Am I the only one who feels used in this election campaign? It's almost like I want to take a shower. The promises are coming so thick and so fast they make your head spin.

Yesterday, billions for education and over the weekend a billion-dollar weekend on health and schools. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being thrown at us every single day. It has a lottery/auction feel about it.

Does a doctor cost $18 or $8 or nothing?

Is it roads we want or rail or light rail or free buses?


Or second languages? Or more doctors?

And I know that this is what happens in election campaigns but this one feels out of control. This one feels like someone is in the back rooms of their major parties printing money. Is anyone, anywhere actually adding all this up?

Is anyone, anywhere actually working out what is new and what has been reannounced?

And what has been announced then reannounced but brought forward?

National's parental leave deal yesterday to me smacks of cold, hard bribery. National has been dragged kicking and screaming into this debate. They have not been willing participants.

Every move they have made has been a result of private member's bills and/or opposition pressure and promises. This is not a natural policy for them, like tax cuts or roading infrastructure or paying debt or creating jobs. And yet there they are handing it out like candy.

All of a sudden with the polls tightening, and their prospects on a knife edge - nothing is out of bounds.

Not that paid parental leave isn't a good idea or welcome. But it's been welcome for years, it's been debated for years and they've resisted it for years. So why now? Because they want your vote. They don't believe in it, they don't love it, they don't defend it.


Policy should at least in part be driven by genuine belief and desire, not a corrupt retail exchange. I know I sound like someone who's just emerged from a cave - where the hell have I been? This is politics and these are politicians.

But it's just this time it seems or feels like any decorum, any philosophical standing and belief is out the window and replaced by Voter Idol and prizes for anyone with a hand out.