I spent today, the day two of the campaign, with my son Conrad as his mother and I took him to his first day at pre-school.

It was an interesting reflection on the impact of politics in suburban Australia. Or perhaps a lack of impact.

Politics was the last thing on everyone’s mind. Packed lunches and Factor 15 were more important that the politicians’ pre-packed messages and awfully sunny dispositions.

For me a two-year-old took precedence to a couple of grey men in suits (or one in a tracksuit).

I reached for my blackberry amid baby elephants and jigsaws to check if anything had been happening. It had not, and it will be that way for much of the next four weeks.

It will be the final two weeks that really matter. The swinging voters – the real decision makers.

Currently, the levels of dialogue are similar to those from Conrad and his mates. Indeed, perhaps he is a little more interesting than the voices on the hustings and with a clearer vision of his future; a sandwich and green cordial.

The campaign start has thrown up no surprises. The PM has a formula tested through polling; we’ve had it right for a decade, don’t change.

You will be alright with us in the years ahead.

And judging by the parents dropping off their kids, everyone looks happy enough in middle Australia.

Rudd is future focussed of course. At present, polls tell us that everybody loves him. Particularly the kids. But do they know him? New Leadership…. Perhaps many may ask what is wrong with the old leadership?

Indeed, the PM should take up the challenge for more debates. And all Cabinet members should debate their opposites. Heaven knows, David Speers will be desperate for people to fill up Sky TV’s extraordinary commitment to Election 07. It may just throw up some interesting battles; many could be in favour of the Coalition with their greater experience and more proven team.

As for day one, I am not sure day there has been any impact at all. Six weeks beckon and the messages are clear. But nobody seems to care at present. The climbing frame and plastic giraffe is more interesting for the kids, and even the parents.


Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey