THE recent NSW election was conducted on local issues. The successful candidate was apparently better regarded, and was returned.
The federal election is a different story, however, to be fought on issues of national interest and on the resolve of a future government to determine the direction we should be heading.
Australian voters are a little cynical about politicians and will no longer stomach parish pump politics - there is a limited pot of money available to the electorate and voters know that.
Neither the Coalition nor Labor have demonstrated any inclination to break free from a narrow band of talking points, ignoring the concerns of the average voter.
An example is immigration. Surveys reflect the public opinion that immigration numbers are too high. That sentiment has nothing to do with racism, which is the catchcry of some politicians, which then spooks the rest. It is rather the innate sense of the Australian people that control has been lost, and it is now time to take a breather.
Climate change is a subject taking up too much of the national conversation. Although the subject is multi-faceted and complex, public discourse has been reduced to a slanging match between only two camps - either for or against and no allowance for more nuanced views.
Revelations of sovereign risk to Australia from the Chinese government are almost daily events. The candidate who better recognises that, and demonstrates their party's resolve to resist Chinese interference in our country, will get my vote.
I am not heartened by Mr Shorten's recent declaration, "I welcome the rise of China", with no qualification entailed.
The Aboriginal peoples: despite all the fine words, well-meaning intentions, and buckets of money, the original Australians still occupy a lower tier position in our society. That is shameful and must change, with respect restored to the oldest culture in the world, and dignity to its descendants.
These issues are but a small aspect of the national interest and the conversation must continue.
The message must be made clear to the respective political parties - listen to the public and their common sense.
Drop the theatrics and cant; we are not fools.