Should the Greens be in the potential PM debates?

Stuff reports:

co-leader Russel Norman wants to shake the minor party tag once and for all after the latest political poll gave them another seat in parliament.

The Political Poll has National steady on 55.1 per cent, Labour down 2.4 percentage points on 22.5 and the Greens down 1.1 percentage point to 11.3 per cent.

Based on those results, the Greens would increase their numbers in the house by one to 15 seats, Labour would have 29 seats and National would govern alone with 72 seats.

The Greens have been the only party to grow consistently in the MMP environment and had a target of 15 per cent in the general election, he said.

Their results are:

  • 1999: 5.2%
  • 2002: 7.0%
  • 2005: 5.3%
  • 2008: 6.7%
  • 2011: 11.1%

Not quite consistent, but they have done well the last two elections.

That should count for something but they were consistently knocked back from the leaders’ debates.

“We don’t like the way we get excluded from the debates and all of that kind of stuff and if we had our way it would be like in the UK,” he said.

“We’ve argued with the TV stations, unsuccessfully, and with many others that it should be three-way debates with the Greens in there.”

Maybe Norman has a point. Maybe he should appear with David Cunliffe in the debates, and they could split Labour’s time with the Greens in say a 2:1 ratio?

The only problem is that there is no guarantee the Greens will be in Government, even if Labour wins. If NZ First blocks them, what can they do?

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