Leaders' Debate farce prompts Greens move for Independent Debates Commission


The Australian Greens will move in the next parliament to establish an Independent Debates Commission to oversee live television election debates, with last night's leaders' debate once again proving to be a farce.

Greens spokesperson for media and communications Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

"Last night's debate was woeful and a disservice to voters.

"Those of us who suffered through it watched two grown men - so-called leaders - shouting at each other, interrupting, smirking and aggressively talking over the top of others including the female moderator.

"Australians shouldn’t be subjected to this unseemly squabble again. An election debate should be a contest of ideas and vision for our country, not chest-thumping.

"We need an Independent Debates Commission that oversees the official election debate. I will move for this in the new parliament. 

"The decision making over election debates must be taken out of the hands of political parties and politicians. Each election we go through this farce. Parliament simply needs to agree to having an independent umpire, and not have the negotiating over the rules by the parties on the eve of the election.

"The nation’s official election debate should be on the nation’s public broadcaster. Instead, Morrison has once again snubbed the public broadcaster in favour of Murdoch's Sky News and Channel Nine.

"As the only minor party, the Greens should also be represented in a leaders' debate. With the Greens included, we would also get a guaranteed debate about climate and environment policy, unlike last night."