fbpx

To ensure a factual campaign, all Labour Party advertising will be in question form

81616315_10157012844766452_6766479382937600000_nquestionformPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern today made the commitment that all her government’s election advertising will be in question form, ensuring a “robust?” but “fair?” campaign in which there would be no risk of the Labour Party making any misleading statements.

Ardern has spent the last two weeks strongly emphasizing her party’s commitment to a transparent, factual election campaign, and the announcement is the latest in a series of moves she says will guarantee an “honest dialogue?” with the electorate.

Labour has already voluntarily signed up to Facebook’s advertising transparency rules, which require parties to disclose who they’re targeting with what ads. This prevents parties from cynically sending different messages to different groups of people, and instead forces them to tell the same lies to everybody.

The Prime Minister says is today’s announcement their strongest measure yet?

“Misleading statements, cynical attacks, outright lies. These are the things that have defined too many elections in the past few years, and we want New Zealanders to be confident that their election will be as free of these things as it can be,” she said, “and it is our view that the best way for us to ensure we don’t make any false statements, is to not make any statements at all.”

Ardern said her government would not be fundamentally changing its campaign plans, and would be merely adding question marks to the end of all its slogans.

“If you add a question mark to the end of a statement, it becomes a question, and questions can’t be wrong.”

“We’re told in school that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers,” she said. “That’s why we’ll only be offering questions.”

Election slogans like “We’re doing this” are set to become “We’re doing this?”, while announcements such as “The biggest infrastructure investment in a generation” will become “The biggest infrastructure investment in a generation?”

“Is it the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation?” asked Ardern. “We don’t know. But if it isn’t, we just want the public to know we haven’t misled them. We’re every bit as unsure as you are.”

“Is National racist?” she mused. “That’s a question.”

“Sorry, is that a question?” she said, correcting herself.

Labour hopes announcing the practice ahead of time will ensure voters don’t get confused like they did in 2017, when they appear to have missed the question mark at the end of “100,000 new homes?”

But the Government’s policy has already caused confusion. Yesterday Ardern announced the date of this year’s election by asking “Is it September 19?” but not guaranteeing that the answer was yes.

Labour’s chief coalition partner, New Zealand First, won’t be following its lead, as it would disrupt its plan to run all election advertising in the form of ominous poetry.

nzfirstpoe

Opposition leader Simon Bridges has rubbished Labour’s question campaign, saying National will help “keep things straight” for New Zealanders by telling only lies.