Well, the weekend has not gone as planned. For the overseas readers who may or may not have picked up any news of Australian politics, we’re looking at a result too close to call yet, 24 hours on, but one which looks almost certainly like Australia is moving to the right.
Obviously, for Sean and I and most of our friends and family, this is a disappointing (note: understatement) turn of events.
But rather than focus on the sheer misery of this, let me tell you how we spent Election night.
In Canberra, where all things political colour so much of our lives, it’s pretty common for people to hold election night parties. Sure, this is a concept scorned by much of the country which likes to see Canberra and all its residents as elitist or living in some kind of bubble of unreality, but you know, most of us work in Government and the decisions affect our daily working lives considerably. I really don’t see how a night spent eating and drinking with friends and keeping an eye on the tally room and commentary, watching the numbers, is any more odd than standing around watching a sporting grand final with your friends. It’s the same kind of atmosphere, just involving a lot less exertion and aggression on the screen. Or maybe just the same amount after all!
I’m sure there are election parties where earnest political discussion is the order of the night and sure, there was a fair amount of it at our party, as you would expect, but it’s just a group of like-minded friends drinking and eating and having a great time in the cold Canberra night air. Did I mention the eating? No? Oh how we ate.
If you’re vegetarian, you might want to look away. We roasted a pig.
Our hosts had the idea some weeks ago to make a big feast of a pig on a spit on the night and with some considerable effort they pulled it off, putting party goers to work turning the home made spit with a crank for hours and hours and hours. I only had one go. I did mean to have more but somehow the afternoon got away from me. Oh yes I know how, I made a little friend. She’s four and lovely and we had a ball. But there wasn’t much time for spit turning.
Before nightfall, we dined gloriously on roasted pig and assorted delights provided by everyone else and drank a lot of beer and wine and watch the night unfold, unhappily. These things are only made bearable in the end by the company and the feasting.
The day after is quiet. Heads are sore (others more than mine, I’m happy to say!) and we’ve wondered how it all went wrong. If, as I hoped in my last post, Alice is applauding today, it won’t be because of the direction of Australian politics. Oh no, not one bit.