FINALLY, voters and candidates head into the last week of the longest federal election campaign in Australia's modern political history. Julia Gillard, fired the starting gun in January.
From the perspective of a political tragic it's been a hard slog.
With a week to go and a government trailing in the polls all indications are that this campaign is about to get very ugly and increasingly populist.
Candidates in House of Representatives electoral contests must be completely worn out, physically and mentally.
The mantra from their campaign teams will be, remember, "we don't need mental or verbal slips this week".
The campaign to elect the representatives into Parliament where government is formed for the 44th parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia has also distinguished itself by being one of the least engaging of the past 20 years.
Addressing the Democratic National Convention in 2004, then Senator Obama observed: "In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?"
Hope was the centre piece of Mr Obama's successful presidential campaign in 2007-2008.
Much of that hope fell flat at the hands of a hostile Republican Congress.
Deep political cynicism is attached to expectations that aren't delivered.
Cynicism runs deep in the 2013 federal election campaign in Australia.
Several observations can be made to add to the mix of opinions already being shared across a range of social and media platforms.
Voters have long memories and Australians are blessed at birth with a "bullshit" detector that is especially finely tuned during election campaigns.
Political leaders wanting to be prime minister, candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the truly mad party machine, largely men, will be toiling over focus group analysis, day-by- day polling trends, and campaign schedules in a desperate search for the last populist pitch that might secure victory.
No one will be looking at the costs anymore or care about who will pay for it.
Anything attached to a pulse could find money being thrown at it.
As most polls are predicting a comfortable Coalition victory it is possible to assert that many Australians breathed a sigh of relief when Ms Gillard announced the September 14 election date. Voters hostile to the Gillard Labor minority government made sure they oiled their baseball bats, put them back into the closet and got on with their lives. But, September 14 went into their diaries.
Labor's leadership resurrection brought about a predictable change in the political temperature, but the political climate for change was built on long-term trends.
Governments are always in the box-seat during elections, but they must have a record to stand on, if they want voters to believe in the future they promise.
Has Labor negotiated that challenge successfully or do broken promises, leadership instability and a busted budget make re-election a bridge too far?
Ironically, the media has joined the chorus of campaign cynicism, suggesting it is vacuous, boring, with little difference between parties.
Why would candidates take risks when the media is intent on securing "gotcha" campaign trail media moments: "sex appeal"; "shut up"; "infamous Diaz interview"; "make more body contact"?
Clive Palmer's alleged "get stuffed" response to an ABC producer after "hanging up" during a radio interview will resonate with many voters.
Dr Tony McCall is a senior lecturer at the School of Government, University of Tasmania.