number your preferences

I know we’re all over politics really. That is, unless it has something to do with either stockings + heels (even low ones at that) + grass = face plant, lewd gestures and words that rhyme with banker, ‘claims’ of misogyny, or houses being raided before breakfast, but there is a very important election about to take place.

I heard this morning that Barack Obama is apparently the first president to vote before the official election date. But this probably shows the extent of my knowledge of American politics. Here is Obama singing ‘Call me maybe’. And this is all I know about Mitt Romney – he can do it (Gangnam) Mitt Romney style (watch those videos – they are rather amusing). There is probably more important stuff about each presidential candidate’s views about defence and the economy, and Michelle Obama planting things, but this is not the point of this post.

The important elections I am referring to are significantly closer to home and could affect the ways we can lead our lives!

That’s right. It is council election time. So important. (For those who do not possess the extremely useful power to detect sarcasm in writing or sms, the aforementioned sentences are examples of Amanda being sarcastic).

Do people even know (or care) what councils do? I’ve not had anything to do with my local council apart from that time when I emailed my councillor several (it ended up making me feel like I was harassing her) times for a journalism assignment on proposed changes to a ‘dangerous’ intersection (what they ended up doing to said intersection actually made it worse), and when council actually contacted me. Personally. In the form of a parking ticket attached to the windshield of my car.

Since that ‘incident’, my views towards my council – forget all that bin collecting, park maintenance, library services crap – have been largely unfavourable. Especially after I sent them a very nice letter back which said this:

‘To Port Phillip Parking Services

Yesterday I received a parking ticket after parking in the Coles Supermarket car park and would like to offer an explanation which could hopefully allow the fine to be dropped.

Admittedly I parked in a space that had a time limit, however, I work at said Coles, and when I arrived to begin my shift I found there were no all-day staff parks left.

As such, I parked as close to the all-day parking as I could, conveniently for customers, away from the parking spaces closer to the supermarket entrance, and left a note on the dashboard of my car apologising for parking in this spot, but explaining the lack of staff parks left.

Normally, it would be reasonable to find time in a work shift to move my car, but as it was a busy Monday morning/lunch period and my shift did not warrant any tea breaks, I was unable to find the opportunity to leave the registers in order to move my car.

The offence time is credited at 2.12pm, and I finished my shift at 2.30pm when the car park was largely uncrowded.

I would like to think this is a legitimate reason as to why I could have the parking ticket excused.

Regards, Amanda’

Maybe I should have approached council with a stick instead because apparently ‘the inability to secure an all day parking place does not exempt the driver from the Road Rules’ and ‘the infringement notice will not be withdrawn’. Pfft (said with unimpressed look holding unimpressive letter).

ANYWAY, back to the matter of council elections. I was at work the other day being my friendly, yet rather efficient self all ‘hellooo how are you’ etc when I happened to serve an overly friendly guy. As it was a nice day outside which we both commented on, I asked him what he was up to for the rest of the day (as I type this I realise that it looks like a ‘call me maybe’ scenario (hey I just met you, right here on checkouts, but here’s my finish time, so call me maybe..) but it wasn’t, really it wasn’t) and he told me he was campaigning.

‘Oh yes?’ I queried, noting his very bright yellow t-shirt with red lettering. ‘Who’s Peter De Groot?’ ‘I’m Peter De Groot!’ he declared. I dead-panned, feeling like an idiot. He smiled and almost laughed. ‘Why haven’t I got any propaganda from you?’ I asked, still feeling like an idiot, until he explained that since apparent boundary re-drawings I wasn’t actually in his electorate. So at least I felt slightly better I didn’t recognise his face.

When I got home lamenting the fact we had only got propaganda from two of the four candidates I finally opened the unexciting looking mail I had got and found it was from the candidate running under the same party as him. The fourth candidate hadn’t sent anything.

I went to vote early and for the first time at any election I didn’t take propaganda from all of the candidates crowded outside the door. Peter De Groot was there too. I wondered if he recognised me as the idiot from the supermarket.

In the end I ended up voting for his suggestion after careful (kinda) reading of what three candidates proposed to do and where they were sending their preferences. Whoever the fourth guy was, he wasn’t viewed very favourably by the other three which I took to mean he was too right-leaning and potentially could be scary-religious or family first scary. My second preference went to another random, but at least her name was Amanda (haha). The fourth guy’s propaganda came yesterday – leave it to the last minute, the poor bugga missed out.

So yes, council elections (despite the emphasis and time the lady at the polling place spent telling me how to write numbers and repeatedly questioning me on whether I had voted at any other places before then) are on. Yay. Now to eagerly (re-read notes about sarcasm further up the page) await the results.

As long as the garbage trucks run on time?


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October 2012
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