Yeseterday New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and the opponent vying for her job John Key debated each other with questions posed by political journalists and commentators. But this history-making debate had one important difference, it also included questions submitted via YouTube to the two party leaders.

Broadcast on TV ONE, the one and a half hour show drew over a million viewers to the new-format debate. The One News YouTube debate saw 12 questions asked throughout the show to the National Party leader and Ms Clark through low-quality YouTube clips with such questions ranging from the New Zealand recession to the recent violent attacks on shopkeepers.

Labour Party’s Ms Clark liked the new format, “I think that through YouTube, Mark, you and TV ONE, have brought not only the debate into people’s homes, you’ve made it real to young people through new technology.” With the head of TVNZ News & Current Affairs Anthony Flannery agreeing and describing it as an “exciting event”.

Many journalists have since agreed that the “groundbreaking event” was a draw between the two battlers, if not Mr Key edging out in front of the incumbent and recieving the favour of the voting public.

Head of News and Politics at YouTube Steve Grove says, “By letting citizens ask the questions, this debate has put voters in the driver’s seat.

“New Zealanders have long been leaders in embracing democracy and the opportunities that new technologies can provide, and it’s fantastic to see so many Kiwis watching and participating in this historic event.”

YouTube has various clips from the debate, and TVNZondemand has the full, continous show.

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