Dammit - I reckon this election is shaping up to be one of the most dirrrty in ages. This is unsubstantiated and, since I've been out of the political loop for the last wee while, certainly contestable, but consider a cursory glance at the evidence:
1) Secret recordings at a National Party Cocktail party by person or persons unknown from the left. Being on the sqeamish side I'm hoping it was done right before the person concerned exited the country for an extended OE.
2) The recording and subsequent reporting of a casual suggestion from the floor at the Labour Party congress earlier this year. Instant scandal. Note the way this, coupled with the first in a string of donation scandals linked to Owen Glenn, resulted in the ill-advised offer of party president Mike Williams to resign.
3) The debacle that calls itself Winston Peters coupled with Owen Glenn's continuing embroilment in matters to do with political funding. Political philanthropy has hit the mat and looks like it won't be getting up in a hurry.
4) The revelation the National uses the odious Crosby-Textor. Nasty - just nasty. Democracy in New Zealand takes a round-house right in the eye.
5) In keeping with the CT approach, National's annoucement that it will put breast cancer treatment Herceptin on the list at Pharmac - a clear tug at our sympathies towards breasts and the women attached to them and devoid of a well-developed health policy context. Remember - a vote for National is a vote for your mum's boobs but exactly what else is still debatable.
6) Robinsod, Whaleoil (whaleoil.co.nz) - no further comment required.
7) National's apparent attempts to control editorial content at a number of APN newspapers after the Bay Report quoted John Key saying he "would love to see wages drop".
8) The Standard's continuing campaign against John Key. Solid, oh so solid and featuring such notable moments (in addition to the CT and Bay Report threads) as the "Clocks" copyright fiasco, and the observation that Bill English was the one who dobbed in Key for visiting his "batch" in Hawaii. Fran O'Sullivan's sudden arrival on the comments threads on at least two separate occasions had reasonable comedy value also.
I'm sure there's more - feel free to weigh in....