Sideshow clowns open door to democracy at your local country show
Politics is part of every country show. There is the tongue-in-cheek variety between Jersey and Friesian dairy farmers, between sheep and goat graziers, and between dressage horses and motorbike clubs, but room is always made for the “more serious” variety, the politics that normally takes place in a parliament house or council chamber.
In fact, country shows provide one of the few unfiltered opportunities to speak directly to our leaders.
January, February, March is show season in South East New South Wales and has been for 145 years, from Moruya Show to Bega and Cooma, the region’s politicians make a point of attending, an army of party faithful at their side with marques and billboards marked in party colours and slogans.
Above: Labor and Liberal, side by side at the Bega Show, inviting discussion. Photo: Ian Campbell.
The Bega Show last weekend offered some respite for the region’s federal representatives, who seemed happy to be free of Canberra and were looking forward to a week were their own sex lives were a talking point.
“It was like a bowl of sweet and sour Chinese,” Labor’s Mike Kelly, Member for Eden Monaro says. “On one hand we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations, and on the other we had the other business [Barnaby Joyce affair] going on,” Dr Kelly says. continues..... "The red of the Labor tent sat side by side with the blue of the Liberal tent over the three days of the Bega Show. Often the different party members could be seen standing on neutral ground discussing the issues of the day or their show winning dahlias." Ian Campbell Read this excellent article by Ian Campbell in full HERE * ***** This article was first published in the RiotACT