On the face of it, Labour would seem deserving of much applause for rule changes which now make the election of the party's leader a far better exercise in democracy.
Week in politics
There is an old saying that being the Leader of the Opposition is the worst job in politics. The role has one rather large thing going for it, however.
A boadicea with a Mona Lisa smile plus a wickedly infectious chuckle to boot?
Journalists are by nature deeply suspicious of politicians and the motives which drive them, and vice-versa.
It is a rare day in Parliament that someone gets the better of Winston Peters.
When rumours of a Labour leadership coup broke on Tuesday night, I bumped into a Green MP as I was racing back to the office.
Don't write the Maori Party off yet.
National's decision - very much John Key's decision - to bite the bullet and set a 2020 start for building the $2.9 billion Auckland City Rail Link is a political masterstroke.
They are a bunch of ''bozos''; Winston Peters' attacks on Chinese tourists are ''madness''; and Labour's promotion of a capital gains tax is a ''dog'' of a policy.
What were they thinking?
As a gesture to the allergic and the asthmatic - a gesture which was inevitably interpreted by opponents as yet another tribute to the Gods of Political Correctness - last weekend's Greens' conference was officially ''fragrance-free''.
It was bad news enough for Labour this week that two major opinion polls registered morale-sapping widening of the gulf in the party's support compared with National's rating - a gap which had begun to close in previous months.
You do not have to burrow too deeply into the annual government accounts to uncover the untold story of last week's Budget.
One of the reasons why governments slowly decay and die is that the longer they are in office the more prone they become to ugly pragmatism and compromise of principle.
Does anyone outside the Wellington beltway really give a toss about Aaron Gilmore, a parliamentary nobody who beyond fulfilling his duties as backbench lobby fodder is an utter and complete irrelevance when it comes to matters of real political import?
The man who usually walked alongside the Labour leader to guide them on to a marae was not there this time. Instead, Labour's leader and his caucus were going on to a small marae in Tolaga Bay to farewell him.
In the week or so since it revealed its hugely controversial plan to slash power prices, Labour has bared its teeth in venomous fashion at anyone questioning the wisdom of breaking up the wholesale electricity market just as it is showing signs of functioning as intended.
The latest annual report of the Inspector-general of Intelligence and Security is not going to weigh down the briefcase of your average pie-eating, Penthouse-consuming spook.
For the past two weeks John Key has been under the cosh from National's opponents to a degree not witnessed previously during his four year-plus stint as prime minister.
Like every good public servant inculcated with the bureaucracy's ethos of caution and restraint, Iain Rennie chooses his words very, very carefully.