OPINION: The pollies are off for three long weeks and this would normally be the perfect opportunity for some serious political analysis. But in the spirit of Easter, I thought I would look at the odds of these 10 things rising again instead.
He first sprung on the political scene as a young economist but lost his bid to win East Coast Bays for National after falling foul of then-leader Rob Muldoon. His star rapidly rose and then plummeted in his second coming as National's leader. His third coming as ACT leader was just as spectacular and, ultimately, just as doomed. What are the odds of him rising again? Even longer than the odds of a Black Caps series whitewash of Australia.
Peter Dunne's hair
Who knew that mop on UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne's head would become a political asset.
The bouffant one has endured years of political humour – is that a possum on your head or are you just pleased to see me? (You get the gist). But in 2011 Mr Dunne turned the tables with a spoof hair video and nabbed himself a slot on prime time television. Sadly for Mr Dunne, however, there is only so much political mileage to be made out of a hair-do. Like a souffle, the joke isn't going to rise twice.
The former Labour finance spokesman never looked better as a Labour leadership contender than he did at the start of the year after new leader David Shearer dropped from sight.
With the benefit of actually being visible, Mr Cunliffe might even have done enough to cause a few MPs to wonder if they picked the right man. But the rise and rise of No2 Grant Robertson and, increasingly, rookie MP Andrew Little, has probably put paid to any hope Mr Cunliffe might have of topping the list of those wanting a crack at the leadership before 2014.
Labour's poll ratings
It is probably safe to put money on Labour's poll ratings rising sometime during the next three years – but when? After a disastrous election and a leadership change, it seemed the only way was up, especially after a dismal start to the year by National – think Nick Smith, Treaty clauses, Crafar farms and ACC.
Labour seems to be banking on the "Oppositions don't win elections, Governments lose them" strategy, and kept Mr Shearer out of the fray. But that strategy is a hangover from the old days when there was only one Opposition – and while Mr Shearer tours the heartland "reconnecting with the grassroots", the Greens have nicked all the best lines, hired all the best staff and climbed several rungs in the polls.
We hear, however, that there is growing tension in Mr Shearer's office between those who favour the heartland strategy and those who are tired of seeing Russel Norman's and Winston Peters' mugs on the 6pm news and want their man there instead. The next poll results might bring that to a head.
Last drinks for 3.2?
Stumped? 3.2 is the name given around the traps to Parliament's third-floor bar Pickwicks, at which MPs, journalists, lobbyists, and various hangers-on used to stand cheek by jowl. But the smoking ban and a new generation of MPs who would rather be in the gym has turned 3.2 into a sad and lonely shadow of its former self. Like the 6 o'clock swill, 3.2 has had its day.
Just as video killed the radio star, Prime Minister John Key and Peter Dunne between them probably killed planking. Once your political leaders start mugging the cameras with the latest craze there is only one way it can go, and that is down.
Likewise Nek Minnut. It was all the rage until the elderly Pita Sharples, the Maori Party co-leader, used it on the 6pm news the day after the election. Heard it since?
The Maori Party
If the foreshore and seabed revolt was the Maori Party's peak, then election 2014 seems likely to mark its trough. Tariana Turia and Dr Sharples are set to retire either before or at the next election, and the defection of Hone Harawira took what left of any remaining spark out of the party.
David Carter's appointment as Local Government Minister has sparked speculation that Dr Smith could be back before the end of the year, since Mr Carter is favoured to move into the Speaker's chair later this year.
That may or may not be the case – Building and Housing Minister Maurice Williamson might also have a strong argument in favour of picking up the local government portfolio, given his work on the leaky buildings package and good relationship with local bodies.
Whatever happens, it seems unlikely that Dr Smith will remain in the wilderness for long. His fall from grace after admitting a conflict of interest over an ACC claimant whose case he intervened in will only be seen as a temporary blip. He is too brainy, and his green credentials too useful to National, for Mr Key to wait too long before rehabilitating Dr Smith into Cabinet.
The pension age
2011 was Labour's hair shirt campaign – it ran on not one but two deeply unpopular policies, a capital gains tax and raising the pension age. But having already signalled its intention to retain the capital gains tax, the odds are Labour will keep the hair shirt and stick to raising the pension age as well, though with some tweaking.
There are good reasons for doing so. Even if it ditches the policy, the debate won't go away – and National has never looked less convincing than when it tries to defend its reasons for keeping the pension age as is.
Labour got plenty of kudos for tackling the issue head-on last time and it certainly shores up its claim to be the more fiscally responsible party, especially if the Government's books continue to look a bit peaky.
She was a running gag on the 2011 election trail, is a fixture of the after-dinner speaking circuit and gives Mr Key unconditional love. If the exploits of the Key family cat, Moonbeam, don't make a return on the 2014 campaign trail we will be very surprised.
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