Health Minister Dr David Clark says claims by National that elective surgeries carried out in Taranaki have dropped ten per cent are “flat out wrong”.
On Monday, Taranaki-King Country National MP Barbara Kuriger sent out a press release stating Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB) saw more than 400 fewer elective surgeries discharged in the year to June 2019 compared with the previous year.
Kuriger said the Government could not be trusted on health and Clark was failing to deliver the care New Zealanders need.
But in an emailed statement, Clark said the figures used by Kuriger were were not the relevant ones, and the opposition knew it.
National’s social media campaign is the key to their win in a 2020 election. After meeting with the NZ team who helped elect Scotty Morrison in Australia using micro targeted social media messages designed to enrage white older men, Simon Bridges now has more social media designers in his Opposition Leaders department than actual researchers.
Electioneering previous to Facebook amounted to identifying voters from a known voting pool and serving that voting pool up messages that made them vote. This was crude targeting, but if you lived in a wealthy neighbourhood, you would hear messages attuned to you, if you lived in a poorer neighbourhood, you would hear messages tailored for that environment.
Facebook however allowed you to hunt not just for known voters, but that vast swathe of people who also don’t bother voting.
On the Left we have told ourselves that vast swathe of people who don’t vote are poor and brown and disenfranchised, and while that is certainly true, it also includes a large number of angry white men who don’t bother voting because they feel culturally alienated by the current paradigms of micro-aggression policing and Millennial sensibilities. This group of males are economically paranoid by their perceived lack of cultural power and whose economic anxiety clashes with being told they are the ones with the privilege.
Rather than engaging, these male white voters simply shield themselves in apathy and cynicism and don’t vote.
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica suddenly had hundreds of data points to know how to precisely push those angry white non voters into rage fuelled voting machines. This manipulation of white male anger become the driving force that saw Trump win, Brexit win and Scott Morrison win.
This is the playbook National are drawing from.
But playing to the worst angels of our nature is just part of the plan, outright deception and manipulations are also part of this plan…
… the difference between the two bars is far, far greater proportionally than the difference in actual numbers, which is an ongoing trend with National’s specifically targeted social media falsehoods…
It’s designed to look like a barchart, but if it were a barchart the dimensions of the colored bits would have a closer quantitative relation to the numbers being displayed. I’m going to assume the numbers are correct, because that’s the sort of thing people are more careful about. The bars aren’t.
To start with, the red bar is wider than the blue bar, which is a well-known graphical exaggeration technique. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is the heights.
On my laptop screen, I measured the red bar as 61% higher than the blue bar. But $2.23/L is only 16% higher than $1.91/L: that’s nearly a four-fold exaggeration of the difference
The dark red ‘Tax’ section of the red bar is 92% higher than the dark blue ‘Tax’ section of the blue bar, but $1.12 is only 29% higher than $0.87: more than a three-fold exaggeration.
If the heights were proportional to the numbers, as in a real barchart, it would look like this:
But wait, there’s more! The blue bar is averaged over nine years of National government; the red bar is from last week. That means the difference between the blue and red bars is partly inflation. Over the time since September 2008, the RBNZ calculator says there has been 18% inflation. We could say, as a rough approximation, that the data spread over nine years should get half the inflation applied. Doing this would wipe out about half the difference between the blue and red bars, to give a comparison like this one:
There has been an increase in petrol prices due to tax increases under Labour. It’s not anywhere near as big as National’s graphic implies.
…so not only will National play to the most fearful, angry and insecure parts of the electorates psyche, it will openly lie about facts and misrepresent them on social media outlets that are not covered by the BSA.
The structural reality of how National intend to make this the most negative election ever by playing directly to that negativity must be consistently pointed out and explained to our whanau so that they don’t get scammed into voting hatefully in 2020.
National are actively attempting to emotionally manipulate you, resist their manufactured and well crafted lies and help others resist it.
Don’t attack those who have been duped into believing the lies because that path leads to entrenching their vote to National, help show them how they’ve been deceived and give them the respect and agency to make their own decision once the scales fall from their eyes.
You combat negative populism with hope, care and love. Piss and vinegar on social media won’t get us anywhere.