Anyway. Here I am now in Switzerland with a state election looming back in sunny Australia. Last time something like this happened I was slaving away in a ski resort in the USA for $7 an hour, and my postal vote form was inadvertently sent to my address in Australia instead of my address in Leadville, highest town in America (10 430 feet). To try to avoid this happening again I thought it would be good to fill in the relevant forms as soon as possible. Off I went, therefore, to the electoral commission website and everything was looking shiny and promising until I came across the bit about getting an "authorised person" to sign my form for me. Apparently "authorised persons" include the following:
(a) an officer of the naval, military or air forces of the Commonwealth or of some other part of the Queen’s dominions;
Hmm. I'm nowhere near anyone in the employ of the Commonwealth or a part of the Queen's dominions, and, strangely enough I haven't come across any other Australian citizens in the whole time I have been in Switzerland.
So, what to do? When I was 17 the electoral commission used to send me the occasional threatening letter suggesting that if I didn't enrol to vote immediately they would be taking me to court at the soonest possible time and crushing me under the full weight of the law. Apparently they know who I am and like to keep an eye on me to make sure I make the most of my democratic rights. Does this mean that if I don't pop down to Ye Olde Penny Farthing tomorrow night, attract the attention of the entire room and say "Is anyone here an Australian citizen? Can you just sign my postal vote form for me?" that I will again have the book thrown at me (or at least be fined $50)?
* For those of you who are either foreign or extremely poorly informed, voting is compulsory in Australia and if you don't do it you are fined.