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Bully-boy tactics attempt to gag MMP parties

29 September 2008

Bully-boy tactics attempt to gag MMP parties

The Green Party is disappointed that TV3 has allowed itself to be bullied by Helen Clark and John Key, and effectively gagged the MMP parties.

TV3 has today confirmed to the Greens that it has ditched its planned all parties election debate because Clark and Key have refused to be on it, Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"Those two have clearly colluded over this to ensure that the MMP parties are excluded from a major television event, and TV3 has allowed itself to fall into their trap. Not only is this extremely disappointing, it is an affront to democracy.

"TV3 should have stood firm on this. It had the power to tell Clark and Key that if they refused to appear on an all leaders debate then it would not hold its planned one on one debate with them either.

"Even though it is a commercial station, TV3 still has a responsibility to its viewers to provide balanced coverage of news and events, and to allow just the leaders of the two big parties to have a voice on a major election debate flies in the face of that balance.

"It just shows how similar the two old parties are, in their fear of diversity of views and of consultation and sharing of power that MMP demands. Anyone who can't work with other parties is not fit to lead the government of New Zealand.

"TVNZ, who still plans to hold an all leaders debate, now has the opportunity to stand up for principle and refuse to be bullied. It can tell Clark and Key that if they don't want to appear on the all-leaders debate there won't be a cosy twosome where they can pretend they are the only ones who can represent New Zealanders. I hope TVNZ remains strong and does not allow these two bullies to get away with it," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"It is no secret that National wants to get rid of MMP, but this move indicates that Labour is heading in the same direction. In light of this, New Zealanders must be questioning whether to support either of these parties given the obvious lack of commitment to democracy," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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