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Mike's Minute: How much of a role will the conspiracists play in this election?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 24 Feb 2023, 10:55AM

Mike's Minute: How much of a role will the conspiracists play in this election?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 24 Feb 2023, 10:55AM

The good thing for David Seymour last week is he got a full house in Lincoln, just outside of Christchurch.

My sense of this election year is that a lot more will be involved and keen to participate.

The most dangerous thing about a democracy is when people can't be bothered. I think the results in some local body contests is teaching us that.

Christopher Luxon in Christchurch the other day got a full hall as well.

But what both also got were the nutters and the conspiracists.  

Come question time they came out. Had the leaders read the research on the vaccine? What about the Government's dependence on the W.H.O? What about the United Nations and their hidden agenda?

In the ACT meeting they eventually left to applause. The applause was because they were leaving, not because of their questions.

But how much of this year's campaign is going to be hijacked by this sort of behaviour?

From the Government's point of view they already have expressed concerns over potential anger and violence.

It's part of the reason Jacinda Ardern walked. Yes, the polling was bad but the prospect of the sort of reaction she faced weighed heavily. There has already been much thought around public appearances, indoors, outdoors, security and so on.

It will have potentially dissipated with the arrival of Chris Hipkins, but he still represents a Government that has done a lot to upset a lot of people.

He was in charge of covid and MIQ and there remains a lot of residual anger.

And what about freedom of speech? If a hall is full and the questions around conspiracies and vaccines roll on, how much of it gets covered?

How much censoring goes on by a media who already have a shocking reputation for not covering and airing things they don’t agree with?

This has the potential to be one of the ugliest, loudest, angriest and, potentially, divisive campaign in years.

Luxon and Seymour have had an early taste and its only February.    

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