Guest Post: Keep children out of campaigns

A guest post from a reader:

They say that in election campaigns you should keep families out of it, especially children.

Obviously both the and RNZ Checkpoint did not get the memo.

In an extraordinarily uncritical piece on Friday September 15, Checkpoint ran a piece detailing how primary school children in Porirua and Wainuiomata were encouraging their parents to enrol and vote.

The reporter, John Gerritson, even acknowledged the role the NZEI was playing in this piece of political treachery by saying the children were taking home “resources” provided by the union.

This soft piece on union and Labour Party promotion began with some vox pops from children. They were of primary school age. They’d been asked why it was important to enrol to vote. The first three or four answers, out of the mouths of babes, said that it was because you ”could vote for change.”

My goodness. I wonder who’d told them that ?

Not one of them said anything like “so you can vote to keep the country on a sound economic footing” or “so you can vote to keep unemployment at low levels.”

We are constantly told that children of all ages need to be taught civics as part of the school curriculum. I couldn’t agree more. They should be taught about democracy, about how it’s important to vote and about how all sides of a political argument should be explored before a vote is cast.

They should not be indoctrinated with resources supplied by a teachers’ union which is supporting the Labour Party.

The principal of one of the schools featured then had the temerity to say that it was important to get children to encourage their parents to enrol and vote ! What’s more they were holding parent evenings where parents could enrol on the night. Then they were opening an early voting booth next week so parents could cast their vote.

Am I being too cynical, but do you think the teacher/union member addressing the parents might have suggested a vote for Labour was the best way forward for the country ?

Dear me. If a parent does not know their duty and responsibility to enrol and vote by the time they have children of school age, then you wonder just what kind of education they had. At any rate, it is not the role of a primary school to be telling parents what to do politically.

Incidentally, Whaleoil has posted on this before and shown some of the brochures that children have been given to take home with them. The display of the political party symbols has Labour top left  i.e. in the most prominent position.

So this piece went on, unabated on RNZ for about 4 minutes. Not once, did the journalist think about offering a critical or inquisitive line asking whether it was the NZEI’s business to be enrolling voters through vulnerable children.

And at the end, all John Campbell could say was “lovely, thank you John Gerritson, lovely piece.”

No wonder the Labour Party want their RNZ comrades to run a TV station for them too. Just think of the propaganda Campbell et al could spout on their behalf.

A great guest post. It is outraegous that NZEI are using children to get their propoganda to parents.

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