THE pitiful quality of the national political debate has been shown in recent weeks.
It has not been the momentous signing into law of the Murray-Darling Basin plan, and its impacts - good and bad - that dominated much of the spotlight.
It was not the implications for the 167 council communities in the MDB and the environmental impact that garnered the nation's interest.
It was, instead, the events of more than two decades ago and the (maybe dodgy, maybe not) actions of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
If evidence is revealed the Prime Minister's actions were unlawful, or even ethically lacking, that will be worthy of such undivided focus.
But, while the whole thing looks far from squeaky clean, no such evidence has appeared.
Despite this, national headlines have been held hostage to the ugly saga for weeks.
A telling example of how much pull this saga has was a media doorstop held by Senator Barnaby Joyce last Wednesday in Canberra.
He fronted the media as the Coalition reaffirmed their support for the MDB plan, despite Nationals Riverina MP Michael McCormack and Liberal Murray MP Sharman Stone moving a disallowance motion against it, due to their concerns about the harmful impacts on their communities.
Senator Joyce said the plan may not be "nirvana", but was "vastly better" for regional communities than if the Greens - pushing for even more water to be returned to the system - had negotiated the deal.
Following these comments journalists did not ask any questions about the plan or the affected communities.
Instead, they focused solely on questions about the PM's past.
Surely MDB communities deserve greater respect than that.
These communities are asking what the Commonwealth's $100 million for economic diversification projects is going to do to assist them.
There are 167 councils, so that's $617,283 apiece. It may be a start, but it won't go very far.