Watching the television last night caused me to strike out all the Saturdays before the end of September as potential federal election polling days. It was nothing to do with any of those news and current affairs programs to which I am addicted but rather the advertisements which surround them.

The one that caught my eye was proclaiming the virtues of new superannuation laws with the good news for the ageing population that more people get a pension from 20 September.

Any government spending tens of millions of dollars to foreshadow extra dollars would surely wait until the money is in the pocket before soliciting the vote of the new beneficiaries.

Which ensures that there will be plenty of nights available for us to watch the government spend our tax money on its re-election bid. And just as well because the Commonwealth is already clearly the major contributor to the revenue of television companies.

Along with the joyful retirees on the bowling green we have those bouncing umbrellas signifying the wonderful new coverage of private health insurance and a renewal of those ominous warnings about helping to protect Australia from terrorism.

The really big advertising burst is yet to start although Prime Minister John Howard warned this morning that from this weekend we will see another attempt to convince us that changes to industrial relations laws are good for us.