Today I handed out how to votes for about three hours at our local polling booth. If I was a social researcher I would give you all some kind of insightful analysis, but instead I give you things I noticed and felt like commenting on.
Some families arrived together and clearly intended to vote the same way. They tended to march, tended to be led by a large man (or a man who thought of himself as large) and took only one kind of how to vote cards. Often the card was Liberal.
Some couples arrived with the same kind of large man, holding tightly to a woman and seeming to pull her along. He took how to vote cards, and she didn't. Often the card was Liberal, occasionally ALP, never Green or Get Up.
There was one Liberal volunteer (later assisted by his amusing wife, who was in no way dragged along).
There were two ALP volunteers, one pushy and wanting to talk loudly about ALP policies and why the Greens were no good. The other ALP volunteer stood as far away from him as possible in the space and chatted to the Greens volunteers and Get Up volunteers.
There were three Greens volunteers, all women, one with difficulties walking and also cold feet because she didn't have any socks on. The Greens women broke first and went to get coffee.
There were five Get Up volunteers, one of whom wore a very fine felt hat. He was going to hand out how to votes for the Greens in the afternoon, and expressed mild embarrassment that Get Up had ticked boxes for all their policy analysis for the Greens, as if it meant he had some kind of conflict. He said he was going to 'wear a different hat' in the afternoon, and for a moment I wondered if he meant it literally. The Get Up volunteers broke first at the sausage sizzle, and ate more sausages than anyone else.
All the volunteers were polite and friendly and helped the voters to get information on the other parties if requested and made sure no one's sandwich boards fell over.
Only one voter was aggressive, and he had been a Liberal voter, and could not stomach the climate change denialism of the present leadership. The Liberal volunteer stayed calm in the face of finger wagging and low-voiced anger. The voter did not take a Greens or a Labor how-to-vote.
Only one person remembered to bring snacks.
Many voters did not know the difference between Territory and Commonwealth issues.
Many parents were explaining the electoral process clearly and effectively to very young children.
Two people fell over, because the ramp faced the wrong way for easy access to the hall, so people unsteady on their feet braved the two steps. The Liberal volunteer and the Greens volunteers were the most helpful.
People in our neighbourhood have very friendly dogs.