Negative campaigning

Heather dpA wants our elections to be nice. Yeah nah

If you have seen the kinds of political attack ads that play on US television during the presidential campaigns you’ll know how nasty they can get.

One ad called Hillary Clinton a crook, another spent a long time outlining why Donald Trump isn’t fit to know the nuclear codes.

By contrast, our election campaigns are positively civil. A typical “attack” advert on New Zealand TV features some handsome kids rowing on a lake, music that sounds like Eminem and a two-second shot of the country’s most useless rowers crammed into a dinghy, dressed in the colours of the opposition parties. Ooooh. Mean.

And if that’s the way you prefer your elections – with a dash of decorum – it’s apparently time to brace yourself. We’re told attacks ads may pop up in this year’s election.

I can’t wait. ?It’s about time the gloves come off fully. ?As I am wont to say, politics is a dirty despicable game played by dirty despicable people. ? Read more »

Negative campaigning, American politics, and why it works

Phil Smith explains

Negative campaigning is not inherently bad. It is reasonable to question an opponent’s character, or point out where policy differs from practice.

But it’s popular because it’s effective. It doesn’t even have to be accurate, it just has to align with existing biases, or excuse them.

For an insight into negative campaigns, consider the 2004 US presidential race between John Kerry and George Bush.

A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran a smear campaign against John Kerry. The evil genius of the attack was that it scuttled Mr Kerry’s key asset – that he was a thrice-decorated naval war hero.

He was portrayed instead as reckless, lying – even cowardly – and an enemy of serving men and women. George W. Bush had himself avoided any active military service, and the Swift Boat claims were discredited – but the smear still worked.

It worked because it wasn’t about the facts; it was about class prejudice.

Mr Kerry was obviously a member of the north-eastern liberal elite. He was an educated rich ponce and he sounded like it. He was ‘one of them’.

Mr Bush was also from an elite family, but he was southern and folksy and – you might say – less obviously educated. He was ‘one of us’.

When the rich ponce gets a medal, average Joes have a sneaking suspicion that he probably didn’t deserve it.

It’s an easy task to make a slur stick – confirmation bias does the job for you. The trick is not to change potential voter’s minds, it’s to provide excuses for them to vote in line with their prejudices.

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Did the left actually READ Dirty Politics?

They can’t have. ?In it, it has lots of little bits of wisdom. ?Rhonwyn Newson writes:

Is this the key passage in Dirty Politics Nicky Hager, Glenn Greenwald and Kim Dotcom should have given attention to before dropping their “bombshells” during the election campaign?

In Chapter One Hager quotes National Party strategist, Simon Lusk, on negative campaigning:

“There are a few basic propositions with negative campaigning that are worth knowing about. It lowers turnout, favours right more than left as the right continue to turn out, and drives away the independents. Voting then becomes more partisan.”

So, they accuse Key of being clean by working through ‘attack blogs’ and not getting any mud on him. ?They think this is a good idea, and use an ‘attack author’. ?But there is a huge difference.

This blog never pretends to be anything other than what it is. ?People do not feel cheated or lied to by coming here.

Not so with Hager and his sycophants. ?The claim of independence and balanced journalism was so absurd, nobody believed it from the start. ?Had Hager been smart enough to add a few chapters on the left as well, he may have had more credibility. ?Surely they had some old and dirty washing they would like to launder at the same time? ? ? Read more »

Voters dislike negative campaigning…or do they?

The video above was the first attack ad…simple yet effective. It started the war of negative advertising.

Fifty years ago?on the night of Monday, Sept. 7, 1964?an innocent little girl plucking flower petals in a sun-splashed field helped usher in a revolution in American political advertising. The 60-second television spot that featured her disjointed counting exploded, literally and figuratively, all notions of what it meant to effectively persuade voters with paid political advertising.

The little girl counted as she plucked flower petals. Unseen birds chirped happily. As her counting ended, viewers suddenly heard a mission control announcer begin a countdown. As he neared zero, the girl?s image froze as the camera zoomed into her right eye until her pupil filled the screen and was replaced by a nuclear blast and mushroom cloud. As the apocalyptic scene unfolded, President Lyndon Johnson?s reedy drawl entered the spot, ending with the admonition, ?we must either love each other or we must die.?

The so-called ?Daisy Girl? spot created by Johnson?s New York advertising firm aired only once as a paid commercial during the 1964 presidential campaign. An estimated 50 million voters saw it during NBC?s ?Monday Night at the Movies??the film was ?David and Bathsheba.? Another 50 million or more saw it again, or for the first time, later that week when the three television networks aired the unique, powerful spot in their newscasts.

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What does Vote Positive mean?

Serious political watchers have been wondering what the hell Labour?s Vote Positive slogan means.

It basically means nothing at all and does little to motivate voters to vote for them. It is very unconventional as a slogan.

Vote Positive could be put down to Labour being dead set useless and coming up with a seriously dud slogan.?

Vote Positive only makes sense if it is linked to a negative campaign like Dirty Politics. Then it goes from being a dud slogan to something that makes sense.? Read more »

Negative campaigning that makes voters feel guilty never works

There is a Facebook campaign running at the moment, run by the left wing, where people post pictures of themselves explaining why they vote National…they are all nasty.

Here is an example.


They are even using their children to push their nasty message.


And just so we get the gist of what they are about here is another one: ?? Read more »

Totally Gay Campaign Loses to a Drongo

The weak fear negative campaigning. They hide behind bullshit excuses like ?People don?t like negative campaigning? or ?I will be honourable? or a whole bunch of other gay reasons. If you are running for office and you don?t go negative you are taking away one of your most powerful weapons.

And if you are so gay you won’t hit back when your opponents are bullying you with negative campaigning you deserve to get hammered.

The 2010 election for mayor wasn’t pretty. The Ford campaign questioned whether Smitherman’s past drug use made him unfit for office, though Ford had been charged with marijuana possession and drinking and driving in 1999.

Smitherman didn’t heavily attack Ford’s past on those grounds.

“I campaigned honorably,” Smitherman said. “I’m not a person prone to regret, but I’m reminded of that old adage, ‘Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.’ I think we were not aggressive enough in exposing his weaknesses that are even more apparent now.”

Rob Ford is a ratbag. He got busted for drunk driving with drugs. His opponent gets beaten up for his own drug use and doesn’t fight back.? Read more »

Liberals attack…hard

This is the Liberals latest attack ad…

I love negative campaigning…that video will hurt because it is true.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, outgoing Labor Party boss Sam Dastyari have been linked to corrupt former MPs Eddie Obeid and Ian MacDonald in a new series of Liberal Party attack TV ads due to be rolled out across NSW tonight.? Read more »

Some things #Laboursgottalent contenders might say

I’ll just bet the Labour’s got Talent contestants will utter at least a few of these things that losing candidates say:

Some of them will win, but most will lose. So we?ve started taking notes on some sure-fire ways that candidates end up in the latter camp. Here?s a working set of six buzz phrases that almost always guarantee that the candidates uttering them are headed toward defeat.

  1. ?I?m running a grass-roots campaign.??This translates to: ?I?m not going to raise any money.? Running an effective grass-roots and get-out-the-vote operation is important for a campaign, but winning a competitive [electorate] race requires multiple millions of dollars to make your case in paid advertising.
  2. ?The only poll that matters is the poll on Election Day.??This doesn?t guarantee defeat in the upcoming election, but it means you are losing the race at the time and have no empirical evidence to the contrary. It?s up to the candidate to change the dynamic of the race. ? Read more »

Sour Susie: When negative attack ads backfire

There is a a truism about negative attack ads…they must be truthful. Kevin Rudd and Labour have had a massive push back over their “Sour Susie” ads:

It turns out that “Sour Susie” is an actress and not a real concerned mum, and that her lifestyle is afar different from that portrayed in the advert.

THE actress mother hired to bag Tony Abbott in a negative Labor TV ad campaign actually lives with her parents, enjoying their gourmet food and wines, while whingeing about the price of Spanish handmade tiles.? Read more »