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Stop insulting our intelligence!

Press Release –Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce

9 September 2005

Stop insulting our intelligence!

Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Charles Finny has fired a broadside at the New Zealand election media coverage and reporting for what he has described as the dumbing down of political campaigns in the run up to the General Election. In particular, Mr Finny has cited the latest headline hogging Brethren fiasco as dangerous to electoral integrity as well as insulting voter intellect.

“One week out from the election people should be reading and hearing about the issues that are actually pertinent to the future of country and people’s livelihoods, not being bombarded with trivial sidelines. There are so many critical issues in this election that voters need to be brought up to speed on that this sort of media blow out is actually very dangerous for the country and the Government that is to be elected as a result.

“Is this stupid pamphlet campaign more important than health, education, roading infrastructure and tax rates? Is it more important than the negative impact on the economy of the Kyoto Protocol? No it is not! There are hugely more important issues to be covering on the front page of national newspapers than witch hunts to uncover the source of a third party pamphlet drop which, in any event seems to be entirely commonplace in this election. Look at parallel campaigns carried out by the CTU and the EPMU. We do not see how this has even become an issue. Does anyone actually care about this rubbish? They shouldn’t. I would like to think that the New Zealand voting population is savvy enough to be concerned about other issues over and above this one and they have the right to be better informed on all of them than they are being at present.

“The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce is fiercely non-partisan when it comes to election issues and political parties”, comments Mr Finny, “but what we and our members would like to see is election coverage which challenges peoples intellect rather than seeing the campaigns targeted by largely irrelevant topics – move on. If this election must be fought on single issue politics, let’s at least have the media focus the public onto an issue that is actually deserved of that attention.”


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