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Entry 218, on 2005-09-07 at 16:39:48 (Rating 5, Politics)
Politics are getting interesting here in New Zealand, about 2 weeks from our election day. Its common for (theoretically) non-political organisations to produce advertising campaigns for the party they want to support - some unions support Labour, while the business community tends to support National or Act - but now extensive anonymous mail-outs are appearing with no obvious source. Not only is the origin of these uncertain, but they tend to be even less factual than other campaigns we have seen before.
I'm not naive enough to expect that biased advertising will ever be eliminated from politics, but I would have thought that at least we should know whose opinions are being presented. After all, depending on who is presenting the information, the same fact can mean many different things.
The worrying trend here seems to be the increasing involvement of fundamentalist and extreme religious groups. I heard an interview recently from a group supporting, so called, family values. At no point was it mentioned that this group had a religious agenda, although that was apparent to me about half way through the interview. Now the Exclusive Brethren (can you believe it) have started a smear campaign against the political left, especially the Greens (who I would have though support Christian ideals more than most).
The reason these groups don't admit to being religiously motivated is because most New Zealanders would immediately reject them for the cranks they are. We can all see what religious freaks have done in the US, and the last thing most of us want is the same nonsense going on here. Religious belief is fine, as long as its not taken too seriously. No one with normal, balanced thought processes can be a fundamentalist believer - its just too crazy to be true - so the political opinions of these people are likely to have a negative effect on their cause.
That is unless they disguise the message with a well thought out cover story. I mean, who doesn't want to improve the life of children, or support families? We all want to do this, but introducing fundamentalist Christian dogma isn't likely to help.
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