If Parliament House was a family home then the odds are the cat and the dog would pack up their bowls and leave. The parents are at war; the kids are dysfunctional and the household help have been driven to despair.
Opened by the Queen 30 years ago this May, the 250,000 square metre home of Australian democracy is also an administrative centre and workplace for up to 5000 stressed out, and frequently unhappy, people.
While politics has always been a high pressure calling, and not one to be contemplated by the thin skinned, there is evidence to suggest the culture has never been as toxic as now.
That said, despite the myths and legends, there was never a golden age dominated by harmony and universal love.
What does seem to have changed is the descent into the personal that was epitomised by Michaelia Cash's attack on unnamed staffers employed in the Opposition Leader's office last week.
That, in turn, had been provoked by expert needling by Senator Doug Cameron and the fall out from the Barnaby Joyce affair.
The end result was the same as always. Once passions cooled there was a consensus matters had got out of hand; that parliament should be a kinder and gentler place to work and that everybody swears they won't act up this badly ever again.
That, like most resolutions, will evaporate as quickly as the morning dew. A week or two from now and things will be just as bad, if not worse.
None of this is really new. Katherine Murphy, writing in Meanjin last winter, noted: "Australian politics has a culture it can't talk about ... participants within the system are starting to feel ... politics has become not only unsustainable as a vocation, but hostile territory for human beings".
She made the point that while democracy depends on attracting good people into politics possibly more than ever before, the leaders of the future were either burning out before they made their mark or choosing not to enter the fray at all because they don't think the game is worth the candle.
The crisis, as the Cash attack this week made clear, doesn't just extend to the MPs and Senators. Their advisers and support staff put up with working conditions and work-life balance trade-offs that wouldn't be tolerated at any other workplace in the country.
Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, every politician, and their staff, are now in campaign mode all of the time.
Couple this with a hot house working environment in which long days, late nights, frequent trips away from home and gossip and innuendo are the rule and a parliamentary's staffer's role can quickly become the job from hell.
While experts continue to argue over why things got this bad this fast, citing factors such as the intensification of the media cycle and the rise of social media in the early 2000s and the new level of "meanness" that followed the election of the Gillard minority government, nobody seems to have any real answers.
Given parliament's own toxic culture is now a grave threat to good governance in Australia that's just not good enough. This needs to be fixed.