THE metropolitan print media has started analysing the track record of federal Labor and Liberal governments when in power during the past decade.
And while it has been a welcome departure from the banal reporting of candidates squandering millions in their hypothetical treasure chests as they pork barrel around marginal electorates, the statistics have been fascinating - and frightening.
The lack of meaningful policy in the run-up to September 7 also mirrors the way in which politicians allow themselves license in 'now' to justify broken promises post-election.
There are myriad economic, world and domestic unforeseen events - the global financial crisis, for instance - and tragedies, such as the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, that can be used to patch a hole or two in the odd budget.
In the wash, agriculture usually fails to get a toe in the water.
“There appears to be no spark, no imagination and no will to reinvigorate the service centres of rural Australia”
The articles last week focused on wasted opportunities, as the China-inspired mining boom filled government coffers, and the policies used to show how governments of the day could easily bolster their public image.
The Howard government used the baby bonus, family benefits and tax cuts at a cost of $52 billion, with total redistribtions by 2007 almost doubling that figure.
This was followed by the Rudd government's stimus package of about $90b, followed by pension increases of $13b, for debatable outcomes.
There were fewer memorable projects that frittered away the national wealth, but real projects to revive the lot of regional Australia remained firmly outside the vision of even the most vocal advocates for agriculture.
There appears to be no spark, no imagination and no will to reinvigorate the service centres of rural Australia - cities and towns which provide the goods and services for the country's farmers.
The Coalition is mumbling about developing the north - heard that before somewhere? And it appears Labor has put off its Farm Finance Package for rural Australia until it is either voted out of office (when promises become notes on policy) or can make the inevitable excuses, based on those 'unforeseen circumstances'.
Voting is a serious business in a viable western democracy.
But how can Joe Public be expected to rally to the cause when the promises are empty on the back of lacklustre campaigns?