THIS federal election is an interesting one.
I'm pretty used to hearing people's opinions fairly evenly divided between the big two.
But this time around it seems smaller parties are weighing in - and they're getting noticed.
What does all of this mean? A lot of options.
It means you owe it to yourself to pick the best of the best - or the best of the worst, depending on your outlook.
In every election there are comments about donkey voting (numbering straight down the line) or plain silly voting (ie: drawing daisies on your ballot paper) as a form of protest against the supposed quality of candidates.
But a donkey vote or a drawing of a daisy is not a protest - it is equal to pulling numbers out of a hat and voting for someone you haven't even researched.
Think of it this way - Barbara is running in the Happy Party, and Eggbert is running in the Chocolate Party and Mildred is running in the Fun Party.
You don't really like any of them - or you haven't checked them out and don't know any of them from a bar of soap - so you decide to donkey vote.
Or you throw a random name on there - Batman, Donald Trump, Darren Lockyer.
Let's say you really, really dislike the Chocolate Party.
What if everyone who really, really, disliked the Chocolate Party donkey voted and everyone who really did like the Chocolate Party voted properly?
You get chocolate (if only).
What I'm trying to get at - is that by not voting with thought, you leave a gap for someone else to get ahead.
And if enough people leave gaps, well then you're really helping someone get elected who you might not want.
So by protesting with a silly vote, you're probably just electing someone you hate.
With a donkey vote, you're giving a vote to someone you haven't even considered.
So if the goods are odd, the odds are good that you really need to sit down and study your options and make do with whatever you can.
Better to make an informed choice than to take a stab in the dark.