Yesterday was election day.
We’d had a mad week, J had been involved in the local theatre company’s production of Dracula, doing the makeup and helping paint the sets.
Then Friday’s production had been cancelled with two of the cast going down with Covid. At the same time J developed a sniffle, but we did a couple of RAT tests and they came up clear. Probably just a sniffle.
Rather than vote in town we drove down to Wooragee - once a goldmining town like Beechworth with at least seven pubs, but now simply a group of farms and small holdings with a primary school and a village hall.
We lined up in the chilly sunshine of a frosty winter morning and did our civic duty. The fire station was selling democracy sausages, but we skipped - that night’s performance was on and J had to get back to get things ready.
I was going to go and see the performance, but before walking up to the theatre I put the TV on to see what was happening and certainly things were looking hopeful. And when we put on the TV after we got back, sometime just before midnight, Albanese was giving his victory speech. Things were looking good.
In the morning in bed with tea and online news, things were even better. Labor hadn’t exactly won, but the Liberals and the Nationals had decidedly lost. The Greens and various pro-climate action independent candidates were eating the Libs lunch and tipping the waiter on the way out.
Always an environmentalist at heart I was hoping for an increased Green vote even if the Greens often seem a bit too inner city hipster and middle class as well as out of touch with the realities of rural life.
Of course, last time we had a federal election it was still politics as normal - two largely urban based parties slugging it out on the normal issues of the economy, health, education and taxes.
But that was before we had devastating bushfires and covid.
While a lot of people were unhappy with much of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic, the botched vaccine procurement and rollout with much of the slack being picked up by the states, and the equally botched fiasco over the RAT test procurement, it has got to be remembered that the bushfires, and the smoke clouds, had an impact on the cities, highlighting not only was all not well with the environment, but that it wasn’t just an issue for the bush but one that affected everyone.
Hopefully we’ll end up with a hung parliament where the Greens and the independents can keep the government honest and hold them to their promises about climate action ...