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It's election year here in New Zealand, and we're about 2 months out from voting day.

The election year build up as been in the media for a few months now, but parties appear to be holding on to their election year policies, and drip feeding them to the public?

Why do they hold on to their election policies for so long, rather than have them out in the open and become more common knowledge and discussion?

I.e. There is a lot of discussion about the parties in the 6 months leading up to the election, but most of this is without the parties having even released policies.

  • perhaps you could link to some of their releases so that those of us outside of NZ can have some context for what you are asking about – SoylentGray Aug 6 '14 at 13:33
  • You do have to consider the media's role. A party can issue press release after press release announcing their policies, but the media's not going to report on them if there's more sensational news that will sell more newspapers. – BenM Sep 17 '14 at 1:30
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There's two main reasons for a lack of details on policy. Firstly, the media. Going through the numbers on a particular tax proposal just isn't going to get many views.

Secondly, the parties have very little incentive to release details either. That would give the other parties ammunition against them, and some voters may switch sides because they disagree.

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A very important factor which can decide an election is media presence. The more often a party is mentioned in the media, the more do people become aware of it and the more likely are they to consider voting for them.

For that reason it is important in a media campaign to try to influence the media to report often about the party, and most of all report a lot in the crucial time a few weeks before the election.

When a party releases their whole program long before the election, there will be one day of media activity discussing it and then silence because there is nothing more to say about it. The voters will have completely forgotten about it until the election. But when a party drip-feeds their policies slowly, the media will report a lot more often about every new release, which gives the party far more screentime.

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