Laila Harre has made a good suggestion regarding the Leader’s debates. Thw two major party leaders have said they want head to head debates, because otherwise they only get 10 minutes or so each in a 90 minute debate.
However the minor party leaders make the valid point that people are not just selecting a PM, but also coalition partners for the Government.
Matthew Hooton blogs on Laila’s suggestion:
On our regular slot on Nine to Noon this morning, Laila Harre came up with a great idea about how to faciliate this. Laila argued that there should be a “Left” debate and a “Right” debate.
To develop the idea further, Laila’s idea would mean we get to see Clark v Key and decide which of these we want to be Prime Minister. Then we see Clark, Peters, Anderton, Norman in a debate, then Key, Dunne and Hide. The Maori Party, being more uncommitted, could decide whether to appear in one or both of the debates.
This makes sense to me. It would still allow a Peter Dunne “worm” effect, as in 2002, if he did a much better job than Key. The Greens could make the case why Labour votes should vote Green, and so forth. Everyone gets exposure, but in a more serious context. And Clark and Key together, as the two candidates for Prime Minister, aren’t put in the position of being equals with the smaller party leaders, which they are not.
I really like this idea. You may also get some really informative discussions in the “left” and “right” debates as they talk about what pace or what blend of policies is best, rather than the normal we are good you are evil rhetoric.