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Advance NZ calls on TV3 to reconsider exclusion

4 August 2005

Advance NZ calls on TV3 to reconsider exclusion of Anderton and Dunne from leader's debate

Advance NZ does not see the policies of Jim Anderton's Progressive Party or United Future as particularly relevant to solving the fundamental driver behind the issues their parties purport to address. However, what is essential for a democratic process to have a chance of succeeding is the opportunity for participation. That presupposes that all parties are treated with some degree of equality in their ability to present their particular or peculiar point of view.

By excluding minor parties from the leaders debate TV3 are in fact undermining the essential intent of the democratic process which is to ensure the widest possible presentation of policies so voters have the opportunity to make an informed decision. If TV3 excludes the leaders of two parties, both with significant representation in our Parliament, on this occasion the question must be asked as to where that decision may lead in the future.

It should be noted also there is little if any opportunity for bone fida parties who are currently not represented in Parliament, to be part of what is increasingly becoming the preserve of the main protagonists who are being entrenched in that role by virtue of the medias focus on them to the virtual exclusion of all others.

That may contribute to making an attractive marketing package for the media but it also serves to erode the essence of participatory democracy.

ENDS

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