on July 2nd - to elect a new federal parliament. The polls are mixed but, for the most part, indicate a "tight" race. Neither side has yet delivered a decisive blow - and perhaps they won't. There is talk of a "hung parliament" and about excessive power resting with smaller parties who are able to promise the earth (and beyond) knowing that they will never have to deliver it.
Both the major parties are lying in the lead up to the election. They are saying things they know are not true. They are also making promises they can't keep and don't intend to even try and keep. They are promising to spend money that don't have.
Yes, it is standard political game playing. I know that. Most people know. We will make our decisions based on any number of factors. I've done my homework. I'll try and make an informed decision and implement it on polling day. The Senior Cat will do the same. He is, even at 93, still taking an intelligent interest in what people are saying, doing, and demanding.
But, I still have a problem with all this. As I mentioned a short time ago it is my responsibility to ensure that some people with disabilities know how to fill in their ballot papers. Ballot papers for the Senate must now be filled in differently from before. This has confused many people. The advertising by the Australian Electoral Commission has confused them too - or is simply not reaching them. It isn't what they have been told to do for years.
We have given these people a vote. They have the right to a vote. And it has to be their vote. It can't be the vote of the people who care for them.
"What are they promising Cat?" one person asked me. He's smart enough in his own way. His reading skills are limited but he knows about differences and choice and party promises.
I have explained. I know which way he voted last time because he asked me to go with him. It was, as far as it could be, an informed decision for him. He probably put more thought into it than many people who always vote for a particular political party without giving it any thought at all.
"I don't understand Cat," someone else told me, "Can't I just put it there like always?"
I explain again...and again.
I have now printed off a list which shows the order the candidates appear on the ballot paper. It seems to me that this will be the easiest way to help those who can fill in their own ballot papers but still need some help. We can sit there with the list. They can decide and write the numbers next to their choice of candidates. They can take that list with them when they vote and simply copy the numbers into the relevant squares on the ballot paper.
I mentioned this to the Senior Cat.
"I was going to do the same thing," he told me.
Perhaps the AEC should have been suggesting this to everyone.