More shabby back room deals

Only a week or so ago Phil Goff and Andrew Little were going nuts about MMP ‘stitch ups’ but now stand accused of a ‘stitch up’ on leaders debates

The public will once again be denied the opportunity to see John Key and Phil Goff debate all the minor party leaders during the election campaign.

Key and Goff have teamed up to turn down TV3’s approach and desire for a 90 minute prime time television debate featuring all the party leaders.

Key says the election is about “who is Prime Minister”, not about who can work together.

And because Key won’t do it, Goff has fallen in behind saying he will debate Key anywhere Key wants to front. That means Goff won’t do it either.

This is the same cosy backroom deal Helen Clark and John Key did in 2008 – ignore the minor party leaders on the big stage – and debate amongst themselves.

It seems Labour does do backroom deals after all, especially when it suits them the most.

Garner reckons Goff could have forced Key’s hand, I doubt that. Though Key would have been better to agree to it and had Phil Goff look like a complete numpty on camera looking irrelevant in a sea of mediocrity.


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  • peterwn

    There was a time when candidates would not share a platform. So you would have the PM speak for 2 hours on the wireless (from Wellington or Auckland Town Hall or the Civic), the Opposition Leader 2 hours the next night, and Socred leader 2 hours the third night (if he did not run out of steam before the two hours was up).

  • jabba

    1st points to Key .. Goff will be slaughtered. He comes across on telly badly and when he gets excited he seems to lose focus.