Debates for PM and would-be not minor players

The Green Party wants to be in the main leaders’ debates on television:

. . . The Greens have made a formal request to TV One and TV3 for a co-leader to join the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition, rather than take part in the minor parties debate – which has been the typical election format.

The Greens say their 12 percent polling position puts them in a different league to the other smaller parties which are polling around 5 percent or less.

They might be the biggest of the wee parties but neither of their co-leaders is going to be Prime Minister nor lead the opposition.

The National and Labour leaders aren’t invited to debate just because of their parties’ size or popularity but because the winner will lead the country and the other will lead the opposition.

The debates are designed to allow us to see and hear from the PM and the one trying to replace him and mercifully neither of the Green co-leaders will hold either of those positions.

4 Responses to Debates for PM and would-be not minor players

  1. TraceyS says:

    At 12% they are still much closer in significance to the small parties than they are to the large ones.

    Hopefully the request will be declined.

  2. Andrei says:

    What does it matter, the debates are just more meaningless pap to fill up out TV screens, Prime Minister Idol 2014.

    All part of the empty noise designed to keep us distracted from the depredations of our rulers in our Potemkin Democracy.

  3. themoonrakers says:

    The trouble with that point of view is it creates a dual political system and smaller candidates are swept to one side- it projects and enforces the idea that there’s only two choices (see: republicans/democrats). What if the Greens were to go on the major TV debate and polled higher for it? Well then, that’d be an upset to a carefully maintained system of political control and default (ie. it doesn’t matter whether Labour or National wins, the changes they make will be minimal and in reality both are closely aligned in the political spectrum, and forces of change will dictate how a govt is perceived anyway- Labour supporters point to the economy growing during Ms. Clark’s leadership, though in reality the global economy was going through a bubble at the time which subsequently burst, based on banks overextending themselves and a culture of greed*)

    In other words: we have a dual political system which very cannily presents two idealistically similar, differently packaged candidates. Any third parties being given a ‘real’ chance at any kind of majority would be shot down by either party, because they want to maintain control, of course.

  4. J Bloggs says:

    Should this happen the big loser would be Labour. Key can afford to have both of them up there in the debate – it would allow him to keep hammering the point that the two opposition parties are inextricably linked and that a vote for Labour means the Greens as well. The Greens would be winners from the increased status/profile. Labour would get nothing out of having the Greens alongside them, indeed, it would threaten thier image as leaders of the opposition – something they’ve really only just regained after Shearer more or less allowed Russel to be the dominant opposition spokesperson.

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