"You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes".

The celebrated quandary from the film The Matrix is of course one for Winston Peters to contemplate. Meanwhile, the rest of us are still unsure about whether an election unites or divides us.

Witness the collegial Saturday spectacle of citizens strolling to polling stations. It's a Kiwi triennial triumph of tone.

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But pair that with the inevitable zealotry, wincing idealism, old wounds, new wounds, buffoonery, tears and secrecy and we're reminded of how this nation was founded on partisanship.

As a New Zealand kid, life was based on binaries: Protestant or Catholic? Rugby or soccer? Manual or automatic? Tui or DB? Massey Ferguson or John Deere? Labour or National?

And, my favourite new Mexican standoff - Mitre 10 or Bunnings?

MMP has softened things a tad. A mixed-member potpourri of parties makes for a more fluid Government. We're seeing a not quite so east-leaning National, and a not quite so west-leaning Labour.

This new call to compromise is problematic for ideologically entrenched voters.

Frankly I'm enjoying the status of being under the guardianship of a caretaker Government. It's a type of political purgatory, a welcome, calm hiatus in which Winston will choose the red or blue pill.

In three years' time daggers will again be drawn in a country (to steal a line from James K Baxter's Ballad of Calvary Street) "where two old souls go slowly mad, National Mum and Labour Dad".