School all put on an absolute clinic when it comes to Election Day catering, but you should visit Democracy Sausage where you'll find a handy map showing what voting locations are holding sausage sizzles, cake stalls and more, so you can make an informed decision.
- Double up on food. Some schools offer a morning fry-up of bacon and egg rolls as well as an afternoon BBQ of hot dogs. So if you time your vote right (maybe around the 11—11.30am mark) you could be walking out with both your brekky AND lunch for the day. We love politics.
- Don’t let pretty photos cloud your judgement. If a politician keeps getting photographed with his sleeves rolled up and his shirt collar undone, it does not automatically make him a down to earth ‘man of the people’ who you should vote for immediately. It means that it’s currently March in Perth and too damn hot for a suit and tie.
- Do not accept any pamphlets, fliers or brochures from volunteers on the way into the polling booth, or you will end up with seven kilos worth of paper by the time you get there. Also, you won’t have a spare hand for your hot dog. And that would not be democratic, would it?
- Do not engage in conversation with any of the pamphlet hand-out people on your way in, otherwise you will still be standing there when voting closes at 6pm, you will have missed voting entirely and you will get slammed with a Failure To Vote notice from the Government. And nobody wants that.
- Come to think of it, avoid eye contact with the pamphlet folk entirely. Wear sunglasses. And headphones if necessary.
- Try to educate yo’self by reading up on some election promises and updates; if you can, of course. Having to stomach terms like ‘marginal seat’ and ‘swing vote’ is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you think you can pull it off, ABC does a ripper job of giving us an overview with their WA Election Guide.
- If you hate queues and people, get there early. Polling places are open from 8am. Get it out of the way, and then reward yourself with breakfast afterwards.
- Get on Twitter, even if it’s just for the election. Not only will you stay across what promises are being made, but in the high-stakes environment of an election campaign, candidates often sledge each other on Twitter and it’s really entertaining.
- Do not donkey vote. No one will think you’re hip, cool and anti-establishment. They’ll think you’re close-minded, ungrateful and naive. Here is a list of countries where citizens don’t have the right to vote for their leaders. Being able to have your say is a privilege and should be treated as such. So don’t be a d*ck.
Just in case you're not planning on filling up on the sausage sizzle, here's where to eat after you vote, no matter what electorate you're in.
Image credit: SBS