#Democracysausage was probably Twitter’s fault. Switching out the #ausvotes emoji for a tasty looking little snag on a delicious pixel pillow of white bread seemed to do something to the national psychology. Australia went sausage crazy.
Twitter still has it all over Facebook in one very particular area: breaking news. And the news this election day wasn’t last minute polling swings or dirty tricks, it was sausages. Australia introduced the concept of universal suffrage to the free world in 1901, and now we have gifted humanity the #democracysausage.
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Which-50 engaged the help of Sydney-based agency KINSHIP digital to run an analysis of all the democracy sausage action on social media down under in the last 48 hours, and they got busy with the digital tongs — working the nation’s political sausage meat with a gusto that would have horrified Otto von Bismarck. The German Chancellor famously believed that politics, like sausage-making, was an art best carried out away from public view.
Australia flopped out a big viral democracy sausage, however, not really caring who got a face-full of it. Twitter’s offical antipodean account reported 29,000 tweets about #democracysausage two hours before polls closed on the east coast. Unsurprisingly, we reached peak sausage at lunch time, with pictures of civic-minded snags bursting out all over the social net.
(Image sauce: KINSHIP Digital)
It wasn’t all fun. One of the most popular tweets came from economist Stephen Koukoulas, complaining that revenue from sausage sizzles would not replace education funds cut by the government. Wittier — and still more popular, with a reach of nearly half a million impressions — was Jessica Alice’s “Give us this day our sausage in bread, and forgive our elected representatives as we forgive those who call this a sausage sandwich.”
Google’s tweet directing hungry voters and keen democrats to the nearest available tube of burnt and rendered meat byproduct was understandably in high demand.
Somewhat surprisingly, the main parties didn’t seem to catch on. There were no sausages of any kind tweeted by the official accounts of the Liberals or Labor, which might be for the best. Taking his lead from the awkward example of actors and models forced to eat chocolate bars at strange angles in TV ads so as to display the product name, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was caught eating his #democracysausage from the side before panicked minders could intervene.
Of the Greens, only the West Australian branch stepped up to the hotplate, with a picture of Senator Scott Ludlam sharing his democracy sausage with a small hungry #democracydog. The dog seemed pleased, so we can assume the sausage was not #democracytofu.
As polls closed, veteran twitter clown @JohnJohnsonson was making a concerted effort to catch up with the leading tweets. His observation that “Voting is like going to the hardware store. You stand in line, eat a hot dog and end up with a few tools that don’t work” had garnered 285 retweets and 387 likes with half an hour of voting to go.
Inevitably, the festival of democracy sausage led to the overexposure of democracy sausage and the inevitable backlash against democracy sausage. As sports writer Phil Lutton tweeted mid morning: “Sausages. Mate. Enough.”