AS early voters head to the polls, it's not easy to find any real enthusiasm for next week's federal election.
In a business where brand familiarity is a winning edge, apart from dyed in the wool political groupies, it's pretty much a ho-hum affair around Lithgow.
See for yourself with a little experiment. Ask five friends or acquaintances to name the Calare candidates. The column's results were fairly ugly for the campaigners with largely blank looks the response.
Only sitting MP Andrew Gee popped up and two of our five even missed him. One even asked if (State MP) '..Paul Toole is running?'
The pollie gossips have elevated independents as the elephant in the room across Australia this year but in reality will voters warm to what seem to be largely single issue wannabes and value ideology over ideas.
Back in '96 Peter Andren's high profile on the old CBN8 helped him turn local party politics on its head when he became Calare's first (and only) independent.
It ended Lithgow as a traditional ALP stronghold at any level and Labor has never recovered from the demolition.
Andren was hugely popular but there was a memorable event around 2001 when the Mercury asked the then Coalition Defence Minister Reith what could be done to assist in emerging problems at Lithgow SAF.
"If you want government help you should have elected a Government Member" was the somewhat curt reply.
This time around another independent benefits from the number one box and subsequent donkey vote.
For the record there are six candidates in Calare. Look them up.
Clive's cash splash
THE real election interest at national level is to see if the Clive and Craig Show (aka the UAP with that strange 'Freedom' war cry) gets a result for the zillions spent on advertising. Last time around despite a budget akin to a small Euro country's revenue it was zilch, zero, nothing. Media bean counters will miss Clive and his cash splash.
The fall guys
STILL on politics you have to sympathise with whichever party is in government in trying times such as the current term. Pandemic, deluge, drought, fire, lockdown, even Chinese dummy spits. And the government of the day cops the blame for the lot. Bring on that silver lining.
The Naked Gardener
IN case you didn't know, according to sometimes informed sources the Australian Naturist Federation has declared Saturday Nude Gardening Day. Just beware the thistles and careful with the pruning shears. And keep the kids indoors. Could scare them off gardening for life.