Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Race-baiting campaigns likely to backfire says academic

Race-baiting campaigns likely to backfire says academic

A recent spate of racist slurs by political candidates from ACT, New Zealand First, and Labour are more likely to turn off voters rather than attract them, says Auckland University of Technology history professor Paul Moon

Professor Moon has said that the New Zealand electorate has become much more sophisticated over the past four decades, and that it has developed a distaste for racism in the political sphere.

“In the 1970s, racism was sometimes a deliberate, prominent and very nasty feature in campaigning,” he points out. “Since that time, though, the electorate has been gradually drifting away from politicians who rely on racial components to their campaigns.”

“We have reached the point now”, says Professor Moon, “where race-baiting is more likely to backfire on campaigns. However, the fact that racist comments continue to appear suggests that some candidates are desperate enough to take the gamble in order to attract publicity.”

He notes that while racism is now more likely to repel than attract voters, the role of social media has the potential to magnify statements that in previous decades would never have achieved nearly as much circulation: “the result is that even off-the-cuff comments can now easily achieve national prominence.”

Professor Moon also points out that demographic changes to New Zealand society are making the use of racism in political campaigns increasingly irrelevant. He says that while the Race Relations Office and popular blogs such as Whaleoil have condemned racist comments made by certain candidates, widespread public discomfort with racism in the campaign is a more significant sign that New Zealand is becoming increasingly politically mature.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


After Urgent Law Change: Beneficiaries Urged To Act Immediately

I am hoping that thousands more people will be enabled to lodge their review... people without internet, who don't even realise that this has been happening. If just a fraction of the people on facebook can help others to put in reviews tomorrow it could improve so many more peoples Christmas. More>>


Auckland: Phil Goff To Run For Mayor In 2016

Phil Goff has today announced his decision to stand as an Independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland next year... As Mayor, Phil Goff will focus on a number of issues that directly impact on the lives of Aucklanders, including tackling traffic congestion and increasing the housing supply. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Mike Moore To Step Down As US Ambassador

Yvonne and I are giving notice to MFAT that we will be leaving the Post just before Christmas on the 16th December... I am now the longest serving continuous Ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it. More>>


Fox Glacier: Seven Dead In Helicopter Crash

The operation to recover the victims of Saturday’s helicopter crash at Fox Glacier is a technically challenging task calling for specialist skills in an unforgiving environment, says operation commander Inspector John Canning. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news