No whiff of burning but all the sizzle … voting before polling day

Well, we are just days away from the federal election, but of course many will have already sent in their postal votes or attended an early voting booth in their local area.

I was one of those. Yes, I have sacrificed the mandatory sausage in bread (and that magnificent whiff of burning) and the camaraderie of the lengthy queues.

However, I have not missed out on the multiple flyers handed to voters by committed party volunteers outside each polling booth. That was still my experience this week

Early voting for Melbourne and Kooyong electorates

when I attended the Collingwood Masonic Hall in Melbourne. The street was a sea of colour, banners, and people, most of whom seemed to be volunteers, all in good spirits and with big smiles.

I’m one of those who takes every single flyer, so as I sit at my laptop writing this, I have beside me yellow, green, red, blue, orange, aqua and red and black political leaflets, all advising me how to cast my vote.

Melbourne … is the only place on the political map of Australia which is shaded green.

Inside the hall I receive a tiny lead pencil, the green voting paper for the House of Representatives and a table-runner-sized white paper to cast my vote for the Senate.

Melbourne is a unique electorate. It is the only place on the political map of Australia which is shaded green. Every other electorate is either red or blue. This year there are eight different parties and one independent seeking representation in the House of Representatives for the seat of Melbourne.

The last time I voted, in the state election, the Liberal Party didn’t actually field a candidate in my electorate. However, for the federal seat, it seems everyone wants to give it a go.

Clive Palmer’s party is offering to increase the pension by $180 a fortnight and give me a Bill of Rights to protect my rights.

The Victorian Socialists want to take away Clive Palmer’s money (as well as the money of the other billionaires) and “use it to build a society that works for all of us”.

Can I encourage you to do some research about the minor parties in particular?

Not so sure about Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party’s slogan: “We’ve got the guts to say what you’re thinking.”

The Liberal Party is advocating A Clear Choice. Strong Economy. Stronger Future.

The Labor Party also has its eye on the road ahead, promising A Better Future.

I thought I received flyers from every party, but the Liberal Democratic Party and the Animal Justice Party didn’t seem to have come to the party.

If you haven’t voted yet, and are waiting for Saturday, can I encourage you to do some research about the minor parties in particular? The composition of the Senate can have a significant impact on the progression of legislation. We are in a privileged position in Australia, to be able to elect our political leaders. Your vote counts.

And of course, the highlight of election day is watching ABC’s Antony Green’s latest whizz-bang technology that helps him provide remarkable insights into the various electorates around the country.