The pub test.
So powerful it can make or break the careers of politicians and the election fortunes of entire parties.
Fail it and you'll be left drowning your sorrows with whatever booze is closest to hand. Pass it and the Dom Perignon will have never tasted so good.
Exactly when the 'pub test' entered Australia's political lexicon is contested, but there is no doubting its ubiquity or, when applied properly, its potency.
The opposition might use it to attack the government. For example, Labor could say that the Coalition's recent federal budget "does not pass the pub test".
In turn, the Coalition might use it to dismiss a specific Labor policy, if it can find one, as "failing the pub test".
A politician caught with their snout in the trough might even admit their actions "failed the pub test" in order to head-off a more official examination into their conduct by a federal ICAC (to use a complete hypothetical).
This election campaign, The Daily Advertiser - in conjunction with the 13 other daily mastheads in the ACM group - will be conducting its own pub test.
And no, this isn't an idea dreamed up by a reporter (or editor) as an excuse to spend an afternoon a week in some of Wagga's finest watering holes.
What we're looking for is a handful of voters enrolled in the Riverina electorate to cast a critical eye over the election campaign as it plays out both federally and, most importantly, locally.
We're after a true cross section of our community to help us cut through the spin and see what passes the pub test and what doesn't.
You might be a first-time voter just starting to take an interest in politics, or an experienced swinging voter yet to decide on which party is the lesser of two (or more) evils.
You might be a pensioner, or a small business owner, or the sole breadwinner in your family.
All we ask is that you are willing to publicly share your views once a week for the duration of the campaign, and that you are not a member of a political party or closely associated with any candidates.
If that sounds like something that interests you, or you would like more information about the concept, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best for the week ahead,
Ross Tyson, editor
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