Did you watch the debate? What did you think? Just about everyone was asking those questions the day after TVNZ showcased the leaders on Tuesday night. The election is suddenly "on" but never can I remember voting at such an uncertain time.
When people ask what you thought of a political contest they're usually dying to give you their verdict. This time nobody wanted to go first. If they were National people they needed to hear the party has a leader with the required qualities now. Yes it does.
If they were Labour they wanted reassurance their front-runner hadn't fallen over. No she didn't.
But beyond that, what did the debate tell us? It told me Judith Collins has life experience and not just in law. When social problems came up she could refer to her childhood in a sub-standard house and her husband feeling he should leave school too young. She grew up on a farm. When Jacinda Ardern talks on these subjects she sounds like a policy paper.
Collins nailed her on child poverty, using the material deprivation survey, the only metric that matters. Ardern sought refuge in income statistics which can be improved simply by raising benefits. The deprivation survey indicates whether the money is providing the things children need.
But winning a contest is hollow when your opponent doesn't turn up. The Prime Minister had said she wasn't going to engage, intending only to use the debate to get her "message" across. Pity, Collins deserves to be attacked for abandoning heating standards for rental homes and proposing tax cuts with borrowed money.
Ardern has the very good fortune to be governing in a crisis and it has given her government a focus it lacked through its first two years. Her message was a recovery plan involving a lot of "Double Judy". She wasn't looking cross-eyed at Collins, it was jargon for projects that provide jobs as well as infrastructure, which they all do really.
She doesn't actually have a plan, of course - and you can't blame her for that, no matter how much Labour's focus groups are telling her they want one. We would all like some certainty about the immediate future and there simply is none. There is no history for what has happened this year. The world has had many pandemics before – the Spanish flu a century ago was as contagious as Covid-19 and more deadly – but governments have never responded with economic and social lockdowns on the scale we have now experienced.
The economic consequences may be dire but even that is not certain. New Zealand bounced back from its first lockdown surprisingly well in June and July. Maybe we'll recover from the second just as quickly but I wouldn't count on it. The August shock has told business owners they could be ordered to close again tomorrow if an unsourced case turns up in their city.
If they're lucky there will be no more shut-downs and we'll be left with nothing worse than the carnage done to our public finances and our money by the deficits and debt the Government is running to avoid massive unemployment.
Yet even financial carnage is uncertain. It would be frightening if New Zealand was the only country debasing its currency in this predicament. But almost all countries have thrown their money to the four winds, their central banks buying bonds their governments have issued, thereby printing money without limit.
The usual limits, fear of inflation and devaluation, no longer apply. Inflation did not reappear in countries that adopted "quantitative easing" after the 2008 financial crisis and devaluation is not a risk when your trading partners are doing the same.
So with nothing to fear from printing as much money as we like, we can do anything, can't we? Build an Auckland harbour tunnel now. Turn all of SH1 into a four-lane motorway, with median barriers. Give all renting families a deposit on a million-dollar house.
Economics has lost its bearings. Central bankers are wondering what monetary stability means now and whether it even matters any more. And we need to choose a government for the next three years.
I am often grateful for the good sense of our major parties, never more so than on Tuesday night. Moderator John Campbell suggested money is no limit to our ambitions now and neither of the leaders took the bait.
A year from now the virus will have run its course and nations will need to restore real value to their investments and currencies. Or we might be in a new world where money is no object, nobody need work and not much is produced. Nothing is certain but I'm going to vote for the recovery of as much as we can of the fine economy we had.