Polling Day Australia 2013

Walking a couple of blocks on a sunny Saturday morning on Polling Day Australia to cast my vote in the local primary school assembly hall makes me feel deeply emotional. For me the result of any election is a lot less important than the privilege of participating in the process. I don’t cry easily, but standing quietly next to the little old lady with the Zimmer frame and behind the big guy with the tats and ear studs as we wait to exercise our franchise, I feel like weeping in gratitude. At that moment I’m aware of how much we – the English speaking peoples – paid for this privilege; how much blood and sacrifice was made over the centuries by ordinary men and women. This is the moment when the little old lady and the guy with the tats has the same weight and standing as the great and the powerful; the moment when the high and the mighty, of whatever political persuasion, may be brought crashing down to earth; the moment when ‘we the people’ have our say. When you arrive at the school there are youngsters with a charity cake stall selling tea and coffee and home made cakes, while folk stand around quietly chatting about their gardens. There’s not a policeman, nor a standover man, nor a person with a gun in miles. Jesus – it’s magnificent. It’s the most sacred thing we in a secular society ever do.