News to you? Either you don't live in Australia or you've been living under a rock. (Is it a large rock? Can I come and join you?) I am so over this election campaign. I never thought to hear myself say this, as I've been interested in politics all my life, so I am shocked at myself.
But this is such a non-campaign. I've rarely heard so much said about so little.
I have another plan. How about every ballot paper, House of Reps and Senate, henceforth includes the option None Of The Above? If NOTA wins (as I suspect this time, it might), we hold another ballot in four weeks. But no-one currently in parliament is allowed to run again for at least five years.
Yes, this does mean they can't run next time either.
Wayne and Joe, you're out too.
Sorry, Bob, you might have done better but the electorate didn't like you enough either. Maybe you could ponder what it means to run the country as well as saving the world?
Now, who is left that might just have an idea about where this country might go? There must be someone... (and no, Nick, it ain't you.)
And how about we change the way we do things? No more having weeks of, "will they call an election?", followed by two weeks of "yes we did, but we aren't campaigning yet", and then tarradiddle US-style Campaign Launches where every creaky ancient politician is dragged out of retirement to tell the wildly-applauding party faithful, and the omnipresent cameras, just how great the latest batch is. And then two weeks of being as nasty as possible to the others, without actually stating any policies that might distinguish one from another. No more. Hooray, I hear you say? But what would we have instead?
From the minute the PM steps out of the Governor General's office, no party may advertise.
No new policies may be launched to public fanfare (or, more likely, indifference).
Anyone kissing other people's babies in shopping malls will be arrested as a child molester. (Hey, anyone else would be!)
Any politician who holds a press conference about *anything* is immediately disqualified from running.
Let's see the politicians running *from* the cameras for a change. With a paper bag over their heads.
Let them sit quietly in parliament wondering if they've done enough.
Extreme? Not really.
Guys, if you didn't bother to tell us what you stood for before the election was called, we don't believe what you say you stand for, once it has been called. Sorry, but we just don't.
You've had your chance to show us what you stand for, what ideas you have, what vision you have for Australia, during the past three years. If you didn't bother, you don't deserve our vote.
Me, I just wish I could vote None of The Above.*
*Opinions authorised by Nola in Bennelong for the entertainment of regular readers
Now we return you to your normal viewing. Thank God for textiles!