i've been trying to take a bit of a break this weekend - not always successfully! - mostly because it's the last long weekend in a long while. and also because i'm going to be incredibly busy next weekend, so am trying to build up reserves. i'll be at a leadership seminar on saturday, and on sunday will the be MC'ing at the regional interfaith forum. if you're able to get along to the latter, please do register by wednesday. it'll be an interesting event, and we will have the race relations commissioner in attendance. i'm looking forward to meeting up with her.
i was watching the political debate on native affairs, maori television this evening. although i can't vote in the by-election, i know one of the candidates reasonably well so i'm quite interested in seeing how the election plays out. the one thing i can definitely say is that i was very impressed with the way the debate was conducted.
not only was the interviewer/moderator well informed, but she asked really challenging questions of all the candidates. mihingarangi forbes has a quiet but very effective interviewing style. unlike the interviewers on political shows that air on tv1 & tv3, she doesn't badger the person she's interviewing, she allows them to finish their answer but she doesn't really allow them to get away with not answering. and when they do evade the question, as the maori party candidate did on the issue of male leadership of the party's political wing, it looked quite bad.
but more than that, i was impressed with the respect the candidates showed each other. they didn't feel the need to talk over each other, they all listened respectfully when it wasn't their turn to speak. they all spoke to the issues and the policies, and didn't feel any need to personally attack or denigrate each other.
this is the way political debating should be, and i can only express my utmost respect for the candidates, the interviewer and for maori television who have once again shown us how it can & should be done. they have also reminded me why i can't bear to watch the nation or Q&A, even though i'm a person who is politically engaged and enjoys watching political issues being debated. i think the only person who approaches this level on the other channels is john campell, who i have been watching more of in recent weeks.
so well done maori tv, and i'm now looking forward to the one-hour debate on june 24.