TV3 Cancels Leaders debate

TV3 has canceled their planned leaders debate which was supposed to feature all the party leaders after Helen Clark and John Key refused to share the platform with the minor parties.

John Key and Helen Clark have made it clear that one of them will be the next prime minister and therefore have no time to share the limelight with the smaller parties.

As expected, the minor parties are unimpressed with the Greens’ Jeanette Fitzsimons claiming that TV3 had been bullied by Labour and National and that the MMP parties had been gagged.

TV3 is now said to have a head-to-head debate “under active consideration” while TVNZ will host two head-to-head debates and a separate debate for the minor party leaders.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • MrCynical

    They can bitch and moan all they like, but they simply aren’t as important as the big parties.

    And no one takes the greens seriously anyway.

  • someone

    TV3 what a cheap cop out, you worthless DORKS, and you call yourself a broadcaster.

    Just because Helen Clark and John Key will not play the game on your show, forget then lets all vote for the minor parties and when Labor & national loose out on votes this election they should wake up their ideas for next election. Dont worry one of these two will be back, no matter how many votes the minor parties pick up, with MMP if there is no out right winner the one that gets the bronze medal takes the main prize.

    Come on TV3 lets hear what the minor parties want to do and we can vote for them.

    Because I am sure not impressed I will not be voting for Labor & national if they want to screw the votes mind with there childish behaver, nor will I vote for TV3 for that matter.

  • MrCynical

    There is no real point in just the minor parties doing their thing, because without the big ones they are nothing. Yes they play an important part, WITHIN a coalition, but on their own, they are worthless.

    They can say all they like about what they want to do, but if one of the big parties don’t want to…its just talking out their butts.

    Oh and it is “their” not “there”.

  • someone

    MrCynical you really need to start thinking inside the square.

    A lot of people do vote for them if the the main partys are going to be gutless lets see what else is worth voting

    Oh and why dont you ram your English lesson up your arse, if you are happy to see TV3 ram a communist attitude down our throat, they are almost saying if you cant vote for one of the main two partys you may as well waste your vote. (think about it – inside the square).

  • Getoverit

    Oh for gods sake. TV3 owe us nothing, they aren’t a public service broadcaster, aren’t public funded, aren’t state owned. They can do what they like. Get over it.

  • someone

    um Getoverit

    Who said they were? I didnt, get a brain look at the logic, they were going to broadcast it, then they canned it because Helen Clark and John Key got childish, it just means they have given the finger to the minor partys and now spending that money on something else.

    And G in God should be capital.

  • MrCynical

    The logic still seems to escape you. Wasting your vote would be exactly what you are doing if you listen to promises that a minor party makes you without the backing of a larger party. They could reform all they want, but without national or labour’s blessing then it isn’t going to happen.

    Also, the ratings bomb it would be, they aren’t called minor parties for nothing. Because the majority of NZ don’t vote for them, watching them spout off pointless rhetoric would mean a pathetic amount of viewers and they obviously had it ready for a prime time slot.

    Two more points, swearing at someone doesn’t help your side of a debate, and there is no god so there is no point in capitalising it.

  • someone

    No the logic does not escape me at all, I think you have a bit of trouble gripping it.

    So what if I used D**** and a***, It is not totally fowl and I am sure if it was “swearing” the moderator would of removed it, I only used these strange words as I only came here for a comment on TV programs not a English lesson.

    It is just that I am more Christen than devil, so I think God is a person even if he is not real, a bit like we say Wednesday not wednesday.

    The main reason why labor & National are main partys because the news media paint it that way, just like TV3 have done canceling the planned leaders debate they dont want too pull everyones head out of the sand, (like yours).

    All I am trying to say is, lets hear what the other partys have to say so they can have a fair go, then after the election if it does not make any difference then TV3 will have proof they are right.

    Of coarse in the mid 70’s election (Rowling – Muldoon) the media said Labor would would win and continue, so labor people did not go out to vote and National took the election, so there is proof the media is not aways right and can and have manipulated the voters, just like they are doing now.

  • MrCynical

    I never turn down the opportunity to learn something new. This apepars to be something you have closed your mind to…

    But, it is parties not partys.

    I do not respect the concept of god, I do not capitalise it for that reason.

    So are you suggesting that anyone who votes for either national or labour …. is just wrong? That they should vote for a minor party, simply because they are a minor party?

  • someone

    Oh what? Grow up now you are just becomeing a time wasting jerk off. I am sorry but you just go on and on and on over nothing new.

    Now I am going over what I have almost already said.
    lets go step by step & look at the facts.

    (1) TV3 was intending to have a program on TV lets call it the “leaders debate”
    (2) Helen Clark and John Key refused to take part, (no doubt, they felt if they took part they could only loose votes).

    well excess me, there are other partys out there that might like to voice their party plans if they are to become part of the next NZ government, or if by some miracle they do get enough votes to become a government all by themself.

    excess me, you are the one along with TV3 that are promoting the idea that they should close their minds off, saying when you go to the polls on election day you either vote labor or national or you may as well forget voteing. this argument would of been valid in the “first past the post days” but we now have MMP (or dont you know about that, do you know about MMP maybe TV3 has troble as well) and now minor partys can get their finger in the pie if they get enough vote, (its happened already since MMP came along) …………….. WHICH IS WHY I ASK, LETS HEAR FROM THEM. who knows, maybe they might prove on TV3 program they are not worth voteing for, which in all honestly would be of great value to NZ future. ……… DO YOU GET IT NOW, TIME WASTEING Mr. dick cynical?

    can we now do something productive, or maybe we have a new concept on how MMP functions, like maybe the tooth fairy gave people like Rodney Hide a seat in parliament for the past three years.

  • someone

    Woops sorry for the mistake on my last post, Rodney Hide would of got a seat in parliament even under the “first past the post system” in the last election. but there are others that get in by party ranking under the MMP system.

    At the end of the day, we go to the polls to vote for our future lets hear from them all! the ones who dont wish to treat NZ future as a joke as Helen Clark, John Key & TV3 have done just to mention three names on this thread.

  • tvnewser

    I don’t think Clark and Key pulled out of the debate because it is a ‘waste of time’ talking with minor parties or because the other parties are not important.

    I think they pulled out because they realise just how important the minor parties actually are in the election.

    For Helen Clark, any appearance on stage with Winston Peters could only go badly for her.

    Clark and Key both know that there is a strong possibility they will need to form a coalition with one of the minor parties in order to govern, however at the moment the coalition possiblities are not clear – espcially with the Maori Party. Appearing in a debate with the minor party leaders could potentially isolate either National or Labour from a particular party and ruin their chance of a coalition agreement.

    It is important to know what the minor parties stand for, because a coalition doesn’t mean that they just do whatever the major party says. In order to form a coalition the major party usually has to give in to some of the requests of the minor partner.

    Also, they are only called “minor parties” based on their results at the last election. The election results could end up seeing Labour or National as a minor party in he future – we never know what will happen. A recent Sky News poll had the ACT party ranking higher than the Labour party.

  • MrCynical

    1 – lose not loose

    2 – as I already said, it is all well and good to hear what the minor parties have planned for NZ, but by themselves they are powerless. Without the agreement of a major player they cannot do anything. So hearing them talk about how they will fix nz with there fantastic plans…is moot if labour or national say “hell no we aren’t doing that, that is stupid because…”

    Until you understand that point…and until you can discuss politics without personally abusing someone. I am done with you.

    tv3newser, don’t get me wrong, it is important to hear what the minor parties have planned, but as above, it is pointless to hear what they have planned, if they can do nothing about it.

    Also, why would Key pull out if Clark would get embarassed?

  • tvnewser

    That’s just one reason for Helen Clark; she will always have a coalition partner with the Greens even if she doesn’t want it, and NZ First if they are still around.

    For John Key, his main coalition options are ACT and possibly the Maori Party. Both of those parties are quite different, and appearing in a debate with both of them could see him publicly distancing himself from one or the other – and he doesn’t want to do that, probably not until he sees how many votes they get on the night.

    In a democratic society it is quite important to hear the policies and views of the other parties running for government, because as small as they may be there is always a chance of one of those parties becoming larger. It is also especially important to hear the views of the parties that are already in government and are likely to return, because government isn’t completely run by the party that wins – the others have influences on committees, and a lot of the time their vote can be the deciding factor when the two major parties disagree on an issue.

  • someone

    (1) Nobody in their right mind would want a coalition, but when there is not a out right majority it becomes a reality.

    (2) The minor partys are a wasted vote under “First Past The Post”, but not under MMP unless the dont get enough votes for the threshold.

    (3) The only way they got in with “First Past The Post” is if they were better or harder working then the labor or national candidate,

    (You could say that even applies under the MMP system).

    (4) They will always be a minor party as TV time is always based on the previous election, that is how the media paint it, and that is why the media followers (you, me, MrCynical etc) just follow the media like sheep.

    (5) In fact we may as well go back to “First Past The Post” because there is not much difference in votes to the minor party, at least with “First Past The Post” sometimes the party that comes in 2nd became the winner, with MMP the one that comes in 3rd with a unclear majority can decide who is the winer.

    (Footnote)
    lose not loose get a life (pathetic ______) I was in hurry and almost late for work, because you are just not interested in hearing the other side from the other partys.

  • MrCynical

    tv3newser, I am not saying that they are without power, I mean just look at the hold NZ First always seems to cast over whatever government is in power…. but thats just it, they can’t actually do anything by themselves.

    Both National and the maori party have categorically denied they will work together and Act could swing either way and debates are debates, you will lose voters some you will gain some voters

  • tvnewser

    The Maori Party and National haven’t ruled each other out, in fact a lot of political commentators have been saying that the Maori Party would have more to gain out of a partnership with National. National have said they would like to remove the Maori seats from parliament, but the Maori party has pointed out that plan isn’t set to happen in the next term – meaning they could work with them in the meantime.

    Maori Party MP Hone Harawira said on TVNZ’s Agenda that “People have this big fear of National and Maori in terms of ‘oh they’d get rid of the Maori seats wouldn’t they?’ My response constantly is always: The greatest land theft of my generation has actually been the Foreshore and Seabed and that wasn’t stolen by National that was stolen by Labour.”

    The minor parties can’t do anything by themselves at the moment – but the point of campaigning, debating and getting their policies known is to try and get enough votes to make a difference. Under MMP, nobody can ever be certain of where their party will stand after the election. In the 2002 election the National Party was almost forced into minor party status.

  • MrCynical

    Only because Labour took such a mighty lead, but you are right it is conceivable one day that a smalelr party might grow much larger to even govern on their own, but you must admit that the odds on that are still pretty small?

    And even then, until they actually get that large, they are still largely impotent by themselves.

    I am sure it will be a cold day in hell when national and the maori party join up. Health care is a major concern amongst maori, and National wanted to uncap GP visits and their advice to people who can’t afford it? Go to the Dr’s down the road….

  • tvnewser

    Oh yeah, you’re right, the odds are pretty small of that happening at this election (and maybe even the next), but in order for the chance of it EVER happening they have to keep getting their message heard – which is why it is important for them to participate in televised debates.

    John Key and Helen Clark saying that they don’t want to participate in debates with the minor party leaders almost says that they both disapprove of the MMP system.

  • tvnewser

    As for the Maori-National thing, yeah they are pretty different in a lot of areas. But could probably work in their favour, meaning that National would have to offer them somethign pretty substantial to win their support. Perhaps even offereing Pita Sharples the job of Maori Affairs Minister.

  • regan

    When it comes to politics, Maori are better off than the rest of us. Maori technically have two votes. The Maori seats create an over hang in parliament and as such, no smart Maori would double tick the Maori party.

    If I were Maori, I’d set up a second Maori party and go for the 5% threshold. Convince Maori to give their electorate vote to the Maori party MPs and the party vote to the second Maori Party and they could conceivably break double digits in government.

  • MrCynical

    I didn’t see the leaders saying they never wanted a debate with the minor parties, I just saw it coming across as the fact that the two big powerhouses wanted to face off first.