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(This first letter is exactly what I’m pcking up. “..I’ve always voted Liberal, but not this time..”)

The drift away from the main parties to independents can be sheeted home to the parties themselves. They only have themselves to blame because they have treated the electorate with disdain bordering on contempt. Poor leadership coupled with poor communications have combined to destroy confidence in our two-party system.

Michael J. Gamble, Belmont, Vic

We’ve had a 700 per cent increase in childcare spending over the past decade and increased education spending by 80 per cent in real terms per student over the past 20 years. How well has that all worked? Not so good? Don’t worry, Bill Shorten has a solution — spend more money.

Burt Bosma, Surrey Hills, Vic

Only the naive and gullible will rejoice at Bill Shorten’s childcare sweetener. It just adds to Australia’s already unaffordable welfare tab. Shorten will spend whatever it takes to win. Such reckless policy defines him as a politician of burning ambition, but lacking in good sense.

Lou Coppola, Hawthorn East, Vic

It is lovely that Malcolm Turnbull praises his father so. And the shot of the licky dog and the bridge that gets crossed. The semiotics must have taken some Marxist sociologist hours to get just right to make sure Malcolm’s dad’s identity is fluid enough but still masculine.

Keith Russell, Mayfield West, NSW

Labor in Victoria is out of touch. First, it rammed through the Safe Schools program which makes schools anything but safe for young minds, and now it aims to emasculate the CFA which has been at the front of every bushfire in memory. Premier Daniel Andrews has provided us with a salutary lesson on how a union man acts when in power: be guided by opinion polls and your union masters.

Vy Lingham, Rowville, Vic