Talking about the Nat billboard campaign on Wammo’s show this morning, Key said it was going to positive and on message*. Umm, when’s the positive bit coming?
Because ‘wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones’ is not a positive message. It’s negatively framed and intentionally so. If the Nats wanted to be positive they would have words like ‘choose National for lower taxes’ but they chose to put it negatively instead.
The same with ‘get youths into training, not into trouble’. The language is divisive and exclusionary – ‘youths’ are the other, potentially dangerous, threatening. They’re all out there creating ‘trouble’ and it’s all Labour’s fault. Again, they could have chosen positive language ‘National: dedicated to improving skills training’ (I’m not trying to make these alternatives good, don’t want to give them ideas, I’m just showing that positive framing is possible).
Despite Key’s promises, National is running a negative campaign. Its strategy is to raise dissatisfaction with Labour and hope the votes will come its way. There’s nothing wrong with that; run a negative campaign if you want. But don’t lie about it.
*[God knows why Nat being ‘on message’ is something Key skites about – how does being ‘on message’ help voters make an informed decision?]