The Great Hosking Debate: A Debrief

The Civilian breaks down tonight’s TVNZ leaders debate starring Mike Hosking.

The Civilian breaks down tonight’s TVNZ leaders debate starring Mike Hosking.

TVNZ’s Great Hosking Debate between Mike Hosking and some lady and some man really lived up to its billing tonight, producing all the thrills and spills we’re used to seeing from the network that brought us “The News.”

Bill English spent the day indoors with his debate coach practicing the time-tested phrase “The only poll that matters is the one on election day”, while Jacinda Ardern spent the day with a working group that has spent the last several years producing a detailed report on what she should say tonight.

In the end, it determined she should propose a working group.

The debate looked like it might get off to a chaotic start as Winston Peters attempted to force his way on the stage with a makeshift podium he appeared to have made from Northland-sourced sticks.

Viewers tuning in at the very start could hear Peters yelling loudly about a “sham” and a “shake-down” as he was dragged out of the studio.

What followed was a dazzling sixty minute assault on our democracy.

These are just some of the highlights:

  • Bill English really raised the stakes of his campaign, promising to earn “every vote” instead of the usual vague plurality.
  • Jacinda Ardern says you may not know her tax policy, but you do know her values; or at least you will after she establishes a working group to determine them.
  • English ominously promised use the Christchurch Earthquake as a model for “what to do in the rest of the country.”
  • When asked how she would ensure she was bringing in enough migrants to build a sufficient number of affordable homes, Jacinda Ardern promised that, under a Labour Government, migrants will be selected on the basis of whether they have carpenter-sounding names.
  • The first “viewer question” came from a man who looked suspiciously like Winston Peters in a hat.
  • Ardern promised Labour would provide children with “professional career guidance” that would advise against positions such as “Labour leader.”
  • She also appeared to promise a return to slavery, promising that a Labour Government would “invest in people.”
  • The second “viewer question” came from a man who looked suspiciously like Winston Peters in a hat.
  • Ardern told viewers the reason she “walked into this debate tonight” was because “I am Labour leader and I had to.”
  • During the debate, our assembled Panel of Expert agreed that billions in revenue could be raised with a tax on election exchanges about tax.
  • The third “viewer question” came from a man who looked suspiciously like Winston Peters in a hat.
  • Towards the end of the debate, questions were raised about how TVNZ coloured its podiums, after Bill English complained that his began leaking Powerade, and Ardern’s began leaking blood.

Ardern closed the debate on a positive note, reinforcing her theme of “relentless positivity” by saying she agreed with “everything Bill said.”

English, on the other hand, had his most relatable moment of the night, reminding all of us of high school when he was forced to read his closing statement off a piece of paper handed to him by his mum.

As the debate over who won the debate raged on social media, The Civilian conducted its own scientific Twitter poll, with the following results:

thetwitterpoll

While viewers appeared split about whether the debate was won by Mike Hosking or vague anti-Semitic references, they seemed to agree, overwhelming, that the losers were Democracy, and You, the people.