In old rich Europe and the United States, 2016 has been the year of the populist in politics.
Bill English and Paula Bennett are now assembling their ministry. Their task: to continue the Key government without John Key but also to demonstrate they are not the Key-government-without-Key.
On Saturday, there is the Mt Roskill by-election. On Sunday, there are two votes that could have a far bigger long-term effect.
For seven decades after 1945 the United States proclaimed itself the global standard-bearer of democracy - and broadly was. No longer.
A visiting Hong Kong democracy activist and former top public servant had this advice last week: ``It is in each country's interests to be clear about the terms of engagement.''
It's the third term, for sure. Last week, Michael Woodhouse dribbled some policy coolant on a political hot spot: hot immigration numbers. Judith Collins tried the same on police numbers.
Helen Clark doesn't know when to bow out. That is not a statement about her bid to boss the United Nations. It is about her bossing the Labour Party.
John Key declared on The Nation that he would serve out a fourth term if re-elected. That would make him the third-longest-serving prime minister.
Bugger the pollsters, Jim Bolger famously said on election night in 1993. The (TVNZ) poll is bogus, Andrew Little grumped last week.
Rule by citizens: that ideal drew a leading Young New Zealand First member to be active in Winston Peters' party.
The constitution - the rules governing who has power and how it is used - has been back in focus this month.
Three National ministers and an MP proclaimed in Parliament last Wednesday their ``pride'' in what their Government has done on climate change. Really?
Trouble at t' mill! Teachers and Hekia Parata are in a standoff over ``global funding''. But is something bigger in the air?
Winston Peters has banged on about immigration for close to a quarter-century. In the 1996 election, it was his salient point of distinction, as Asian migrant numbers climbed.
Dorothy Adams, head of Bill English's social investment unit, is from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), has a State Services Commission (SSC) email address and is quartered in the Treasury. Meet the new public sector.
Winston Peters has taken to saying low interest rates discourage savers. He might add: they hurt his primary constituency.
On the sidelines of Britain's frenetic commentary on its Brexit vote has been a debate about the "regions'' and their councils. Was London, the capital, too up itself? Is Wellington?
If David Cameron had wanted a guide to the risk he was running in putting Britain's future with Europe to a referendum, he might have scanned Jim Bolger's mistake with MMP.
There is global turmoil and the forces on Labour's side of politics are divided.