by Dr Jon Johansson

Beyond the cries of 'Muldoonism' and 'North Korean', the Labour-Greens power announcement is an important landmark on the road to the 2014 election – a challenge to orthodoxy and the rise of an alternative

There is a scene in Bladerunner’ where the beautiful android Pris, played by Daryl Hannah, is shot and goes into a furious and wild death thrash, with her limbs flaying all over the show as her short shelf life disappears before her maddening eyes.

 Political Notes from 2012: o'seas & domestic political rants of a purely existential nature - no strings attached version

The dragon is a sign of power, virility, of the yang. I suppose the signs of it have been everywhere but it’s taken me all year to catch up to their rhythm.

John Key's decision to speak out against MMP smells of partisan greed and hubris. It also raises questions for women, Asian and Pasifika voters and about what his tactics have been all along

I was staggered to hear on television Prime Minister John Key say that although he was "not entirely unhappy" with MMP, he intended to vote for change. The PM said while he likes proportionality, he "slightly prefers the characteristics of Supplementary Member (SM)".

Natural and international disasters have absolved National of the usual competency tests, but do New Zealanders really want a single party majority government?

As polls continue to show National postioned to govern alone just two weeks out from the election, voters are going to have to confront a stark choice. Do they want any government, let alone this one, to govern on its own.

Why would I choose to make my vote less equal? Or, the growing challenge from the Supplementary Member system and how MMP can adapt and triumph in the referendum

The battle lines over the referendum on MMP are chrystal clear now that the Judith Tizard list fiasco has washed over the body politic.

Spreading the Christmas cheer before he takes time off to finish his next book, Jon reviews 2008's stand-out political performances, for good and ill,

This is my last column for the time being as I have a book to finish. I have enjoyed the opportunity of writing for Pundit and believe Tim and Eleanor’s site has proven a quality addition to on-line punditry.

Cue harmonica: It looks like the more things change in parliament, the more they stay the same.

The first week of our new government has been highly instructive. Given nine years to think about its approach to governing, and given the same period to learn from Labour’s mistakes, National has begun its term in precisely the fashion Labour ended up being reviled for, the brute exercise of power.

Yes, the technology revolution has allowed many more people to participate in their democracy, but the most successful outgrowth of that revolution--the partisan political blog--does more to cloud than elucidate democratic discourse

The only way to start this column is by admitting I’m part of the problem, with the problem being defined as the sheer noise of democratic discourse in contemporary society complicating attempts at either moderation or leadership.

Jon wallows in sickly misery and nostalgia with Hunter S. Thompson as his only guide

I’ve had the dreaded lurgy for a week. Rugged up at home my companion has been Hunter S.

Jon dispenses with aroha to explore John Key's retrograde plan to restore knighthoods

There is plenty about our new government to analyse, not least the fragility of its two wings. We have a Maori Party claiming a mandate that far exceeds the fractiously stark reality of just how few Maori bothered to vote at the election and the party’s own inability to win all seven Maori seats.