Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. I think I need a really big ballad this week (cue violins).

Residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), also known as Canberra, voted in their local election last Saturday. It was a different election, a healing election.

Normally elections are quite festive with community-run cake, book and plant stalls, as well as the much anticipated democracy sausage sizzles, located next to polling stations. However, due to the pandemic, these activities could not go ahead. 60 percent of voters had already cast their ballots by polling day so the polling stations were unusually devoid of crowds.

Campaign signs and campaign volunteers are not allowed close to polling stations in the ACT so the atmosphere is less intimidatory. These signs are set well back from the polling station.

I came across one of the candidates, Alan Tutt (far right – position in the photo, not politics that is) from the newly formed Belco Party, catching his breath at my local shops.

Alan was in desperate need of a coffee in the final hours of the campaign. It is hard putting yourself out there for criticism (and hopefully some praise). It was particularly tough campaigning in a Covid-safe manner. All the candidates worked tirelessly and are to be commended.

Notably absent from the campaign was the bickering, back-stabbing and polemics that have characterised many elections both in Australia and overseas for a number of years. The contest was fought primarily on policy and that was such a relief. I was very moved by the victory and concession speeches. The leaders were so gracious, so kind.

In the end, the ACT electorate voted to return the incumbents to power. Leader of ACT Labor and the head of the ACT government, Andrew Barr, said in his victory speech, “We must value our democracy, we must value our participation, and the right of everyone to participate and to be able to vote…. I want to [also] acknowledge that a democracy only works if you have a strong opposition.”

Shall we have the big song now? It is not an Aussie song, but the sentiment is universal.

Take care everyone. Be kind, be good.

Kind Regards.

29 thoughts on “Can An Election Bring Us Together?

  1. Tonight is, thankfully, the last debate for Biden/Trump. And mics will be muted when the speaker’s time has run out. This ought to be fun. I wanna see Trump muted. I expect him to run to Biden’s side of the podium, grab his mic, and keep on yammering.
    You know what song I thought of when I saw your post title? “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain and Tennille. As long as there is ‘love’ in the title, I am good. Take care, Tracy.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Great song choice Tracy.
    And I am so glad your election was civilised too. It gives me hope; especially in the gracious speeches of defeat. I can’t help thinking that if outperform opposition leader had behaved with the same decency during the campaign, her party might not have been quite so decimated.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There has been much speculation on the fate of the leader of the opposition party. It was not considered a good performance, but I hope they give him another chance and don’t return to the polemic politics of the past. The Libs ended up with 9 seats compared to 10 for Labor so the Libs performance was not as bad as made out by some. The Greens increased their representation from 2 to 6 seats. One of the good things about the ACT’s Hare-Clark proportional representation system is that it is hard for parties to win a majority in their own right which forces them to be open to negotiation and compromise.
      I did find some of the recent statements made by your opposition leader to be quite mind-boggling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s great news about the Greens. Our Green Party increased their number of seats too, but Labour doesn’t need them now — the first time under our proportional representation system
        a party’s been able to govern alone. 🙁

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Sounds much more civilised than the polling booths in NSW where we have to run the gauntlet of supporters with their wasteful how to vote flyers waving under our noses as we enter. No democracy sausage? What a shame. What a state we have come to!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All parties should be congratulated for acting like grown ups during the campaign. It has been very rare in recent times. I do hope that we will be able to get back to the tradition of the cake stalls and sausage sizzles next year. I would miss my Democracy Sausage.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I should hope so. Sizeable of course means sizeable for Tassie but apart from hand sanitiser and social distancing things feel pretty normal, at least here in the country and smaller cities like Burnie.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The Province of British Columbia is having a vote to choose our MLA representatives for our Legislative Assembly. To the credit of all British Columbian, the campaign has been very civil. I think the idea of cakes and sausages available in the vicinity of the polls is a great idea that B.C. might adopt. Your musical selection has the right message. Let’s care for one another! Tracy did you have a moment to listen to Glen Gould?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Liz. Some of the parties had mental health initiatives. I think by example of their own behaviour they can really make a difference to people’s anxiety levels and stress.
      Good luck with your election, Liz, and I hope that everyone who wants to vote, gets to vote.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Seems everyone is voting this fall. Just dropped mine in the post this morning. Glad to hear you had a civil race. It really makes one want to listen to all the candidates when that happens 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so glad you had a civil election, and that both the winning candidate and the losing ones were gracious and respectful. And how I wish we had that this year in the US. Sadly, we’re still locked in the “I’m right and you’re an evil idiot” mentality, by both the candidates and far too many of their followers. And everyone loses when we demonize our opponents. Maybe someday, we’ll have a civil election too! A girl can dream…..

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Wow! Sounds a bit like utopia, especially these days and glancing to the US… So congratulations for such a civilised election – bravo!
    And fab song choice, Tracy. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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