Neighbourly election love

Long-time Liberal: Harry Douglas, with his Louise Markus election sign which has been defaced for the second time this election campaign.

Long-time Liberal: Harry Douglas, with his Louise Markus election sign which has been defaced for the second time this election campaign.

Etiquette rule number 1: Never talk about religion or politics.

Long-held tradition: The Liberal and Labor election signs in a Katoomba street.

Long-held tradition: The Liberal and Labor election signs in a Katoomba street.

Katoomba resident Harry Douglas and his neighbours have decided to sidestep this “rule”.

Mr Douglas, a staunch Liberal supporter, is flanked either side by election signs in support of Labor candidate for Macquarie Susan Templeman.

He regularly has robust political discussions with one of his Labor-supporting neighbours Naomi Parry.

“We’re good friends,” says the woman who was a Blue Mountains City Council candidate in 2009. “I like asking him provocative questions.”

“Every election our street starts to resemble an election booth.”

The trio’s election signs have been attracting a bit of attention lately, the Liberals’ Louise Markus has been defaced with swastikas for the second time this election campaign and Susan Templeman bears a love heart around her neck.

But Mr Douglas isn’t bothered.

“Any publicity is good publicity within reason,” Mr Douglas said.

“Maybe the donkey voters will say ‘let’s give that swastika lady a go’.

“If she [Louise Markus] scrapes over the line by a handful of votes, it could be due to the swastika that gets her over the line.”

Mr Douglas ran for state election in the seat of Waverley (now Bondi) in 1983 on a Liberal ticket but was unsuccessful, and he has a gazebo tucked away in his back garden where election signage of Louise Markus bears pride of place.

Neighbour Brad Young, who has erected signs in support of the Greens and Labor over the years, said he was “thrilled about the graffiti.”

“But it wasn’t me who did it,” he was quick to add.

While tipping a close call between Labor and Liberal this election, he thought Mrs Markus would probably retain her seat.

Ms Parry said most people in their street supported Labor policies and had quite heated views on the current member.

And her Labor sign which copped a beating during the recent wet and windy weather, was mysteriously stabilised with an extra pole to keep it standing strong.

“It was the political freedom of speech fairy,” she said. 

I like asking him provocative questions... Every election our street starts to resemble an election booth.

Naomi Parry

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