When I turned up to cast my vote this morning I saw something I had never seen before. Yes, there was a raffle and a table groaning with baked goods. Yes, there were people in colour coded T-shirts handing out how-to-vote paper. Yes, the cyclone fencing at the front of the primary school was festooned with images of incumbent Carmel Tebbut, insurgent Fiona Byrne and maybe others whose names I’ve not absorbed. All of this was as it ought to be. And inside the room, there were the usual tables, the usual ridiculously huge sheet of paper for the upper house, the usual cardboard booths, the usual air of muted celebration as we the people (to use an Americanism) exercise our power.
And then there is was: scrawled on the cardboard of the booth where I was to vote was one of those hideous slogans we’ve seen recently in as backdrop to Tony Abbott addressing his bussed-n revolters. I won’t reproduce it – suffice to say it included a hostile pun on the Prime Minister’s first name, a bit of sexist US jail-slang and a pun suggesting another federal parliamentary party leader is a disease.
Who are these people who think it’s OK to write vile graffiti in a polling booth? Isn’t it illegal? What does Tony Abbott think he’s achieving by validating them?