Mike Rann formally initiated the South Australian election campaign yesterday when he advised Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson to issue the writs, which he had delayed until the second last day possible. This is not greatly remarkable given that the election was fixed for March 18 in any case, but it nonetheless attracted censure from The Advertiser which extravagantly claimed that "the public service has been frozen in the headlights of the approaching poll since before Christmas". Notwithstanding the nameless terrors confronted by public servants, it seems the only practical effect was that candidates wishing to festoon lamp posts and stobie poles with election paraphernalia had to hold back until the formal beginning of the campaign or rather, until 24 hours beforehand, owing to a loophole requiring councils to give a day’s notice when ordering that posters be removed.
Of far greater importance to the campaign and world history in general was the Poll Bludger’s arrival in town, where I will be spending the next week soaking up the electoral ambience. My arrival brought me face-to-face with a much-touted vote loser for the Rann government, namely the new Adelaide Airport which opened on Friday after long and expensive delays. It appears that a few teething problems were overlooked in the rush to commence operations in time for the election those of us who exited the plane from the rear were required to access the terminal by crossing the tarmac and using a service entry, where a sign warned of $5000 fines for "trespassers".