I am not keen on some of the policies of the Conservative party, nor the apparent habit of its leader, Colin Craig, to threaten to sue at the drop of a hat. However, I am pleased that he has been given the opportunity to share the stage with other political parties in a TV debate.
The problems of such debates, as recently shown by the Steven Joyce’s unreasonable outbursts in a debate with Grant Robertson, is one obstructive or belligerent individual can prevent serious discussion of any policy. Our democracy is too important to be hijacked in this manner, and all serious contenders for parliament need to be given the opportunity to express their views and, just as importantly, why they hold those views.
I hope that TV1 and/or TV3 can be persuaded for the next general election to allocate 8 weekly programmes, in prime time, for political parties to present a 5 or 10 minute feature each week (paid for by the State) to present their views on the subject of the week: poverty; health; education; foreign policy; labour laws; environment; the economy; and a subject of their own choosing.
Immediately afterwards, the party representatives should be allowed an hour to debate those policies in the current format.
We may not get better Governments, and we may not get better laws, but no citizen will be able to argue later that they wouldn’t have voted for so and so, if they had known what they had intended to do.
– Nick W