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Hamish McKenzie - journalism student, London, Ontario

Friday, July 29, 2005

A politically-themed post, for a change

So, the latest polls are interesting. A big swing in favour of Labour -- and this before their student loan policy king-hit. Like I said in my last post, it's stupid to read too much into any poll this far out from the election, but you have to admit it's bad news for National. Not only have they suffered a set-back, but so has their only potential coalition partner.

The Greens, meanwhile, might also be a tad worried. They've been hanging tough around the five percent mark for a while, but the Herald poll puts them at just 3.2 percent. It's worth noting, however, that the last Herald poll also put the Greens at lower support than others (the TV3 poll, for example, had the Greens at six percent). But shit, I don't want to be guilty of the same crime I'm accusing Farrar, Bhatnagar, and Jordan of. Let's just remember there are more than 50 volatile campaign days ahead of us. A lot can, and probably will, happen.

Meanwhile, TV3's deplorable decision to only have six party leaders for its debate will effectively decide the future of either ACT or United Future. As Peter Dunne told NZPA recently, exposure from televised leaders debates was the only way to make himself heard amidst the clamour and attention demanded by the larger parties. "I got the chance, on national television for the first time, to say what I had been saying for a decade," said Dunne. TV3 would do well to stop interferring with democracy and open up its debate to seven leaders. That would only unfairly exclude Jim Anderton, and no one would mind that.

In more important news, though, in a move of unprecedented daring, Aaron Bhatnagar has replaced his mug-shot with a more reflective man-of-leisure portrait. Perhaps this signals a new direction for he-of-the-exquisite-hair; a new quest for the deeper truth.