Election mode

Ben Sanders

Ben Sanders, Medical Observer

For some reason, elections are on my mind.

I have a fascination with our 24-hour political fascination. The concept that a single campaign interview gaffe might actually change who we ask to rule our land for the next three years. What sort of voter would switch sides based on the writhings of a TV debate polling worm?

Not me. I’m a man of conviction. Indeed, a similar descriptor was used of my forebears when the judge at the Old Bailey first sent them here. As a convicted man, I can’t fathom voters whose allegiance oscillates with every front page photo. I’ll put it this way, for readers who prefer a page-three analogy: Of all the poll dancers, I find Swinging Vota the least attractive.

Let me declare from the outset: I have never been the Prime Minister of any country, let alone Australia. But all the elections I have contested have been smooth, one-sided affairs. This was because I spelt out clear policies early, and was also the only candidate running.

My no-opposition tactic was later replicated by RACGP presidential candidate Clare Jackson, but her husband Bill Glasson had no such luck in Griffith, where K. Rudd also threw his hat into the ring.

Perhaps I should now paint you a portrait of my political career, entitled “Thrust into Great Triumphs.”

My first victory was at St Aloysius Primary P&F. Being both a parent and a friend, I knew I was in with a double chance.

The AGM had started badly for me—probably my failed special resolution to Australianise the President’s title into P&F Prime Minister. But I have my globus hystericus to thank for my eventual victory, loudly clearing my throat during the prolonged silence after nominations. I bought my first house in similar fashion.

My other presidency has just been bestowed on me for a record fourth time—a feat even Obama will never touch. The President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association is a much-sought after position. That is; it takes a lot of searching on Google to find it, but it’s right there under AMWA, assuming you ignore the surprisingly popular Association of Malays in Western Australia. Their President’s a nobody.

Long campaigns, full-page ads, medical pen giveaways—I can’t tell you how many election tactics I rejected. But I tell you one thing: next year I’m fixing that damn globus hystericus.

Justin Coleman was re-elected as AMWA President on 23 August. Unopposed.

This article and accompanying illustration (by Ben Sanders) were first published in Medical Observer

About Dr Justin Coleman

Justin is a GP working in Aboriginal health in Brisbane, Australia. He is also a medical writer, editor and blogger. Further details at https://drjustincoleman.com/
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