Opinion

On the trail of the democracy sausage

By John Lewis

Tomorrow me and my dog are on the trail of the democracy sausage.

What we are looking for is the biggest, juiciest, tastiest and most satisfying sausage on offer.

If I could get my gnashers into a fat veggie snag crammed with soy beans, carrot, tomato, onions and oats, so much the better.

His dogness Prince Finski is not so fussy.

Anything with a whiff of decaying flesh or chewable gristle is perfect.

At the least a finger of minced fresh beef or lamb would do for the hound.

Unfortunately, I have been told there are just three Shepparton polling booths where democracy sausages are on offer — Gowrie St, Guthrie St and St Brendan’s primary schools.

This seems a rather limited choice of restaurant for such an important Australian polling day menu.

I am told the usual gold coin donation is required for a bun and sausage, which seems entirely reasonable.

In fact, my dog and I are quite willing to pay a little more for a decent bite of a wholesome democracy sausage, which promises to provide sustenance and strength into the future.

We have had a look at what is on offer, and to be honest we are not that impressed by the Coalition sausage.

It might be cheap, but it seems rather thin with no variety, excitement or solid protein to keep us going.

Just some oily whiffs of pork for Catholic and independent schools, investment in Snowy 2 and cheaper PBS medicines.

Labor’s sausage on the other hand looks a lot meatier with dental care support, high speed rail investment, and more for schools.

There again, it comes with a hefty price tag.

And while Labor’s sausage offers plenty of beef for roads — they are nearly all metro roads.

As for the Greens, the independents and the gristly right-wing snags — they are suitable for a side dish, but they just would not make a sustaining meal for a hungry dog who is out all day running with the pack.

Mr Palmer’s sausage will tempt all those waggy wandering Labradors who sniff passersby, but never seem to know their way home.

Prince Finski and I have discussed this and we have decided we just could not eat a bright yellow sausage.

It looks like it is filled with custard — or worse.

We have decided that quality does not come cheap and so the Green-Socialist Sausage with the hefty price tag and healthy vegetables looks tastier and more sustaining than the fat Capitalist Sausage packed with minced beef, microplastic, coal and sawdust.

This was a difficult one for my dog and me.

He was tempted by the cheap minced beef.

I tried to explain that the price tag for better roads, hospitals and schools might be hefty, but not so hefty as the price of a dying environment.

Prince Finski eventually saw sense when he looked at his water bowl.

It was nearly dry, with a tiny frog floundering at the bottom. He does not always vote with his stomach.

Sometimes he can see the big picture — particularly if it has a sausage at the centre.

John Lewis is a senior journalist at The News.