To political geeks, national elections promise carnivals of fun. We scrutinise them like sports fans obsessing ahead of a major tournament. We rattle off the stats of elections gone by, compare trends, rank the players according to their skills and weaknesses.

This election is shaping up to be the most boring in a while. Andrew Little is boring. Bill English is boring. James Shaw is boring. Peter Dunne is boring.

After 150 years of dominating our Parliaments, white men in politics are very unfashionable. This year's crop of white men are doing nothing to help that.

The exception to the rule is David Seymour, but that's largely because of his gymnastic face and pretend faux pas - you didn't think "The French love the coq" was an accident, did you?

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Even Winston Peters is predictable in his political opportunism. New Zealand's so predictable in its appetite for him.

The past week deepened my ennui. Labour had a Big Announcement and so predictably mucked it up.

It's election year so parties generally use the annual party conference to announce something a bit jazzy. That something should be bold enough to flick the switch on the way we think of the party, and it's especially important when we're not thinking good things about the party.

But then it turned out Labour's Big Announcement, which was aimed at helping young Kiwis into affordable homes, would unfortunately probably ping mums and dads who own a rental.

It's counterproductive, unless of course Labour doesn't want the votes of mums and dads who tend to actually vote, unlike the young people Labour's pitched its policy at.

National didn't fare much better this week. Every third-term Government grows arrogant and so has National.

Andrew Little: boring. Photo / Andrew Warner
Andrew Little: boring. Photo / Andrew Warner

Under normal circumstances I would've expected the resignation or firing of junior Cabinet minister Alfred Ngaro, but that's not going to happen.

Usually, it's accepted a minister threatening to withhold funding unless the funded party keeps its gob firmly shut is - to use a term the Nats understand - "pretty" unethical.

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David Seymour: pretend faux pas. Photo / Jason Oxenham
David Seymour: pretend faux pas. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Just to be clear, Ngaro threatened to use our taxpayer money to stop other people being mean about the National Party. I'm not okay with that.

National should fire Alfred Ngaro to assure us the party doesn't operate as he suggested it does, but National's too arrogant to think it needs to fire him.

Gerry Brownlee: kept his portfolio. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Gerry Brownlee: kept his portfolio. Photo / Jason Oxenham

It is, after all, the party of Gerry Brownlee: the man who wouldn't go the long way through Christchurch airport, broke the aviation rules, and kept the job of transport minister anyway.

This election we don't even have the usual halftime entertainment to look forward to. We have no Colin Craig to pose in the long grass for photographs. We have no giant German to organise a Moment of Truth event that, once under way, bears no resemblance to its name.

Alfred Ngaro: not fired. Photo / Dean Purcell
Alfred Ngaro: not fired. Photo / Dean Purcell

We don't even have the political streaker of Nicky Hager to attract our attention while the game is on. For once Hager's done the responsible thing by releasing his book outside the campaign period.

Gareth Morgan is our last chance of entertainment, but thus far he has only managed to attract ridicule for some pretty good policy ideas and further ridicule for his inability to be interviewed without resorting to shouting.

Garth Morgan: funniest of the lot. Photo / Andrew Warner
Garth Morgan: funniest of the lot. Photo / Andrew Warner

He's too good at attracting ridicule. No one's listening now.

It is possible that out of nothing else to talk about, we may find ourselves discussing the merits of parties' policies this year.

I'm pinning my hopes on the fact the politicians will rise to the challenge with decent policies.

Perhaps a plan that will actually deliver affordable houses rather than pretending to, a plan to relieve Auckland's congestion, a plan to lift wages, a plan to clean up our water.

If a decent policy during this year's election can fix even one of these issues, the boredom is worth it.