Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Selling out?

So, Sue Bradford thinks the Greens are "selling out" by condemning Jolyon White's co-ordinated, nationwide subversion of the National Party's signage. Hardly. Instead, they're sticking to their principles of clean politics, which necessarily involves not using or endorsing such tactics. As for those who approve of it, I think they are not just unprincipled, but stupid and shortsighted.

Election campaigns are supposed to be about the battle for public opinion. And that means everyone needs to be able to have their say, free of violence and intimidation. While sign vandalism is part and parcel of election campaigning, and everyone likes a good adbust, this is on a different scale from the usual random individual actions, and as a result, downright dangerous. To point out the obvious, other parties or their activists can do this too. And that sort of battle can only favour the larger parties, who have more thugs and more money.

Sue Bradford might want to live in a New Zealand where small parties cannot effectively contest elections because their messages are systematically destroyed by thuggery. I do not.