As usual politics is the name of the game this year, with sport, art, Merv of Mangakino, and Shrek's progeny all fading into the background. Fair to say many aren't really interested but that's their loss. If you don't vote they say, you have nothing to whinge about later.
So who are the big players in this years event. Well forget party politics, they simply don't exist. And that's not just down to the leaders of those parties. Nope the way things pan out is purely down to media machinations. The leaders are the face of the campaigns, quite literally. Sure the parties have billboards out extolling local politicians, and equally many other billboards asking you to vote for a party. But what of those parties? How many honest and hardworking kiwis could name two maybe three other politicians in those parties that are not the leader?
And there in lies the conundrum. We're not voting for National or Labour or the other MMP also rans (well Labour could arguably be an also ran) but for the faces that lead those parties. And the media stands these leaders up and gets them to extol their party virtues. But why, what of the other decision makers within that party? Could we not have Bill English talking his field of dreams, Tau Henare on why he lived in National so long without becoming the countries first Maori PM, or some other obscure cabinet minister rabbiting on about Health (OK!! Tony Ryall is a rabbiter though some would say Myxomatosis pervades the Health system which by the way was introduced by Labour's then MoH Helen Clark).
But what of the Parties? Here's my unbiased view (yes I vote for two parties)
National - less than irrational, sometimes factional, totally functional, will rule!
Labour - unsaviour, bollocks behaviour, a ranting raver, no facer saver, slip sliding away.
Greens - in cars bikes unseen, detracting, defracking, nonsense subtracting, multiplying, defying, treasury worrying,
New Zealand First - about to burst, nothing worse, frothy, glossy, pithy, dizzy, old and grizzly.
Maori Party - Largely silent, nonviolent, wealth for all, slowly falling, bearing the scars, Kia kaha.
Conservatives - Good Polls, Can't think why, silly walkers, silly talkers. MMP gone wrong, someone write that song.
United Future - Get up, Stand Up, Stand up For Your rights!! Was Bob a Christian?
Internet Mana - The Wizard of Oz, Becoz becoz. becoz we are the Wizard of Oz. Oops wrong country.
ACT - regrettably not a state of Australia (some think it should be) Kingmakers huh!! I didn't know John Key was running for King of Aotearoa, but self governance long overdue!!
NZ Independent Coalition - so that's Mike King, Rhys Darby, Te Radar, Ewen Gilmour and all other Kiwi comedians telling the same joke.
Yeah ok, I do take politics seriously. Party Vote Len Brown Coalition and get Tama Iti at the helm (yeah the SIS and GCSB are gone)
Oh and what's a political post without predictions? National will govern with UF alone, ACT won't get in. Labour will drop (worryingly for them) and Greens will rise (Worrying for Labour and country as a whole) Winston's Gold Card will get him more votes as the Baby Boomers hit retirement - nuisance factor, Maori Party will further decline as voters switch to the more charismatic Hone, and Hone's unnatural Alliance with Herr Harre will benefit as younger voters hit the hustings in the name of Internet. Brendon Horan will be packing sausages for Sir Mad Butcher. The surprise package as already evident in the pollings, Conservative? If John Key needs another seat, then Craig is his man.