Are you positive?

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, September 3rd, 2008 - 5 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, slippery - Tags:

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?]

5 comments on “Are you positive?”

  1. Being on message is incredibly important if you’ve got CT running your campaign.

    You want to reduce the debate to a set of talking points that allow you to frame the issues simply, and in a way that allows you to avoid having to talk specifics, or give your opponents the ability to bring up facts and defend. Remember, explaining is losing.

  2. Ben R 2

    “Being on message is incredibly important if you’ve got CT running your campaign.”

    Or any media trainer? Google “staying on message’ – it’s pretty much standard.

  3. Maybe that’s because people do think negatively of Labour. The polls would say so.

  4. Felix 4

    The “on-message” comment just highlights exactly where johnny’s head is at.

    He’s been told over and over to “stay on-message” and now he’s actually forgotten who he’s talking to.

    infused: that doesn’t make it positive.

  5. Rob 5

    I think this is a brilliant speech by Dr Catt and certainly on the message about a poorly written Law the EFA. How sad for Annette King , Helen Clark, Heather Simpson all democracy squashes in our Country. Well done Dr Catt for saying it like it is the Law is an ass!!

    IrishBill says: I’ve just scrolled back through your recent comments and most of them are off-topic and frequently link to material of no relevance to the thread. One more of these and you’re banned for a week. Then you could use the time to start your own blog so you can post on all these things you feel so strongly about.

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