It’s Saturday night in New Zealand and the polls closed three hours
ago. Do you think the kiwis are glued to their television sets sweating
on the score?

Hell yes, they are fixated with the action, screaming and carrying on
big time. Everyone is saying this is a really big night, and if their
side wins they are going to party for a week. People are saying it is
the biggest game in town. It’s just that the TV is tuned to Fox Sports
and everyone is watching the Ranfurly Cup rugby match. The average New
Zealander couldn’t give a stuff about the polls.

So who is going to win? Well it is too close to call as of 10pm. Who deserves to govern?

The Kiwis want change but do National have what it takes to run the
country? It seems most New Zealanders think National Party leader Don Brash
is a “decent bloke.”

In fact, virtually everyone I speak to uses the phrase “decent bloke”
when referring to Brash. Just a shame he can’t remember many of his
party’s policies.

Throughout the campaign he fudged and fumbled his way through
interviews, and not just on obscure policy points. He couldn’t even
give a straight answer about whether National wanted to have an
independent foreign policy.

And to top everything off, he has announced massive tax cuts that would
turn the $4bil surplus into a $3bil deficit. This of course would be
fine if he outlined what programs would be cut to balance the budget,
but the kiwis went to the poll largely blind on this issue.

When you ask people about Helen Clark you get the impression that kiwis
don’t like her style, and that she is “ugly.” Her looks seem way too
important to voters. Who knows, perhaps the New Zealanders should forget
Clark and Brash, and elect Paris Hilton!

Labour’s campaign has been thoroughly dull, except for the scandals.
Clark’s two main scandals included abusing airline staff and being in a
speeding motorcade. Wow! Hardly earth shattering but the mud has stuck.
Labour’s refusal to release costings for their student loans policy was
infinitely more dubious but nobody really seemed to care.

Brash’s main scandal involved lying about the nutty Exclusive
Brethren’s (Christian fundamentalist) brochures about the government
and the Greens. His handling of this matter should have meant game over
for National, but teflon Don just apologised and moved on.

So as of 10pm, it looks increasingly likely NZ First may decide who
governs. And how bad is this for New Zealand? If you took the absolute
worst from the Socialist Alliance economics policy and added Alan
Jones’s social policy and love of law and order, you would get NZ First
leader Winston Peters.

Whoever eventually “wins” this election, it looks like they will be in
charge of a thoroughly dysfunctional mess for the next few years.

On to more important things, Canterbury beat Waikato 23-15.