Menu Sian Prior

Writer, Broadcaster, Singer, MC & Teacher

Corflute conundrum [June 9]

As a word nerd I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered the term ‘corflute’. It sounds like it belongs in an orchestra – the lovechild of a flute and a cor anglais, reducing us to tears with a Rachmaninov solo. But it’s something much less romantic.

‘Corflute’ is the name given to those big posters with the grinning faces of political candidates, and Melbourne’s suburbs have been plastered with them for months. There’s even been one propped outside my front fence. Lately I’ve been pondering the psychology of the post-election ‘corflautist’ (yes you’re right, I just made that word up).

If your preferred candidate lost their bid for election, should you take your corflute straight down as a concession of defeat? Or should you leave it up as a silent reproach to your wrong-voting neighbours?

If your candidate won, do you take your corflute down to avoid looking smug? Or do you leave it up as a symbol of triumph, like those Premiership-winning fans still wearing their team scarves months after the footy season ends?

If your candidate lost but your party won – or vice versa – it gets even more complicated. (I’ve noticed some of the winning candidates’ corflutes have been defaced with devil’s horns, but who wants to be reminded that Lucifer’s just been elected?)

And what should you DO with your corflute when you take it down? Should you hang onto it in case your preferred pollie stands again at the next election? What if you’ve changed your vote by the next time you line up for a democracy sausage?

It’s tempting to chuck your corflute in the hard rubbish pile and let someone else deal with it. But I’m all for re-using and recycling, so here are a few ideas:

– If your corflute was propped up with wooden sticks, those sticks will make handy garden stakes when you’re growing your own veggies in preparation for the coming climate apocalypse.

– If you want to try and prevent the coming climate apocalypse, you could plant a tree (or one hundred) and use the corflute as a tree guard.

– If you believe the election winners need to pull their fingers out and do more to prevent the coming climate apocalypse, turn your corflute around, write something clever on the blank side and take it to the next climate action rally. See you there.


(This column was first published by Fairfax in June 2019)