Sausage roll entitlements during local Government voting.

Lobelia

Lobelia

If you are on the electoral roll in Australia you must vote. It is compulsory under threat of punishment. If you don’t, the fine is $55,-. Today, is compulsory voting day in NSW, Australia. It is for representation for local shires and councils. Many shires are now joined into one which makes it a bit difficult. Some shires have disappeared or overlap, and other shires had voting some weeks ago. I don’t know why, but in any case I just voted.

All the political parties were vying for prime positions outside our Bowral High School to hand out ‘how to vote’ pamphlets. Voting in Australia is not without complications. If you thought working out all the apps on mobile phones are complicated, wait till you vote for the local municipal elections. Syria has a problem with all the warring parties but so do our voting methods in local governments. Each year complaints are lodged with the Electoral Commission about unscrupulous people handing out those ‘how to vote’ papers. Innocent voters are almost choked or tripped over into accepting those papers. Bribes and incentives are whispered about too.

But, that is not all.

Another illegal practise is handing out free barbequed sausage rolls. They cannot be given for free, especially not when the barbeque is within a couple of metres near the frenzied ‘how to vote’ mob of people. It could be seen as an enticement to vote for a particular party. At the Bowral school the sausage rolls were available AFTER you voted. You had to leave the voting hall through a separate door distinct from the door given entrée to the voters before they voted. Relieved voters now lined up for Sausage rolls. Political party favouritism and confusion was thereby avoided and it complied with all electoral rules. In any case, the whole venue smelled deliciously of fried onions and the sausages. The mood was cheerful and here and there some light banter escaped involuntary.

You have two ways of voting. One way is above a line and one below a line. Indeed, the ballot paper has a black line across, about two thirds from the bottom up. You mustn’t vote below the line if you voted above the line. This truth is rock solid. However the reverse or converse also applies. If you vote below the line than it is equally forbidden to also vote above the line. Most people that are literate and capable of reading ( about 67%) would probably get it over with quickly and vote above the line first and forget about the poor sods below. Which in my view is not all that unbiased or fair either, giving the above the line crowd a bit of an advantage. I mean if I was a councillor I would not want to be featured below a line.

Compared with the strict rules governing the barbequed sausages etiquette. I question why this voting option would not be better dealt with with a vertical line drawn down the middle. It would appear to be fairer. What do you think? Or, would this suggest left or right leanings. I mean would the Labor party member want to seen on the right side of the ballot paper and conservatives on the left?

Nothing is easy and Helvi reckons I stink of fried onions.

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24 Responses to “Sausage roll entitlements during local Government voting.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    I thought sausage sizzles are for fund-raising for a special cause and catered for by volunteers? You pay your 2 Dollars for a piece of bread with a lovely barbecued sausage plus some sauce. You can usually ask for fried onions too! Maybe fund-raising is not allowed on a voting day? Is this why they have to give them away for free?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Uta.
      That’s why sausages at voting days have to be paid for. Free sausages are frowned upon. There was an article pointing out that pre-polling or postal voting meant that the voters miss out on sausages.
      I suspect that despite the fine for not voting, many people can’t be bothered, and may be the promise of a sausage might entice some to turn up and vote.
      What a business though, that voting, but hey, we had ball-points instead of pencils. What’s going on?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Big M Says:

        I believe that Bunnings has submitted a tender to the AEC for the provision of voting premises and sausage sandwiches. Would free advice, or a discount on lumber be seen as bribery?

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Big M.

        Some say that the Chinese have a hand in the sausage-roll scandal. One would hope that all sausages would remain free of suspicions of being tinkered with but… some cats have gone missing…!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yvonne Says:

    Life in our fair country/island/continent is never dull, is it?

    How come those snags and onions always taste so good? Why don’t mine at home taste like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There is that almost instant pang of hunger whenever I pass an event whereby sausages are being barbequed. I nearly became converted to a local church when they too had sausages on offer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        Only the liturgical songs in a Russian Orthodox Church could convert me to Christianity. So, I stay away.

        Yvonne is right, barbequed sausages only taste good at a sausage sizzle.

        We did not need to vote. If we had a local election it escaped us. I never take the how to vote literature it is too much to read and they are promising something they can’t keep.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I ate a sausage once when The Dutch Swing College Band was playing ‘When the saints come marching in.’
        Many years ago and just married I took Helvi to her first (and last) Easter show. In the sixties the Easter Show and edible food were still enemies. In any case, I was hungry and bought a luridly coloured bright pink sausage well lubricated inside a white bread roll soggy with tomato sauce.
        I took my first bite pointing the sausage heaven’s wise and was instantly punished. It slipped out due to my vigorous bite it catapulted under a GM Holden station wagon.
        I did retrieve it though. I was hungry. The station wagon had wooden blinds.

        Like

  3. Curt Mekemson Says:

    The real question here, Gerard, is how many sausage biscuits did you eat? Candidates here, always want to be listed on top. It is always gains a few voters.🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  4. stuartbramhall Says:

    In New Zealand, all local body elections occur via postal ballot – much cheaper and more efficient and avoids the sausage roll problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, but Australia is a foreign place, especially when it comes to doing things logically. When it isn’t broke don’t fix it. etc
      We had ball points yesterday, unbelievable and what a breakthrough, a revolution really.

      Like

  5. shoreacres Says:

    Compulsory voting? That seems odd to me, for any number of reasons. Of course, our system has devolved into something just as odd.

    Thank goodness for sausage rolls, that’s what I say. Oh — and I have found a way to deal with candidates’ representatives who try to shove pamphlets into my face. I just say something like, “Thank you, but I’ve studied the issues and made my decisions.” That usually gets them to back off.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    I deliberately make a dash for the Green party pamphlet and make a big issue of showing this as I vote.
    Yes, Australia has compulsory voting as does Egypt and Paraguay and some others, of which I have forgotten their names. I think Nigeria might be another one.

    Like

  7. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Geez, we never got sausage rolls in our local government voting. It came in the post, you filled it in and you posted it back. No sausage in the envelope.

    It’s all a moot point now anyway since our council got sacked so we don’t need to vote anyway. Quality candidates we’ve had in this town, oh boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, years ago at an election in Holland (not compulsory) people were given raw eggs. The sausage is standard now at all Australian voting booths.
      The ‘donation’ was $2.- including onions.
      It’s funny how voting is done in those booth. Not many want to be seen which party they vote for. It’s all kept hush hush. This is why people pick up many ‘how to vote’ pamphlets.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Andrew Says:

    How can it be bribery after you have voted? Do you get different flavour sausage for each party? It sounds a real incentive to me if there is a good Cumberland sausage on offer with some Dijon mustard.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rod Says:

    I don’t see why a line is needed at all – why not just dispense with it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good question, Rod.
      It relates to a very complicated system of preferential voting which nobody undertsnads. I think the candidates above the line are main party candidates. Belwo the line are obscure parties. The shooters party who are for importing rapid loading guns and killing people. Then, there is sex party who want to introduce more sex but want to ban use of SUV vehicles. There is even a party that want to publicly name and shame sex offenders which at the moment is practised by the use of parliamentary privilege.
      It’s a total shambles and more complicated than the rules on grammar and syntax..

      Like

  10. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Sausage rolls sound good to me. Unfortunately we are now voting by mail, so that let’s us out of the sausage group. I could always make them at home but they never taste the same. The puzzling thing is the &55 fine if you don’t vote. Our election is so bad I would gladly pay the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Kayti,

      Voting is still demanded of us. In the voting hall at our high school they used tape on the floor behind which the voters had to queue up. Toeing the line. The voting paper is so large and cumbersome totally incomprehensible.
      Compare that with the honesty and simplicity of the sausage. It doesn’t demand anything except respect and tolerance. Of course, the inroad of the Italian pork sausage made for some adjustments, but, there were no outcries or protests. Today the foreign sausage including the Croatian chapatti, the Dutch Rook worst and many others live happily with with the traditional ‘true blue’ Aussie snag, in those suburbs where multi-culture is thriving. True, the Hallam certified sausage did cause some initial reluctance in acceptance, but in contrasts to the infighting of political parties, even that issue was overcome and the sausages, by and large, escaped unscathed.
      It makes one wonder if political parties should just be banned and just allow the humble sausage to rule.

      Liked by 1 person

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