Sydney – When the voters Going to the polls on Saturday for Australia’s parliamentary elections, they will find themselves facing a tough choice: do they want onions in it?
Like Greece on napkins, the delicious tradition has so permeated Australia that it has become too short for the electoral process. On Twitter, there is a sausage-on-bread emoji with election-related tweets ৷ A website lists sausage-slinging voting sites near hungry voters. And satisfied citizens often post pictures of their democracy sausage on social media – the Aussie version of the American “I voted” sticker.
“This is a very unique Australian phenomenon,” said Anika Gouza, a political scientist at the University of Sydney. “It’s a community expression and a combination of voting in Australia.”
Sausage in the study of democracy — sausage? – Gauzer’s expertise is second to none. He began sausage surveys for sale at polling stations around Sydney during the 2016 federal election. Three years ago, she tried to snatch so much – as the sausage is sometimes called here – that she felt sick.
Sausage: long, thin, delicious
Onion: Yes, generous
Rocket: No way
Bread: Roll 6
Service: Very fast, they even have cash registrations! 3
Price: $ 4
Overall verdict: 4/5
Taking a break. Begins to feel sick pic.twitter.com/tAg0ZI7Hw4
– Anika Gauja (anika_gauja) March 23, 2019
Gouza said he wrapped himself up in the sausages of democracy because ordinary, cheap food says something about the country’s strong egalitarian policy. He called it “the national dish of Australia.”
In the United States, elections are often decided on who can inspire more supporters to quit their jobs and vote. The lines can be long, and the people in them hang. Some food stands set up on election day in the United States have been threatened with criminal charges.
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But in Australia, compulsory voting and Saturday’s election means polling stations often feel like community festivities.
“It’s not as competitive as the United States,” said Judith Brett, author of a book on Australia’s electoral process. “People vote on the way to the beach. They got the kids. They can meet friends. You can buy something to eat and drink. “
He said community groups have been selling jams, cakes and other products in elections for almost a century. But it was only in the 1980’s, when portable gas barbecues became widespread, that fundraisers – often benefited. School – Starts selling sausages.
The term “democracy sausage” didn’t heat up until nearly a decade ago, Brett said.
That’s when Annette Tyler sent a hungry tweet. It was the night before a state election in Western Australia and Tyler, then in his late 20s, used the hashtag #democracysausage to ask people to share pictures of sausage options at their polling stations.
Australia’s Democracy Defender’s Twitter account
Snap snaps started pouring The data manager and a few friends started creating stalls on a map – and quickly compiled about 1,200 of them.
“It started when I wanted to know where to find a sausage,” Tyler said. “But we found one there [knowledge] Gap and, because of a bunch of data nerds, we thought we’d run with it. “
This is how DemocracySausage.org was born. By the 2019 federal election, the number of registered stands on the site had more than doubled to 2,420. The number of stalls is increasing again this year.
There are no ads on the website, which means Tyler and his friends will lose money. But it’s worth it, he said.
“In some ways election days are inherently divided: Team A vs. Team B,” Tyler said. “But almost everyone gets up in the sausage of democracy. It’s great to be able to bring the day together and be something that can support the local community. “
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Over the past decade, Tyler says, the food on offer has multiplied. The website now allows people to upload information to their stalls, including icons representing sausage sizzles, baked goods, vegetarian options and even halal food. Home-made kambucha is being offered at a stall this year. Another is the advertisement of vegan dal.
“It’s gone from being like, ‘Let’s do something tidy about Barbie’, ‘What can we do to differentiate ourselves?'” Tyler said.
This points to another distinctive feature of Australian democracy: Voters can cast ballots anywhere on their state or territory on election day. For the community group in need of funding, this could be the best sausage win.
At Melbourne’s Futscre City Primary School, the offers will include Democracy sausages as well as baked goods, many of which are named after politicians. One organizer said volunteers hoped to sell 1,000 sausages – about 120 pounds of meat – to raise $ 3,500 to repair the school entrance.
Outback, the competition for sausage and cake is a bit less intense, says Alisha Moody. She will be slinging the sausages of democracy at her children’s school in Quilpi, a town of about 600 people in remote Queensland. A disappointing turnout in 2019 has sparked a jolt this time around, with its parent association adding tea and breakfast rolls in hopes of enticing more morning voters. Among the new menu items “ScoMo”, named after current Prime Minister Scott Morrison, include onions, sausage, bacon, cheese and Eggs
Quilpi is the most distant entry on Tyler’s map: otherwise a lonely sausage and cupcake symbol in cholesterol-free expansion. The food stall allows people to travel far and wide, Moody said.
“You would always stand there and chat for a while, you know, to discuss the weather and the flood,” he said. “So, it must contain that element of community.”
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But the number of sausage-seekers has declined over the years as postal voting has increased, Moody’s said. In 2019, approximately 40 per cent of the approximately 17 million Australians registered to vote, whether they cast their ballots by post or in person. That number is expected to rise again this year.
“It simply came to our notice then. “So the whole scene of Election Day as a community event is under threat.”
Gouza is trying his best to document the meaty incident as long as it lasts. His plan on Saturday is to compare food offers between voters in Sydney, representing Morrison and his rival, Labor leader Anthony Albanese.
Like politics, the sausage of democracy inspires strong opinions. Some Australians prefer bread rolls. Others, including Gauja, consider it a hoax. And a democracy sausage for poor foreigners who confuse an American hot dog.
“I’m a real conservative in the sausage of democracy,” Gouza said. “For me, the quality of the sausage is the most important. I insist it be between one or two slices of white bread. No bread roll. I think the ratio of sausage to bread is really, really important. I think onions must be there. If they If that’s not an option, it’s a subpar sausage sizzle. “