In case you hadn't noticed there is a state election coming up in 10 days. Power poles around Darlinghurst and Sydney are covered in placards featuring the grinning faces of those who wish to represent our neighbourhood's needs on a state level, while on the streets politicians and would-be politicians are handing out flyers in a bid to win our votes.
Last weekend Kings Cross Markets at Fitzroy Gardens was full of pollies. Outgoing NSW Premier Kristina Keneally wandered around the gardens with a bunch of NSW Police's finest and Sydney Lord Mayor and State Member for Sydney, Clover Moore. There was also a couple of people handing out fliers for the Australian Sex Party's candidate Andrew Patterson.
It doesn't seem as heady as it was in the lead-up to the federal election in September last year, when you could barely walk through the gardens without being harassed by Malcolm Turnbull, but the state pollies are putting up a good enough fight.
Without revealing my personal political preferences, Christian Democrats candidate Peter Madden would be wise to crawl back in to whatever dark and damp place on earth he emerged from.
Darlinghurst is in the Seat of Sydney, which covers an area of about 91sqkm of the CBD and the inner east and includes suburbs such as Pyrmont, Ultimo, Chippendale, Surry Hills, Edgecliff, Woollahra and all islands in Sydney Harbour.
Ms Moore has held the seat since 1988, when it was known as Bligh. The seat was renamed Sydney in 2007 when it gained the CBD in a redistribution. Ms Moore has also held the office of Lord Mayor since 2004.
The City of Sydney remains a very safe seat for Moore with a 16.6 per cent margin over Labor.
So who are the alternatives and what are their policies? Here is a quick potted look at the five main candidates for the seat. Click on the candidates's names to visit their websites.
I know that Ms Moore likes dogs and cycleways, but I can't find a list of policies or election promises on her website. I received one of her pamphlets in the mail but it only talks about the things she has done in the past, which date back to 1993 and include the introduction of the Same Sex Adoption Bill, changes to the liquor licensing laws to encourage small bars, and some changes to strata legislation.
Mr Blumen has lived in Sydney for 10 years, holds a doctorate in pure mathematics, is a national energy policy advisor and a past president of the 2011 Residents's Association. He presently lives in Elizabeth Bay. His vision for Sydney includes reducing alcohol-related violence, campaigning for marriage equality and introducing early intervention programs for people experiencing homelessness.
''I stand for a Sydney that is an even better place to live, has a full time voice in parliament and is diverse and inclusive,'' he writes on his election material.
''This is my vision for the Sydney I love.''
Mr Blumen also supports a national price on carbon. He has taken aim at Ms Moore by promising to be a full-time MP and says he wants to reclaim community rights to appeal State Government development decisions.
Mr Bartels is just 33 and a mortgage broker with his own Potts Point-based business, Bartels Property Finance. He was raised on Sydney's north shore and moved to the city electorate 14 years ago. Mr Bartels is the chairman of the Potts Point Partnership, which supports local businesses. He is opposed to the demolition and re-development of Fitzroy Gardens.
Mr Bartels also promises to be a full-time MP, unlike Ms Moore, who juggles positions. As part of the new wave of Liberal thinking, he believes in climate change science and wants an investment in renewable energy technology to create jobs for Sydney. Mr Bartels also wants a whole of government approach to managing late night areas and reducing alcohol-related violence.
Ms Brierley Newton was born and raised in Sydney and is the former head of the Billy Blue School of Graphic Art. She presently runs a communications and advertising consultancy, but promises to be a full-time MP and to run for ''the people of Sydney and not corporations''.
Ms Brierley Newton wants to extend the city's light rail from Central to Circular Quay and the new suburb of Barangaroo, as well as introducing high speed rail between Sydney and other capital cities. She wants greater investment in renewable energy technology and promises to protect the city's food supply by zoning land on the Sydney fringes as agricultural, so that it can't be developed.
Mr Patterson spent 13 years with the Western Australia Police, working up to Detective Sergeant and specialising in child protection and the adult industry. He was a former chief investigator with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption and presently works as an internal ombudsman with the Waringah Council in the city's northern suburbs. He lives in Ultimo.
Mr Patterson joined the Australian Sex Party last year because he is a strong believer in civil liberties, and holds a masters in ethics and legal studies. He wants to extend trial ethics classes to all public schools, introduce voluntary euthanasia laws and stop police sniffer dogs in venues and on the streets. Mr Patterson also advocates for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use and wants drug use to be treated as a health issue and not a criminal one. He also wants to extend the use of drug injecting rooms beyond Kings Cross. The party would also campaign for 24-hour weekend public transport and would argue against internet filtering.
Mr Madden is the director of Heal Our Land Ministries, a frightening religious cult. He claims to be a former sex addict so, naturally, he is now anti-prostitution and wants to halve the number of brothels in Sydney over the next eight years. Mr Madden wants to move Mardis Gras off the streets and in to a stadium, as a bid to curb teenage binge drinking and teenage pregnancy. I really don't want to waste any more time on this bozo, so if you are interested in his polices, visit his website. That's him on the right, with CDP leader Fred Nile.
Election day is Saturday March 26. Polling places open from 8am to 6pm.
Polling places in Darlinghurst include St John's Church Hall, Darlinghurst Public School, St Vincent's Hospital and St Peter's Church Playhouse (Forbes Street).
For more details about pre-polling and enrolling, visit the Australian Electoral Commission's Vote NSW website: