You might think the two major parties are hopeless, but the Labor party and the Liberals have got nothing on Clive Palmer's Palmer United Party.
We've just spent the morning quizzing a random selection of Palmer candidates on some pretty basic political stuff. The sort of stuff you learn on a Year 6 excursion to Canberra. The sort of stuff you'd really need to know if you found yourself representing the people of Australia.
The first two Palmer United Party candidates we rang couldn't name the year Australia became federated. (For the record, it was 1901.)
Not one of the five could define the key term "the separation of powers". (In essence, it refers to the independence of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary in the Australian constitution. Boiled right down, it's what keeps judges independent.)
And only two of the five Palmer candidates could name our head of state. (That'd be Queen Elizabeth)
Clive Palmer has installed candidates in each of the 150 lower house seats in Australia, as well as the senate in each state.
The candidates we spoke to were all unfailingly polite, enthusiastic and were great sports to participate in our survey on the last day of a hectic campaign. We thank them for their time.
All the same, we can't help thinking that if we were going for a job as a miner, we'd learn a little about where to dig first.
WE SPOKE TO:
Chandy Huynh: A small business owner running for the seat of Port Adelaide, Chandy pulled over while driving and called us back, which we thought was very nice
Barry Michael: the former world champion boxer who is top of the PUP senate ticket, but who didn't box clever when talking to us. In fact. He opted out after one question.
Wayne Slattery: A former farrier (horse-shoer), the number one PUP candidate on the ACT senate ticket is currently the CEO of a charitable organisation, The Good Samaritans.
Marti Zucco: A restaurateur and the longest-serving alderman on Hobart council, Marti is the PUP candidate for the Tassie seat of Franklin
Jodie Wootton: The owner of a virtual bookkeeping business, Jodie's running for the high-profile western Sydney seat of Greenway (home of Jaymes Diaz)
What year did Australia become federated?
CHANDY: I wouldn't know.
BARRY: Oh mate, y'know, Christ, can we talk about current politics? Let me think now, I don't know the actual year to be honest [AND THAT'S THE ONLY ONE HE ANSWERED BEFORE HANGING UP.]
What is the separation of powers?
CHANDY: OK well I did learn that as a subject but I couldn't give you a definition.
WAYNE: The upper house and lower house.
MARTI: Got me on that one, sorry
JODIE: The separation between the Senate and the House Of Reps
Who is Australia's head of state?
CHANDY: Queen Elizabeth
WAYNE: The Queen
MARTI: What's her name… ummmm… Quentin Bryce!
JODIE: The Governor General
How many seats are there in the House of Reps?
MARTI: There are five in Tasmania but I couldn't tell you nationally.
Coat of arms question: Who would win a fight between an emu and a kangaroo?
WAYNE: Well that depends entirely on whether they both stand up or one nicks off. If they both fight the kangaroo would win, but if the emu nicked off it would win.
MARTI: I'd give it to the kangaroo, it's more of a symbol of Australia than an emu is.
JODIE: I reckon the emu might win because their talons are really strong and they could peck down on a kangaroo.
If elected, what's the first thing you'd do?
CHANDY: Like everybody else I believe I'll be celebrating with a bottle of wine and with everybody who's supported me
WAYNE: We'd fight for the policies of the Palmer party that have been released. We'd fight to slash red tape in business, for the $70bn worth of stimulus into the country's economy, for the pension increase, to reduce income taxes.
MARTI: I would endeavour to put legislation through parliament to get politicians to be more honest and upfront.
JODIE: More police for Greenway
Sum up Clive Palmer in one word, please