A political trend over the past couple of decades has been the emergence of minor parties and their accompanying arguments that there is something inherently wrong in the majors.
Minor parties include Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Katter's Australian Party, Cori Bernardi's Australian Conservatives, the Fishers, Shooters and Farmers Party, Jacqui Lambie Network and Family First Party.
Their theme - coming at a time when many right wing and nationalistic parties have emerged - has been that the majors cannot be trusted to govern.
Many focus on immigration, overseas and Aboriginal aid, trade imbalances, gun ownership and same-sex marriage.
Debate on these issues has been helped in part due to the emergence of the internet where fringe views get air time that they have never had before.
These policy areas are fertile ground for conspiracy theories and are especially ripe for the practice of fear politics.
These issues are difficult for mainstream political parties because their complicated nature makes them hard to explain. It takes politicians of the calibre of John Howard and Paul Keating to carry arguments on complex issues like gun control and macro-economics.
The exposure last week of One Nation leaders seeking funding and advice on softening gun laws from the US National Rifle Association shows up this minor party and the dangers inherent in some of these personality-led political groups.
It's not just One Nation which has difficulty choosing right from wrong. It follows Bob Katter's failure to censure Senator Fraser Anning for his call for a Muslim migration ban and the Parliament punch-up between ON chief-of-staff James Ashby and United Australia Party Senator Brian Burston.
Are these people the best to lead the nation?
While the arguments of minor parties might seem attractive, couched as they are in jingoistic terms about protecting Australia and its values, we should think further.
Our major parties are by no means perfect but they have played a major role in making this nation one of the world's richest, most desirable and most stable. We revel in a strong democracy and justice system that allows us to vote any way we like.
Vote for a smaller party by all means but put some thought into just what they stand for.
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