In his comic masterpiece The Pickwick Papers, Dickens describes the Eatanswill election (eat and swill, geddit?): "You have come down here to see an election - eh? Spirited contest, my dear sir, very much so indeed. We have opened all the public houses in the place."
We haven't quite got to the free beer stage, but it may be getting closer. On the campaign trail, reality is getting to resemble satire: if you want something done where you live, you might want to move to a marginal seat.
On Monday, Labor leader Anthony Albanese stood in the courtyard of the Flinders Medical Centre (in the Adelaide marginal seat of Boothby) and promised an upgrade at the cost to the taxpayer of $200 million, matching the state's contribution from the taxpayer. The unspoken message to the voters: Vote Labor, get a better hospital.
On Tuesday, he visited a level crossing in Melbourne and then went to ultra-marginal Chisholm and promised to fund a massive investment in the city's suburban rail network, all to the tune of $2.2 billion. The unspoken message: Vote Labor, get a better rail service.
It was unspoken - Mr Albanese denies that spending is being directed at marginal seats. He said that the spending in Melbourne was for a "national building project". Melbourne was a great world city and it deserved first-class public transport.
But the battle lines on the economy are now clear. Labor is promising (or threatening depending on your point of view) a more regulated "higher wage" economy, with public spending on infrastructure - like the railways Mr Albanese visited in Melbourne in his hi-visibility jacket.
He promised a "Full Employment Summit" within his first hundred days in The Lodge, even though employment is already pretty well as full as it can statistically get (as he must know after his day one stumble where he didn't know the rate of unemployment).
But Mr Albanese means full employment with stable jobs - "more secure work", as he put it. More rights for casual workers to get the same pay as full-timers on the staff.
He was careful not to endorse the Australian Council of Trade Unions' call for a 5.5 per cent (greater than inflation) rise in the minimum wage. He said, rather, that it was important that workers "didn't go backwards".
It doesn't quite put it this way but the Coalition, on the other hand, is promising (or threatening depending on your point of view) a less regulated economy, with less protection for the lower paid, for example. But its argument is that this will deliver a more vibrant economy.
It should also be said that the Coalition is not exactly eschewing the spending of money in marginal seats.
Sport seems to be a favourite - though it does have its perils. When Scott Morrison went to Torquay a few weeks ago to hand out money for better seats at its sporting venues, he got hit on the head with a basketball (accidentally, surely. Surely?).
Basic memo to politicians from the spin doctors: Don't stand near an exit sign; nor a Reject Shop - and don't go anywhere near a ball.
Talk about your love of whatever team you follow - Mr Albanese likes to say how watching the Newtown Jets rugby league side with his mates keeps him grounded.
He also handled a baby in Melbourne.
Four-month-old Gabrielle Nina Richie happened to be at a coffee shop with her Labor-supporting mum when he - and an arsenal of cameras - turned up.
Only 18 years before she can vote.