The 10 hour shift: campaigning the 2013 election

BENJAMIN SCOTT

7:30 - Preparations underway
7:30 – Preparations underway

The political system. Everyone, whether they like it or not, in some way plays a part. Most play the part of the voter, some enjoy it, some don’t, but everyone does it.

But there is another group, much smaller in size that take it upon themselves to play another role, that of the election day campaigner, the people who hand you those annoying how to vote cards.

Whether they annoy you or not, it takes a lot for a person to stand around all day while having some of the voters give you dirty looks. So it begs the question, why do people do it?

It can be for a number of reasons, mostly it is rank and file party members asked by their party to do their part, but sometimes it’s more than that.

The endless political posters

The endless political posters

Sometimes you are personally connected to the candidate like in the case of Mitch Hardy, husband of Laura Fraser Hardy, the Labor Party candidate who contested the seat of Bonner.

As well as campaigning everyday for his wife before the election, Mr Hardy handed out how to votes all day from 8 till 6 at the Nursery Road Special School.

This type of act some would do only for a loved one but Mitch said win or lose its great to be part of the political machine.

Mitch and Ashley at the Nursery Road Polling Booth

Mitch and Ashley at the Nursery Road Polling Booth

“Especially because my wife is running, but it’s just great to see everyone out there getting a vote,” he said.

Although he may have been handing out votes for his wife, don’t think Mitch is new to the political process.

“You get bagged out for being on one side but you know we do it to them,”

“But it’s just good to see people out there getting involved.”

There were others as well like Mitch who handed out how to votes for candidates they were connected to. One such campaigner was Huan Luo.

Huan immigrated from China seven years ago and was handing out how to votes for David Lin, the Liberal National Party candidate for Rankin. Asked how she knew the candidate Huan said it was through the Buddhist faith.

Who says we can't all get along?

Who says we can’t all get along?

“We go to the same Buddhist temple together,” Luo said.

While Huan couldn’t vote herself, she still wanted to help her friend on the day.

“I can’t vote because I am not a citizen but I still wanted to help David out,” she said.

Not able to vote but still playing a part

Not able to vote but still playing a part

Huan was joined by other Chinese immigrants who like Huan were unable to vote but were more than happy to help out their candidate.

Not all the campaigners out there were connected to the candidates like Mitch and Huan were but they still felt as though they should get involved.

There was the local financial consultant who had never been politically active before but was fed up with the state of the economy and felt compelled to do his bit.

There was also those who volunteered their day to promote the GetUp! movement, an initiative to help voters understand the differences between the parties.

While the reasons for these individuals to volunteer their time on September 7 differed from person to person, the one thing they all agreed on was they were there to effect change, in whatever way they could.

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