Most Australians are pretty apathetic when it comes to politics (and it's hard to blame them when you look at some of the people who manage to get into parliament) but my family has always enthusiastically followed politics the way normal people watch footy, and this election is a particularly interesting one.
On one side, there's the current government, led by Can-Do Strongman whose tactic is to throw in the word "strong" whenever he can't think of anything else to say.
On the other hand, one of the first things the LNP did was cut 14,000 jobs from the public service, and after campaigning against the previous government's massively unpopular asset sales, they decided selling assets would be a good idea to deal with the enormous debt they inherited (more on that in a moment). Predictably, there was a huge backlash, so they are instead planning to "lease" the assets for 99 years, because that is a completely different prospect to selling them. Throw in a good few corruption allegations, anti bikie gang laws which were admirable in intent but poorly worded and publicised and they aren't looking good.
Then we have Labor and their leader Annnastazxia Palpatine.
Her problem is not so much that she's unpopular, but that few people know much about her, and even fewer know how to spell her name. But that's a minor thing compared to simply being the Queensland Labor leader.
Until 2012, Labor had held government for more than 20 years, and while they might have been ok to start off with, by the time i was approaching voting age the only reason they still held power was the total incompetence of the opposition. I spent many a sweltering summer's evening sitting around, unable to milk our dairy cows or turn on a fan because the electricity had gone out yet again (at one stage it was every 2nd day). Then there were the never ending problems with Queensland Health (most notably "Dr Death" aka Jayant Patel), forced amalgamations of local councils, a quadrupling of state debt between 2004 and 2011 and the most unpopular of all in my area, the attempt to build a dam on the Mary River. That would have flooded thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, required a cemetery to be dug up and moved elsewhere, and despite being stopped by the Federal Government on the basis of the inevitable environmental damage the Beattie and Bligh governments still managed to spend nearly half a billion dollars on it.
With that in mind, it should be pretty clear i didn't vote for Labor this time around.
Then there are the Greens, who in my opinion have some worthwhile policies but are on the whole, batshit mental.
There's the Palmer United Party, which is basically the plaything of an obese billionaire mining magnate and then Katter's Australian Party, headed by a slightly deranged redneck from up north somewhere who can't seem to complete a sentence without laughing at god knows what.
Like most North Queenslanders, he appears to have no filter between brain and mouth, which can be a good or bad thing (saying that same-sex marriage "deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed" would be the latter). But he is a passionate supporter of the agricultural sector, and his economic views are strongly aligned with my own. And hey, he threw eggs at The Beatles in 1964.
It has been said that Australians don't vote for the best party, they vote to keep the worst party out, well evidenced by the "Put LNP Last" campaign. That was my approach, voting for the local KAP candidate (Shane Paulger, a local dairy farmer and good bloke) and then ranking the remainder in order of which i hated least.
The joys of democracy.