The winner of the election will be... | radioinfo

The winner of the election will be...

Saturday 18 May, 2019

The polls are close, but the outcome of today's election is a foregone conclusion, the winner will be...

...the democracy sausage.

Around Australia the most loved volunteers will not be those handing out how to vote cards, they will be the volunteers from local clubs cooking the sausage sizzle at the polling booths.

The humble sausage was originally associated with the Aussie battler because, during the second world war, meat was rationed and sausages were the only meats available, made from the leftovers from better cuts of meat. Jacqui Newling, colonial gastronomer at Sydney Living Museums, told Mike Williams in an ABC Radio documentary "there was a food snobbery effect — sausages were associated with the war, denial and poverty."

But Australians love an underdog and by the 1960s, the image of the sausage had been rehabilitated to the point where it was associated with charity and fundraising and was embraced by the whole population. No politician worth their salt (and pepper and tomato sauce) will not be photographed somewhere on election day chomping down a sausage from the local Rotary/Apex/Lions Club BBQ stand.

"Sausages are something you can cook up dozens at a time, it's not like a steak where it has to be cooked to someone's particular liking — you just keep on turning them and you can't really ruin them,"  Newling told ABC Radio. It's a populist thing, part of community bonding.

Last year the Prime Minister even had to step in on the great onion sausage sizzle debate when Bunnings stipulated that onions must be on the bottom of the sausage sizzle bread to prevent onion spills.

When Malcolm Turnbull rejected a sausage in 2017 it was like he was rejecting Australian values. "You could hear jaws drop all over Australia... [it was] a serious slap in the face," political foodie expert Annabelle Crabb told Mike Williams. 

Sausage sizzles have been at elections forever, but the term #democracysausage really took off during the 2016 federal election and has come to characterise elections in this country.

The hashtag #democracysasuage is the second trending hashtag in Australia today behind the more serious #AusVotes.

There is even a crowd-sourced map of the sausagesizzle  supplying polling places for today's election.

Amidst all the political programming on radio in the lead up to this year's election, the highlight must be the ABC Podcast Democracy Sausage, hosted by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor and Craig Reucassel which has covered the meaty issues through the whole campaign.

Enjoy your election day and do the sausage sizzlers a favour, vote below the line on the huge Senate ballot paper and number every box, that will slow up the voting process and give the sausage stalls a chance to sell more snags to the voters wating to exercise their democratic right to choose the next government of Australia.

Happy election day!



Sizzle Photo: Shutterstock

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