Friday, October 18, 2019

Position Paper On Negative Campaigning In The Local Politics Essay

Position Paper On Negative Campaigning In The Local Politics - Essay Example This is perhaps the only reason for its dislike with the general public. The medium for negative campaigning can include ads, speeches, pamphlets etc. but is most successful in ads especially in modern elections. Trevor Parry-Giles and Shawn J. Parry-Giles in their paper "Embracing the Mess: Reflections on Campaign 2000", believe that modern politics has degenerated gravely. They take issue with a section of academics who believe that the problem of negative campaigning and especially negative advertising has been greatly exaggerated. The two contend that the issue of negative campaigning and its harmful effects are underestimated. They do agree that the most used negative ads are contrast ads which show a difference in position between a candidate and his opponent. However they also point out that negative ads that insult, that are false and misleading and plain dangerous thrive "under the radar of mainstream media" (722). Before we go any further, we need to explain exactly what is meant by the term negative campaigning. Richard R. Lau and Gerald M. Pomper in their paper "Effectiveness of Negative Campaigning in U.S. Senate Elections" describe negative campaigning as focusing on the defects of your opponents, be they campaign policies or personal failures. Positive campaigning is the simple opposite, with the focus on a candidate's own persona, his policies, strengths and successes. Early studies in experimental research have indicated that people were indeed repelled by negative campaign ads which in turn led to low voter turnout. Recent research, which has been generally survey research, on the other hand vindicates the view that people may be influenced more by negative campaigning than they would like to believe. Psychologically it has been attributed to the fact that humans are wired to respond more to negative information than the positive. As explained by Paul Martin in his essay, "Inside the Black Box of Negative Campaign Effects: Three Reasons Why Negative Campaigns Mobilize" man's involuntary stimulation to negative information is primeval, generated by the need for a quick response to what can be a threat to us. Martin cites a host of critics and theorists to prove that negative information generates a quick and heightened level of awareness in people. He claims in his paper that a predisposed susceptibility to negative information or in this case negative campaigns move people toward political participation rather than away from it.Though there is felt to be a preponderance of negative campaigns today, they have been around for decades. A famous negative campaign ad was the Daisy ad utilized by Lyndon B. Johnson to defeat Barry Goldwater in the 1964 U.S. Presidential elections. The ad shows a young girl counting the petals of a daisy, symbolizing innocence and fragility. The image of the girl then is replaced by the mushroom cloud effect of a nuclear explosion. The point of the ad was to convey to the American people that only Johnson was equipped to handle the responsibility of being the President of a country with nuclear power. Johnson won by a landslide. According to Martin, negative campaigns work in three ways to influence voters. They raise awareness of pertinent public issues; they stimulate "anxiety" about a particular candidate and influence perceptions of a close and tight race

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