Who decides the election

Homepaddock has an excellent illustration of the problem every political party faces:

I’ve just picked up today’s papers from a dairy and commented as I passed them over to the young bloke serving me that these are interesting times politically.

He replied, “What’s happening?” …  “Are there elections this year?”

Read the whole post. It is voters like this young man who will decide the election this year, and every year. People who aren’t really interested in politics and will make their decision based on a small amount of information. They may always vote for one party, or pick between Labour and National depending on the mood of the times. Or they may pick one issue they like the sound of and just vote on that (“I like the environment so I’ll vote Green”, “Maori have it rough so I’ll vote for the Maori Party”, hopefully “I care about my family so I’ll vote for the Family Party”), or sometimes “That poor guy Winston Peters is being hassled by the media again, I’ll vote for him”.

I am not criticising these voters at all. These voters are busy working in the real world, and don’t care about politics. In focussing on day-to-day life they are being more practical than those of us who do spend time on politics in many ways. But ultimately politics will affect their lives somehow, and they will vote one way or another.

You can’t reach these people through political blogs – they aren’t interested in politics so won’t be reading them. You may be able to reach them through the newspapers, but some of them may not read the political articles if they aren’t interested in them. You may reach them through TV and radio, but broadcast advertising is strictly regulated. The most effective way of reaching them through TV is by getting onto the news and current affairs programmes – which Mr Key has been doing a great job of throughout the recent Peters controversy. Leaflets and billboards may work too, although leaflets can be just thrown in the bin.

How do you reach people who aren’t interested in politics?

Suggestions welcome!

One Response to “Who decides the election”

  1. kiwipolemicist Says:

    I’ve just read Life At The Bottom: The Worldview That Makes The Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple and I would highly recommend it. I quote: “The day-to-day flux is their whole world: a little shopping, a little cooking, a little tidying up, a lot of television, a visit to the social security office, and a few hours in the pub while the money lasts”.

    My only criticism of the book is that he perpetuates the myth of criminals having a “fragile ego”.


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