Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Today's was written by ACM national agriculture reporter Chris McLennan.
It was an election night and here we were heading to a birthday party in the city.
Election night on the television is generally required viewing but there was nothing to be done as the invitation had been accepted.
Our car's online map warned there was roadwork ahead on the four lane Western Freeway heading into Melbourne and to expect a delay of up to 15 minutes.
Instead there was a traffic snarl which meant we were eventually an hour late.
While creeping along bumper to bumper fuming at the injustice of it all, we inched past an horrific scene, the cause of the delay.
Multiple ambulances, police, fire engines - even a rescue chopper adjacent to the freeway itself.
We learned later a tragedy had occurred.
A van and truck, held up by roadworks apparently, had collided.
The van's driver had died.
We choked down our own frustration at witnessing the aftermath, the awful Saturday night for loved ones as they were told the news.
Our delay was nothing.
It also bought the election into perspective.
I had voted earlier that day in a meaningless exercise.
I live in a safe ALP seat, nothing my tiny sliver of democracy could do to make any difference.
That fatality will stay with me heading into the Victorian election later in the year.
The writing had been on the wall for ScoMo for a long time, people wanted change.
It only remained for the election campaign to test whether the contender, Mr Albanese, was up to it.
None of us knew much about him.
That first day of campaigning when he was caught out on some economic numbers, it was purely a media storm in a teacup.
None of us ordinary voters, the great unwashed, knew the cash or unemployment rate either.
We told ourselves as long as Albo didn't keep stumbling then he was still worth a go.
And so it proved to be.
I didn't go into the booth to vote for either one of them, I was asked to vote on the local candidates and I was focused on local issues.
We use that Western Freeway a lot and it is dangerous.
Two lanes either way pouring untold numbers of trucks and traffic from Adelaide and beyond into Melbourne.
It should at least be three lanes either way to Melton - it just can't cope with the traffic.
And the freeway's surface is broken up and littered with asphalt band-aids, more danger.
I am embarrassed to admit I did some Googling when I fronted the cardboard bench with voting slips in hand at my polling booth.
On the way in I had scanned the handouts from the candidates to see if anyone mentioned Western Freeway.
That speedy Google search failed to uncover any major policy pledges from the main candidates either.
I will do better next time around at the state poll.
I will read the leaflets in my letter-box more closely, hope to see the candidates pressing the flesh in the town, email and ask questions.
What plan do you have to fix the freeway?
I won't forget this time, I have a permanent Post-it note stuck to my brain from that horror we could almost reach out and touch on election night.
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