The federal election was announced yesterday for the 24th of November. I followed the previous election reasonably closely, albeit from a great distance, and suspect I'll also be very interested throughout this one.
Some of my closest involvement has been through John and the party he has started, the Liberty and Democracy Party (LDP). They were previously known as the Liberal Democratic Party, but the AEC (effectively, as I understand it) ruled that the Liberal party had a monopoly on the term 'liberal', which is both ironic and wrong.
John has cast around at a couple of social gatherings recently for warm bodies to run in House races for the LDP, including asking me. I was pretty tempted, and haven't totally ruled out signing up for a run in Ryan, but I think I'm probably more interested in discussing policy than in a Quixotic candidature. I'm also not sure to what extent running lots of "token" candidates(with all due respect to those I know who are running) is a good idea for the LDP; they're up for $500 registration per candidate, with little likelihood in most cases of gathering enough votes to be reimbursed.
I have strange discussions with John about politics. I agree with most of the philosophies and principles of the LDP, but have trouble with some of their policies, in terms of where they have chosen to apply their principles (e.g. shooters' rights, smokers' rights) and the practicality of doing so (particularly regarding privatisation and deregulation). It certainly makes for interesting discussions, though.
I'd encourage anyone who is remotely interested in politics to seek out others who are or might be, and to engage them in discussions about what you think is important for this election. If you have been unimpressed by something your government or your representative has said or done, one of the reasons that happens is because people don't engage enough in the political process.