Negative political rants and their effective on voters

Negative political rants and their effective on voters
Published: 12 October 2017 (585 Views)
Many people have a visceral reaction to political attack rallies on TV: Not much will prompt a faster change of the electorate heart, but they are difficult to escape during election season and the 2018 election season won't be much different. Political rallies became much more negative over the course of the youth interface. People have noted that noted the youth interface may be remembered for its record setting negativity. . Most speeches during the interface where either praise singing without substance bordering on blasphemy or fully appeal to anger.The 2018 presidential election already has become a nasty one, the campaign trail is becoming self-destructive and it is singling out one victim. It should be noted that when a person is target for abuse many people do sympathise with him. Most speeches have attacked individuals while none have been positive, focusing on Mnangagwa. Moyo on the other hand, has by and large used contrast social media, which both promote himself and attack Mnangagwa. He has aired no positive Twits and now he is The Minister of Higher Education and Munangagwa Affairs.  The Bitterness exhibited in ZANU PF has split the party into two. If it is not controlled now the party will be history.

Most people do remember who promised to destroy the party from inside. One wonders how quick we forget.

it should be said that words mattered but only in "very circumscribed ways" and the "effect of these words appeared to decay quickly. if the goal is to influence voters on Election Day ZANU PF must stop mixing youth programmes with personal attacks. Personal vendettas are not solved by public spats. When people think they have won the battle, the quickly forget that the war has not ended. The Revolutionary party has become a insulting contest.

the Hon Moyo MP went a step down when he starts digging into those living with HIV. it is embarrassing to have such shallowness from the honourable minister and it is not in the best interest of the party to go that low.

Of course, the apparent rising volume and intensity of negative rants may reflect legal changes in how campaigns are prepared in ZANU PF landscape. It should be suggested that the type and potentially lower quality of insults by outside groups may play a role in the election. ZANU PF must put a significant burden on those campaigning to produce and air rallies that could resonate with voters. They may have done so - we need more clarity on this. The reality is they may have also produced rallies that were far less effective at mobilizing or persuading voters. Large numbers in rallies do not always translate to votes. It is what people get from those rallies that they make a choice in voting.

From a historical perspective, it is worth considering; too, that increased news media focus on negative speeches itself have helped accelerate this trend creating a vicious cycle of attack politics driven by political anger, sponsored by those with a vendetta. Our electorate is now more informed and they read between the lines. No amount of cohesion will change their minds if a rally does not address their concerns. At a deeper level, such rallies may work to both "shrink and polarize the electorate,"

Work on the ground finds that voters punish candidates for sponsoring attack speeches. What remains unknown is the extent to which a negative speech is more effective if it is sponsored by a party or a factious group instead. It can be stated that some circumstances, a faction sponsored attack produces less polarization than one sponsored by a party. Now the problem is that sometimes it is difficult to differentiate a party and a faction for all purports to work in the name of the party.

Electoral campaigns are dynamic and an important change in recent elections is the growth of fact-checking; the assessment of the truthfulness of political advertisements by news media organizations and watchdog groups. Before taking the podium to spill the beans one must examine the role that fact-checks play in shaping citizens' views of negative comments on political candidates. The truth shows that fact-checks influence people's assessments of the accuracy, usefulness, and tone of negative political rants. Furthermore, sophisticated citizens and citizens with low tolerance for negative campaigning are most responsive to fact-checks. The fact-checks also sway citizens' likelihood of accepting the claims made in the rallies.

Most people suggest that fact checking can reduce the impact of negative commenting but that men and women differ in their receptivity to fact checking. "Women are likely to view negative comments as less useful and less accurate when they are exposed to a fact check challenging the facts presented in an attack rallies. Perhaps more importantly, women are also less likely to believe the claims in negative comments when they view a fact check challenging the claims. Men, in contrast, are less likely to be influenced by fact checks refuting the assertions made in a negative rally. the crux of the matter is that there are more women voters than men and alienating a voter from you or your party is suicide.

Given the depth of failure on negative speeches in campaigns, people have wondered why officials continue to attack their opponents in the same party. It is never efficacious for officials to run attack campaigns but running positive rallies can increase party's margin of victory. The party must always stay positive and out-campaign their opponents not their own members. Second, the effects of positive campaigning are strongest in areas where the party is losing or winning by a large margin  areas where they might be tempted to not campaign at all."

The ability of the news media to mobilize voters during an election campaign is not well understood. Consistent with expectations, conflict framing in campaign news mobilized voters to vote. If the journalists propel a conflict in a party the voters are likely to abandon the party at the last minute.
 
The conventional wisdom about negative political campaigning holds that it works, i.e., it has the consequences its practitioners intend. Many observers also fear that negative campaigning has unintended but detrimental effects on the political system itself. There is reliable evidence that negative campaigning depresses voter turnout, and it does slightly lower feelings of political efficacy, trust in government and possibly overall public mood."

Voters' tolerance for negative campaigns and political rhetoric depends on individual characteristics: Those with a strong party affiliation and a deep interest in the campaign tend to be more tolerant and their impressions of candidates were not as deeply influenced by negativity. Men are more tolerant than women of negative content, while older respondents are less tolerant. Overall, "people who do not like uncivil and irrelevant discourse in negative communication are more responsive to the variation in the content and tone of negative comments. These messages directly influence their assessments of incumbents and challengers.

Voters tend to separate a campaign tone from whether they believe it to be informative: many voters will (correctly) perceive a campaign as negative but will also believe that it is providing truthful information. "These dimensions appear to be separate constructs in citizens' minds." Voters can accurately perceive whether a campaign is negative, and such judgment is not just a matter of which candidate they prefer. "Public perceptions of negativity do in fact respond to reality." The degree of a campaign's negativity as reflected in speeches has little bearing on whether voters believe it is informative. "There is no relationship between the volume of negative appeals and beliefs about whether the candidates were providing useful information or discussing policy issues."

The way the party is taking now is depressing and seriously disappointing. While other camps are celebrating that they are winning and succeeding in dressing down others, it is their selfishness which makes them blind to the impact their public war causes to the party at large. The powers that be are being misled and drawn in the factions which are counterproductive to the party.

This public spat must stop or Zanu PF will die.

vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk


- Dr Masimba Mavaza

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