All over red rover

We had an early dinner with friends on Saturday night, then I raced through my front door at 7.45pm, eager to watch the NSW election results unfold.

I switched on iView and settled back to enjoy Antony Green’s inimitable coverage, but within five minutes I realised I was too late. While the polling booths had closed less than two hours earlier, it was clear that Labor was going to win.

So much for sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation.

The youngest spent Saturday on a polling booth handing out how-to-vote flyers. She texted: “I got into a fight was a One Nation candidate, which was interesting.”

I asked if she had yelled at him and the youngest replied: “Yes a bit, but he yelled at me more. Was entertaining.”

She is her mother’s daughter.

Election nights always remind me of one of the most surreal moments of my life – living on the edge of Harlem during the Barack Obama election in 2008.

We woke to the sound of an almighty roar when Obama’s victory was confirmed. Hundreds of car horns started honking and thousands of people erupted in cheers. It was the most amazing, joyful sound. It felt incredible to be there at such an historic moment in time.

Fast forward to NSW in 2023 and I was asleep when Dominic Perrottet conceded defeat and Chris Minns claimed victory. No horns honked, no one cheered in the streets, but I was impressed by both Chris Minns and Dominic Perrottet and the civility of the campaigns they ran.

Minns thanked outgoing Liberal premier Dominic Perrottet for his service during his victory speech.

“It’s undeniably the case that this election campaign was, perhaps uniquely, a model of respect and civility. Neither party took the low road, neither political party took the low blow,” he said.

I was also fascinated by this article in The Guardian:

The line that got the biggest laugh during the outgoing premier, Dominic Perrottet’s concession speech almost didn’t make it in.

“Writing his gracious final remarks in the kitchen while drinking a beer and vaping shortly before delivering his speech, some of his staff urged him to remove a gag.

“But like he had done many times in the course of his career, the 46th premier of New South Wales went with his gut and against his advisers.

“After announcing he would step down as the party’s leader, he quipped the audience that it was time for a “fresh start” – borrowing the Labor slogan. Even if they didn’t agree, the audience laughed along with him …

“He heaped praised on the man who will become the state’s next premier, thanking him for engaging in a “race to the top” and a contest of ideas.

“That is when politics is at its best,” Perrottet said.

“I truly believe and have no doubt that [Minns] will make a fine 47th premier of NSW.”

He asked everyone to support the new premier “because when NSW goes well, our country goes well”. This was a line he repeated throughout his time in the state’s top office.

I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but reading those paragraphs brought a tear to my eye.

So gracious.

And now it’s back to the working world for me. My holiday is officially over. I am wishing I had another week – it’s sped by way too fast.

Song of the day: Queen “We are the champions”

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