We’re in the final few days of an election campaign that has had it all – comedy, conspiracy and claims of dirty politics – though none of it has dented New Zealand National Prime Minister John Key’s chances of winning a third term in power. The predictions market puts 80% odds on a National prime minister after this Saturday’s election. For those tuning in late to what has been a dramatic and sometimes bizarre campaign, here’s just a taste of what you’ve missed. A German internet entrepreneur wanted for extradition by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kim Dotcom, blows NZ$3.5 million to set up a political party with the hope of taking down the Prime Minister. He flies in Pulitzer prize-winner Glenn Greenwald to allege that the NZ government conducts mass cyber-surveillance of its citizens. Unable to stand for office himself as he isn’t a citizen, Dotcom makes a pre-electoral pact with a Maori MP (Hone Harawira, Mana Party) to give his Internet Party something more than a nag’s chance. Meanwhile, an investigative journalist unleashes scandal after scandal by publishing hacked emails from the right-wing blogger behind a site called Whale Oil.
The first head to roll following these revelations is no less than the (now former) minister of justice. She is now aiming to clear up suspicions that, with help from her friend the blogger, she was “gunning for” the head of the Serious Fraud Office.
Throughout this, a seemingly Teflon-coated Prime Minister tells Kiwis they’re “on the cusp of something special” – without being too specific about what that will mean – all the while denying allegations about mass surveillance of New Zealanders.
Full Article: A beginner’s guide to New Zealand’s strangest election.