University election day
Manning is the student bar at Sydney University
Surry Hills is a “trendy”, “edgy” area of Sydney, where many students live
I had just finished my mid-morning latte, the act of drinking it a habitual cleansing of the palate, removing the bitter, sexist taste of a boorish HIStory lecture from my mouth. I was walking towards Manning, planning for an afternoon of Barthes and Foucault, sharing Fedora-maintenance and chardonnay-sipping with my coterie of elegant, en-scarfed intelligentsia, when your voice wafted to my ears on the crisp Autumn breeze.
“Are you thinking of voting today?”, you asked.
Truth be told, I hadn’t been. I was occupied with deconstructing the Marxist dialectics used in the recent outer Mongolian provincial elections, but your calm, confident expression lured me back to the here and now, like an electoral Siren in Ray Bans.
“I beg your pardon?”, I replied, genuinely distracted by the resplendent fluoro sticker on your breast, proudly proclaiming your participation in the present polling.
“Help me make a perfect Union”, you gently implored, seducing my suffrage. The connotations of your request did not escape me, a Gender Studies major, but I must admit it threw me momentarily.
In a daze, I accepted your tenderly proffered pamphlet, but reading your chosen candidate’s proposed programs focussed my mind. I knew, in that instant, above all else, I had to deconstruct you.
“I’d love to discuss this some more. Are you free now? I know a quiet place, somewhere we won’t be disturbed.” My calm reply belied my nervous interior, but you eagerly acquiesced to my request, and before I knew it we were reclining on the futon in my Surry Hills living room, discussing the pros and cons of social welfare in a free-market economy, and your candidate’s plan to lobby for an increase in student payments.
As our eyes met, I saw the reformist zeal in your eyes.
“But enough about my candidate”, you whispered, “show me your platform.”
As I revealed my firm, hardline stance, your eyes lit up, the corner of your mouth pulling back into a small smirk.
“You really are left-leaning.”
What followed was an in-depth examination of the issue at hand, and I was amazed by your grasp of policy. So much more than mere lip-service to the ideals, you displayed your natural ability as a mouth-piece for public policy.
It was a vigorous exchange, the heat of the debate building inexorably to consensus, you warmly accepting me into the party folds.
And as I cast my ballot deep inside your polling place I knew that, no matter what, our Union would be sustainable.