Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vetoing democracy

So, Labour and National's conspiracy against democracy has succeeded. TV3 has pulled its planned multi-party leader's debate, while TVNZ has meekly accepted that the major party leaders will not be participating (though at least they will be providing small-party leaders with a platform so the electorate can judge them). Neither station seems to have given a moment's thought for the other option: cancelling their head-to-head debates unless Clark and Key showed up for the multi-party one. So much for the idea that the media defends our democracy...

Clark and Key's argument is that the public is choosing between them as potential Prime Ministers, and so deserve to have an uncluttered view. But to point out the obvious, we will not be voting for a Prime Minister on November 8th. We will be voting for a Parliament. And we will be doing it with our party votes. Under MMP, leader's debates aren't just about potential Prime Ministers, but also about judging the parties against one another so as to determine the broad makeup of Parliament. And that, it seems, is the last thing either National or Labour want.

A plague on both their houses. They are both undemocratic, arrogant, and colluding to return us to their cosy pre-MMP oligarchy. And hopefully, the electorate will punish them for it.