Kelly O'Dwyer
Resigning government minister Kelly O'Dwyer (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

For all that everyone hates politicians, there are two unwavering truths about the profession: the only people who ever get elected are the ones who have a go, and if you're a lower house MP, it's a bastard of a job, with long hours and constant calls on your time by the community you represent.

If you're a lower house MP who's a minister, it means you have a second job -- with equally long hours if you want to do it competently -- on top of the first. If you're a lower house MP with a ministry and a marginal seat, it can be a nightmare; a constant drain on your emotional energy. And worse still if you're not in NSW or Victoria, making travel to Canberra longer and less flexible. How Kim Beazley, who had a marginal seat for much of his career, kept it up for so long when he had the added ordeal of constant flights to and from Perth, is a mystery.