TV3 and the biased TV election debate
The minor parties in NZ's proportional representation election are scrabbling for survival. After the traditional big two (Labour and National) there are two more parties that look likely to elect MPs by crossing the 5% threshold in the "party vote" (Greens and NZ First), two more that may have to rely on getting an individual elected in order to get their - party vote - share of the seats (United Future and ACT), and one that is basically a one-man-band (Progressive).
The struggle of these small parties is likely to have a profound impact on the makeup of the new governing coalition. And no struggle is more vital than that of the two parties striving to keep their place in parliament. Of the two ACT is less likely to get in on the coat tails of a constituency MP, Peter Dunne of United Future should be a solid sitting MP.
The TV debates will impact this struggle, last election they helped propel United Future into a strong Parliamentary position as a moderate voice. Yet for next week's debate TV3 has decided to axe United Future, presumably in favour of ACT.
TV3 will not include Peter Dunne/United Future in the party debate they are airing next week. The decision came out today. Party supporters are trying to appeal this through media channels and a 24hour phone protest to TV3.
If you feel it is appropriate, (and although I am not a UF voter it seems unfair to me they should make way for a party with a smaller proportion of popular support) you can consider calling TV3 today at 09-377-9730 and lodging a complaint. (They say they have had hundreds of calls already about this unfair exclusion!) PS: the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask that Peter Dunne be included in the debate, United Future has several MPs in the current parliament, and (at least last week was more likely to be in parliament next time than ACT or the Greens
and polling ahead of ACT
(PDF file), and we should be allowed to hear the viewpoint of all leaders of significant parties in order to make a more informed voting decision.