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Dunne's Leaders Debate Success

July 16 2002

Dunne's Leaders Debate Success Confirms Common Sense A Rare Commodity - United Future

Last night's leaders debate on TV One showed the need for the media to give smaller parties greater coverage to avoid debate being dominated by the bigger parties, according to Inky Tulloch, President of the United Future party.

Mr Tulloch said that the fact that Peter Dunne outshone the leaders of all the other parties in the 'worm' debate, based on the views of the uncommitted voters who participated, suggested the media needed to balance their 'news' obligations with those of public information and wider debate in its political coverage.

We are very appreciative of TV One for including Peter Dunne in last night's debate and, suffice to say, the results spoke for themselves.

"It was interesting that some of the commentators on the 'worm'> results programme expressed surprise at Peter's strong showing, but political commentator Chris Trotter correctly noted that United Future hadn't been getting the 'airtime' of the other parties, which is precisely the 'Catch-22' we have been facing."

Mr Dunne polled top, followed by NZ First leader Winston Peters and well ahead of the Prime Minister Helen Clark, National Leader Bill English, Greens Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, and Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

"Peter Dunne stressed the core values of our party, such as emphasis on the family unit and on rational common sense policies. The other leaders seemed determined to take extreme positions and, surprise, surprise, common sense won on the day!"

"Peter's emphasis on the family, on income splitting for tax purposes for parents, more support for Plunket, a rational solution to Treaty of Waitangi claims and opposition to cannabis decriminalisation, is what the electorate is looking for from a potential coalition candidate."

Mr Tulloch predicted that United Future, which is already polling over 1 per cent and is ahead of the other minority parties, would begin to firm in the polls towards its target of 4-5 per cent.

"Now that we are on the radar-screen, our electoral support as a sensible coalition partner can only grow.

"'Our television campaign begins on Sunday and the message will be, 'Put your list vote to good use by supporting a party with rational and commonsense views and avoid the extremist views of the other potential coalition partners."


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