Australia put down their individual votes on Saturday September 7th 2013. The campaigning and election process are not far off the political how-to in Denmark. A few things appear somewhat different. Firstly, the number of party supporters strategically placed near busy roads, wearing party-coloured shirts, and waving at people. Nothing else. They just waved.
Another unfamiliar element to the Australian election is the fact that it is mandatory to vote, if you are an Australian citizen. You will get fined for not voting, which is a compelling incitement for people to put on their thongs and hit the voting stations. Do not ask me about the amount of the fine, as I have not been able to obtain valid information regarding the specifics of the this. Wiki it yourself.
I followed my Australian partner to the polling station because my curiosity got the better of me. I am inquisitive about all things different. It is the best way to widen your horizon. One thing that stood out to me whilst my partner put down his vote, was the privacy, or lack of. As a Dane, I am used to being led through a one-way closed booth ensuring regulatory privacy of the highest standard whilst diminishing vote rigging. The Australian booths remind me more of the design of a urinal with its narrow walls slightly shading to prevent the fellow Aussie to spy on your pen. Luckily, Aussies are some of the most laid back people I have ever come across, and they do not seem too worried about what I would classify as ‘somewhat intrusive’.
In case you missed it, the Australian citizens voted for the opposition, Liberal, making Tony Abbott the new Prime Minister of Australia.
All things Scandinavian
The first week of Australian spring was not just about hearing the voice of Australia. To me, it was just as much about the annual Scandinavian Festival in Brisbane.
The Scandinavian Festival boosts of Vikings, modern design, folk music, LEGO, traditional cuisine, and Scandinavian accents amongst the chit chat of the crowd.
I brought my favourite Swede and one of her daughters for a reminiscent afternoon in the baking sun. In fact, we celebrated our one year anniversary as we first met at the Scandinavian Festival in 2012.
All morning, we had promised her daughter to get pick and mix lollies, but little did we know that there was a constant line up of 20 people at the Swedish Goodies stall. We declared defeat and settled on the smaller selection that the IKEA stall had provided.
I must admit that I was quite contempt with the consumption and purchases of the day. Not only did I have Scandinavian liquorice, Danish rye bread, and a Tuborg (Danish beer), I also brought home three pairs of LEGO earrings. Win, on all things Scandinavian.