Personal politics and why the Right engages in it

There are many examples of personal politics, but all the attacks tend to come from the Right. It isn't because they are all clean people (with what I've heard about Gerry Brownlee as a school teacher it would make David Benson-Pope look like a Pope). It is because it ultimately helps their aims.
Personal politics creates distrust in politicians, and that distrust is likely to make people go 'hmm, I wonder if I really should trust them with my money".
So the Right spend all their time digging up pieces of dirt on their Left counterparts to try to tarnish the image of politicians. This not only helps get the lefties out of office by making no-one liking their personalities, but it also creates doubt in their policies. It is a two-pronged approach.

What can the Left do to counter it?
I think Helen Clark is the master of this, cast them off and launch a long investigation so that when it comes out everyone is bored of it. But, and more important in the long term, get clean candiates who have done nothing wrong. Also, the left needs to create trust in politicians by being honest and open with the public-> hold election promises etc.
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Anonymous BerlinBear at 20/6/05 11:41 PM said

I agree with your assessment of why the right engages in personal politics, but I disagree that it's only the right that does it. Look at what brought down the Tory government in the UK before Tony Blair came to power: sleaze. And who uncovered all the sleaze? It wasn't the right, that's for sure. Personal politics like you describe cuts both ways. Sure, at the moment in NZ, the right are *very* keen on it, but that's only because it currently *most* suits their needs. When it *most* suits the needs of the centre-left, they'll be on the same bandwagon quick-smart.    



Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie at 21/6/05 10:24 AM said

Wouldn't exactly call Blair left-wing, but sure they will do it for short-term gain, but it is the Right that will benefit in the long-term.
Of course, the Left could benefit from smearing the business community.    



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