negative campaigning?

Johannes Zarl-Zierl jzarl at
Sat Jul 29 13:14:19 UTC 2017


I've already sent a lengthy mail detailing my position w.r.t. negative 
campaigning, but I would like to add this point:

Not every "negative" message is negative campaigning.

On Mittwoch, 26. Juli 2017 12:14:49 CEST Daniel Pocock wrote:
> If I was in somebody's house and I saw their kitchen had caught fire,
> should I avoid talking about it because it is a negative topic and they
> might feel bad?  Or should I warn somebody?

This example is very contrived, but: of course you tell someone. You want them 
to make an informed choice („Hmmm… if my kitchen's on fire I better call 0118 
999 88199 9119 725 3“[1])

> What about a hidden risk that most people can't see, for example, if you
> were an official who knew about the contamination[1] in the water in
> Flint, Michigan, should you keep your mouth shut?  Or would people thank
> you for sharing negative information?

Fulfilling your duty as an elected official, or as a public servant is not 
negative campaigning. „There are dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in the 
water. Don't drink it.“ is putting out facts.
Using these facts for personal gain to paint somebody in a bad light is 
negative campaigning.

I have to admit, though, that in practice telling both apart can be tricky or 


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