Allow small parties to debate on the official NewsHub debates

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   The purpose of official political debates is for the public to choose between different ideas, parties and policies. The NewsHub debates require a 3% polling in the 1 news Colmar Brunton poll OR to already hold seats in parliament. There are already queries as to if these polls are that accurate, and earlier in the election cycle we actually saw two polls released at the same time, which showed numbers so drastically different, that they lay outside of each other's margin of error.

   3% is high be allowed to debate, but given that electorate seats (so parties below 5% that agree in parliament) are usually only held by smaller parties that have struck a deal with a major party, this means that major parties are not only somewhat controlling who can sit in parliament, but even who is and isn't allowed to debate. Strangely, last election, while both ACT and United future were allowed into the debates, the newly formed TOP was not, despite it polling higher than both the other parties combined. This was because they both already held seats in parliament. Yet, the debate was for that current election, not the previous. And the public was showing more interest in TOP.

   The debates should follow what the public is interested in at the time, not three years ago. It also means that parties that might have the chance to be re-elected when they've lost an electorate seat may well suddenly lose their voice, if their party vote is low. Both Maori and Mana come to mind.

   The only really fair way to do it is of course to greatly decrease the threshold for being allowed into the debate to 1%. USA presidential debates actually allow anyone with a single percent to enter the debate, and there have been cases where outliers have actually climbed to become the nominee of the respected party.

   Let parties speak and pitch their ideas. MMP is a system that NZ voted into allow better competition and representation of their voices in the political system, it seems only fitting that our debates follow suit.