Is this a boring election?

Is this New Zealand's most boring election ever? It must come close.  I've attended three election meetings and the exchanges have been bland, unexciting and completely lacking in passion or fireworks.

I have been following elections since 1963 (I recall that one was particularly dull). There have been titanic struggles: Clark vs Key in 2008, Lange and Muldoon in 1984, Kirk and Marshall in 1972. All of those led to changes of government. This one is not even shaping up to be close - if the polls are to be believed.

It seems that we have expended our passion on the rugby and are hanging out for Xmas, summer, the beach and a spell away from work. Elections? 'Who cares, National will win', seems to be the mood, followed by "That's ok, I like John Key."

Which leaves Labour spluttering and struggling to get any traction on issues. The issues ought to be contentious: taking on more debt vs asset sales, more welfare spending vs less, poverty, tax cuts and so on. But no, the polls have us yawning, trusting John and turning away from Phil.

The most fascinating question the media is asking at the moment is whether Key will do a deal in Epsom to put ACT into Parliament, or whether he can afford to shut them out altogether.

He hardly needs a loudmouth like Banks back in Parliament, nor would he likely welcome Brash sitting there giving him advice that he doesn't want to hear about the economy.

The other remarkable feature is the blue rinse that the Greens have put through their economic policies. Recently on Q&A, the Marxist scholar Russel Norman endorsed the market economy and Wellington Central candidate James Shaw is out there backing foreign investment. Good grief! What has provoked this abandonment of the previous policies of economic autarky?

Two things it would seem: one is the realisation that Labour is going nowhere except down the plughole, and that while the Greens may be the alternative for lefty voters, shifting votes from Labour to the Greens doesn't lift the total centre left vote.

The second factor is that the Greens are now run by people who rather fancy exerting a spot of power and influence. The usual language is to say "I want to make a difference about...." But the reality is that they want power.

So it's now dead rat time. The Greens are getting ready to do a deal with National - any deal that will get them some real influence over something: anything will do. 

That's why they are sounding more economically progressive, more urban, and business like than before, and the candidates look younger, sharper and smarter.

Problem is that on current polling figures, the Nats don't need them, but may well do a deal anyway to keep the Greens away from Labour.

Perhaps something will happen to excite us in the next two weeks. Meantime there are great programmes on the new SoHo channel to keep us entertained. Watch this month while they are free.