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Cunliffe v Key – Round 3

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 pm, September 10th, 2014 - 87 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, labour, national, Politics, same old national - Tags:

Tonight at 8:40 pm there will be the third televised debate between David Cunliffe and John Key.  The moderator will be John Campbell who I am sure will be scrupulously fair.  If anything he may be harder on Cunliffe to show that he is so fair.  Some on the right will complain that Campbell’s selection is evidence of left wing infiltration of the media, apparently giving both sides a fair go is clear evidence of bias against the right.  In their world view they are always correct and opinions to the contrary should be dismissed with contempt.  Even thinking there will be a contrary view to their mind is heresy.

Then to provide balance there will be a half hour Paul Henry show.  Paul’s independent credentials cannot be questioned.  The fact that he was once a National Party candidate is no evidence of his political views.  I am sure that he will provide us with his honest opinion, although viewed through his rabid right wing glasses.  He may even go out to the real world and interview his daughter to see what ordinary people are thinking.  I have this horrible feeling that he will declare Key to be the winner no matter what happens …

Thinking about it I just wish these self anointed experts did not tell us what happened.  I would prefer for the sake of our democracy that the leaders debated and we then made our own minds up.

Anyway knock yourselves out in the comments section.  But keep it civilised.

87 comments on “Cunliffe v Key – Round 3 ”

  1. Rodel 1

    Will watch the debate but couldn’t stomach Paul Henry. Haven’t watched him since he was rejected in Oz.

  2. Clemgeopin 2

    Having lost the first debate and being marginal in the second, I am expecting Key to come out fighting with his smart arse gutter worthy type of one liner stunts like the ‘show me the money’ variety and cocky questions seeking minute details of Labour’s broad complex policies. Hopefully, I am wrong, but time will tell!

    • karol 2.1

      I tend to agree. Key loves to win, and hates to lose, above anything else.

      He’ll be fired up, and have his one-liners ready.

  3. Paul 3

    Fortunately most people will turn off the TV once the debate ends and before Henry comes on.

    • Clemgeopin 3.1

      While Paul Henry is clearly right wing going by most of his daily pro National and anti left wing comments, he has been quite fair, balanced and friendly when he has interviewed opposition leaders such as Cunliffe, Harre and Harawira on his programme. Not sure if he has interviewed Norman or Turei. I do not mind if he criticises Cunliffe, as long as it is fair, honest, unbiased and balanced. If he is not, then he and his programme will end up losing credibility with the general public. Fingers crossed!

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        i have to agree that henry has been even-handed in interviews i have seen..

        ..surprisingly so..sometimes..

        ..he at least has the intelligence to let the interview take on a life of its’ own..


  4. Ad 4

    I am expecting Cunliffe to nail Key on tax and be well drilled on Capital Gains Tax.

    I also want him to call out all those who didn’t vote to get out there this weekend, vote early, and change the government.

  5. karol 5

    I must say, I’m not that keen on these leaders head-to-heads. Too US style presidential, and make it more about The Game than policies and political processes and values.

    Not even sure I want to watch tonight.

    • sabine 5.1

      not watching as i have my mind made up.
      this debate is for the undecided, which in my eyes are mainly national voters that are shaken in their support of dear leader.

      • karol 5.1.1

        I’ve given up. Key’s firing on his used car salesman spiel. I just surprises me that anyone goes for that obvious spin.

        I can’t stomach watching him – or rather listening to him.

  6. Paul 6

    What a shonky second car salesman.

  7. mickysavage 7

    Fark Campbell moderate the time equally …

  8. b waghorn 8

    David getting good points across about English s lack of ideas , the fact that 10% own 90% of wealth.

  9. Kat 9

    Its all about “who won”…… sigh!

  10. North 10

    Tax cuts – “We have a plan for that…..” says Key. Well what the fuck is it bitch ? You haven’t said whether yes or no or when definite and you haven’t said the amount. Spiving little conman !

  11. Whateva next? 11

    Cambell actually holding speakers to account, and for the first time watching a debate, despite Key’s attempts to sabotage. What a relief….so far

  12. Rob 12

    Wow, cunnliffe promising tax cuts in term 2 .

  13. Zorr 13

    This has to be the weirdest thing I have ever watched…

    John Campbell is essentially interviewing David Cunliffe and letting John Key assist him…

    It’s an embarrassment to watch.

  14. Kat 14

    Key has the Crosby Textor mantra and just keeps repeating it…circuit breaker needed.

  15. Paul 15

    “Home ownership is the lowest it’s been for 50 years.”
    Kiwi build explained well.

  16. Hanswurst 16

    Contrary to popular expectation, Campbell is giving Cunliffe a far harder time than any of the previous moderators.

    ETA: and now patronising: “David Cunliffe, I totally promise you the last word in [sic] this break…”

  17. Phant0m 17

    Your commentators are watching a different debate to me. Cunliffe needs to win but all Key needs to do is avoid losing. He has achieved that modest goal in spades.

  18. philj 18

    No MS. We need the commentary to tell us what to think and vote. otherwise , how would we know what to think? haha

  19. Paul 19

    “Can you cite the research?”
    Oh dear John Key.

    My number one priority….
    Prime Ministerial.

  20. North 20

    The clay feet are leaping around like a disappointed, sliding into pissed off schoolboy , ’til now favoured by Headmaster. Who’s not getting the ‘special’ he’s ‘entitled’ to. Petulant. Cunliffe’s wiping the floor with the Little Ponce.

    Aunty Armstrong, whose resignation ya gonna be demanding tomorrow ? Campbell’s I suppose ? Not fair not fair. No worship of TheGodKey. Wahwahwah !

  21. Ad 21

    Cunliffe very strong on poverty.

  22. Kat 22

    Vote Positive, Love New Zealand, Its Common sense……..

    Just in case anyone was wavering…..

  23. Pete 23

    Cunliffe is showing some passion. These things are important.

    • Paul 23.1

      Yes Key can’t be the prankster when one is talking about child poverty.

      • Ant 23.1.1

        He can’t be a prankster on TV, he wouldn’t dare be Parliament or Press debate Key when people might be watching.

    • Zorr 23.2


      Really enjoyed him in that last segment.

      Key is smiling but he has no vision to sell anyone. His vision is “you know what you’re getting with me”. He can’t actually respond to Cunliffe’s passion.

    • infused 23.3

      It’s fake as hell though. That’s why he isn’t getting a boost.

  24. key has no plans to help the children in poverty..

    ..key has no plans to help the childless-poor..

    ..key has no plans to help the working-poor..

    ..for all of them..nothing good will happen if key is re-elected..

    ..the choice couldn’t be clearer..

    ..cold-hearted/poor-bashing/uncaring tory bastards..

    ..vs..a progressive coalition…

    ..that will try to put things right..

    • Chooky 24.1

      +100…and agree Cunliffe’s closing statement was very good…warm and from the heart….if not inspiring …as to why New Zealanders are better off to vote Labour rather than John Key

      …i think more and more John key is a damaged brand

  25. Zorr 25

    Good closing statement by Cunliffe.

    John Key stumbled weirdly enough…

  26. Maz 26

    Cunliffe hands down!

    • Paul 26.1

      If even the right wing media call that for Key, then that will be unbelievable.

    • Puddleglum 26.2

      Agreed. Cunliffe made Key look very shallow – in human terms.

      “This is why I got into politics!” – Cunliffe on poverty and the commitment to report on rates of child poverty per year.

      • infused 26.2.1

        yeah, more bs spin lines.

        My guess is he probably doesn’t give two shits. It’s just a catchy line. It’s the same reason a lot of people I know are turned off by him.

        He’s fake.

        • Puddleglum

          Then, of course, there’s John Key’s numerous empty spin lines – ‘ambitious for New Zealand’, ‘I want to talk about the issues that really matter’, etc., etc..

          There was a point there when Cunliffe was talking about the issue of poverty when I asked myself ‘How else would someone who was genuine about this sound and look?’ – and I couldn’t think of a more convincing demeanour, tone or facial expression that would be present in someone ‘really genuine’.

          But, more importantly for me, Labour and the Greens have policies that clearly would ameliorate – at least – poverty. John Key made it clear that the only policy answer they had was to make businesses better able to ‘create jobs’. The problem with that – even if their policies achieve that goal – is that 40% of children in poverty stricken families are also in families where at least one parent works full time.

          And, even then John Key had to try to be tricky with the numbers, claiming only 11% of such families had working parents. That, despite MSD figures and repeated reports claiming it was 40%.

          So, whether personally genuine or not from Cunliffe, at the policy level its very clear which parties intend to address poverty and those which see widespread poverty as a price worth paying for ‘stability’ (another spin phrase from Key since the current economic conditions and government have been far from stable – how many ministers have resigned?? That much ministerial churn is hardly a sign of stable governance.).

          • Clemgeopin

            Very well said. You have explained and exposed the emperor with no clothes so lucidly, that even a cataract afflicted RWNJ can see through him. I think John Key is gone burger Hawaii Five O on Sept 20. .

  27. Dont worry. Be happy 29

    Cunliffe will be Prime Minster but what is victory without Mana?

  28. Jenk 30

    YES ! Cunliffe by a long shot. Key just robotic, spouting beaucratise. Cunliffe using REAL words to describe REAL life events – and I love his four main priorities. Got them on tape – can’t remember them all off hand – but abatement rate to $150 for beneficiaries,
    lifting the minimin wage, and a couple more. I think the abatement rate lift is new policy – announced right then and there. Great stuff.

  29. Jenk 31

    And one other thing – the audience onside – just – with Cunliffe/Labour’s policies !
    Wowee …..

  30. garner..pagani..edwards-the-younger..


    ..babbling like chooks on speed..

    • mickysavage 32.1

      So far I am in the unusual situation of agreeing whole heartedly with Pagani …

    • update:..bloody hell..!..edwards-the-younger said something that made sense..

      ..that labours’ problem ‘is that is has not gone far enough left’..

      ..pagani audibly choked on/at this opinion..

      ..which says more about her..than anything else..

    • Lanthanide 32.3

      Yes, was actually pretty embarrassing. Maybe they’re used to Paul Henry where he only lets them talk for 10 seconds before interrupting.

  31. TheContrarian 33

    As an aside, what the fuck happened to Campbell’s closing statement? One of the most iconic images of the 20th Century and he made a complete mumblefuck of it.

    • Lanthanide 33.1

      He said he had something prepared but it didn’t show up on the auto-cue so he had to wing it.

      • TheContrarian 33.1.1

        But nonetheless (and I know this is outside the purview of the topic at hand) I couldn’t believe the hash-up he made of it given his great moderating during the hour of debate

        “Maybe he was squashed by a tank…”


        • Hanswurst

          “Maybe he was squashed by a tank…”

          My picture froze and my audio jumped to just before that statement, so I thought he was talking about John Key’s non-performance in the debate until the stream resynced and the image came up.

        • Lanthanide

          I did some googling on the tank man. No one knows for sure who he was, but he’s suspected to have been executed shortly after. Campbell’s line of “rotting in a Chinese jail’ shows a bit of naivete.

  32. Duncan Garner calling it a draw, Paul Henry calling it ‘by a nose’ for Key, Bryce Edwards calling it a draw and Pagani calling it, marginally for Cunliffe.

    Which suggests that Cunliffe was by far the most impressive (because none of them felt they could unequivocally give it to Key, despite their inclinations).

    The one thing that the focus on ‘winning’ does is make it very clear what ‘lenses’ people are using to make the judgment.

    • Anne 34.1

      Exactly Puddleglum.

      Don’t you just love em! One is a ‘greasy up to the Nats’ bigoted journo from way back – Garner. One is a ‘third rate political scientist who pretends to be neutral but is really a Nat’ and he straddles the fence – Bryce Edwards. And finally we have ‘Josie from the Left Pagani’ who isn’t the least bit Left and she goes for an itsy, bitsy, teensy, weensy win for Cunliffe.

  33. sabine 35

    so far the scariest comment on the

    (Why have an election??
    John Key is our leader for as long as he needs to be so he can fix old Clarks mess and bring nz back to its irresistible force on the global stage in every possible aspect.
    atown – 09:50 PM Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014

    who needs a democracy anyways.

  34. Paul 36

    John Armstrong gives the debate to Key!!
    What a total joke.
    They really must have something on Armstrong.

    From the Herald’s website, here is his justification.

    “John Campbell likened the debate to a contest between Stability and Fairness. Stability won. John Key was stability personified. He was rock solid.
    The bottom-line for David Cunliffe was that he had to land a decent hit on the Prime Minister. The pressure was all on Cunliffe. But there was no hit.
    Key instead got the easiest ride he has had in any such debate. It was just another day at the office for him. Cunliffe bravely claimed a shift in voter sentiment of just a few percentage points could still see a change in government.
    But his focus on “too many people earning too little”, getting children out of the poverty trap, raising the minimum wage and “putting food in the fridge” suggested that he had opted to use the debate as a platform to address Labour’s core supporters and stop his party’s dismal poll ratings from sinking even lower.
    He was accomplished in doing that. But he was not talking to the rest of New Zealand. Key was. And that was the crucial difference.”


  35. David Cunliffe was assured, genuine, passionate; Key vague and bored. Definitely a winner for David.

  36. Phant0m 39


    • Te Reo Putake 39.1

      A winner is a dreamer who never gives up – Nelson Mandela

      … and …

      “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
      – John Lennon

  37. dave 40

    cunliffe blitzed key no contest ,minium wage, wack ,tax cuts,nats dog of a houseing policy ,poverty ,key still denilism in full flight ,
    each time i see key i vomit

  38. philj 41

    The debate was a poor example of jabbering broadcasting. All commentators were competing for air time and out to impress. Is this the best we can do? Yup.
    Where is our quality broadcaster?

  39. trickledrown 42

    The real Zingers were when Cunliffe told Key to be quite and put him in his place!

  40. trickledrown 43

    The other amazing issue came from the online survey saying that 28% of voters still haven’t made up their minds!

    • Puddleglum 43.1

      Yes, that was interesting. Apparently that was from over 12,000 texts – but, of course, not scientific.

      Nevertheless, if genuine texts that’s a very high number from people who were presumably politically engaged enough to watch the debate.

  41. Scottie 44

    Media has changed or am I just getting older. We used to believe the reputable newspapers and the 6 O’clock news provided us with a balanced view. If that ever was the case it certainly is no longer. It’s all about money these days, selling advertising and creating news. I just read everything across the spectrum,yes even Whaleoil and make up my own mind. Keep up the good work Micky.

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