As usual, Winston puts the Media party on notice

Winston Peters has a love/hate relationship with the Media party.

Once again he has put them on notice.

Winston Peters wants a fair go leading into the election and says it would be “anti-democratic” for any media to host leader debates without NZ First.

Peters, the anti-establishment politician, says not having his party represented in election campaign debates would be “blind political prejudice” or the media “deliberately” trying to protect National and Labour – the “establishment parties”.

He said in the past state-funded broadcasters, Radio New Zealand and TVNZ, had been “dominated” by National and Labour not to include other parties and had so far got away with it.

“In the UK there’s no way (David) Cameron would have got away with that. He didn’t get away with it and he was forced to debate the leading contenders.”

Peters said at this point there were only four parties in the mix – National, Labour, NZ First and the Greens – but “most profoundly in terms of a leader’s debate, ruling out NZ First would be blind political prejudice”.

“I’m calling it out right now. What we want is a fair go to talk to the New Zealand public and we’re entitled to it.”

In this instance I think Winston is right. He is now level or slightly above the Greens in polling and on track to be the third largest party.

Steve Joyce doesn’t want a bar of it though:

National Party campaign chair Steven Joyce says it’s a long-standing policy for the leader to participate in a number of one-on-one debates between the Prime Minister and the “alternative candidate for Prime Minister”.

That position is held by the leader of the largest opposition party, which is “currently Mr Little,” Joyce said.

Well, there is some debate over that. Andrew Little is in fourth place in the Preferred PM stakes so both Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters can lay claim to that title.

Steve Joyce doesn’t want this though because it will show up Bill English for the boring automaton and policy wonk that he is. Winston would slaughter him in a debate and Andrew Little for that matter.

Watch the two big parties oppose this…and play right into Winston’s cunning hands.

 

-Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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