It's a no-holds-barred race to the bottom with Scott Morrison receiving praise for "doing things" while Shorten is attacked for being Shorten; Clive Palmer has paid his way back into political relevance without ever having to pay his workers; and Pauline Hanson's One Nation is competing with the Liberal party for the highly coveted title Most Trash Candidates Nominated in a Single Election.
There is a deeply concerning perception problem in Australian politics, and this has been the case for some time. Many seem to think that the Labor and Liberal parties are essentially the same. In policy; personnel; propensity to knife a sitting Prime Minister; thousands, if not millions, of Australians believe that they could not be more similar. Only, they're not.
On a scale of one to ten, Australian politics in 2018 has been a steaming pile of shit. And that's putting it mildly. We've seen yet another LibSpill; Senators openly pining for the policies of the Nazi Party; the government supporting white supremacy; and Bill Shorten still hasn't found a way to make people like him.
This week we witnessed the collapse of the Liberal Party of Australia. In the most exceptionally stupid display of unhinged arrogance from any Australian government in living memory, Scott Morrison and the Liberals signalled their intent to make Bill Shorten the next Prime Minister.
They say a week is a long time in politics, but holy mother of fuck, what a goddamned week. Apologies for the language, but Jesus Christ, this roller coaster of spills, rumours, leaks, and arithmetic seemed like it would never end.
There was movement in the nation, for the word had passed around
That the dolt whom all regret was led astray,
And had joined the wild right-wingers - he was worth a million pound,
So all the banks had gathered to the fray.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Lower House, not a creature was stirring, except for Tony Abbott, though he would describe his behaviour as "defending a conservative vision for Australia".
The legislation being proposed by a "rebel group" of backbench Liberals is a travesty. While the bill would technically legalise marriage equality, it will also enshrine religious bigotry in law, guaranteeing that gay marriage can be seen as something less than the marriage between a man and a woman.
It's incredible how much can be achieved in three years. Goodness, it was incredible how much could be achieved in just one day. On that holiest of Sundays, the borders were closed, the state religion established, the welfare rats were forced into the jobs they claimed they couldn't find, and the terrorists at the ABC were executed for treason.
The 2013 election exposed voters to a concept that was, for many, previously unheard-of: electing small party candidates to the Senate. While independent Senators such as Brian Harradine and Nick Xenophon found success in representing their states, it has always been harder for smaller parties to build a following at a federal level.