Monday, February 16, 2009

Political Campaign and Desperate Attempts

Election campaign in Indonesia, I think, has arrived to its most desperate moment. A sound example is:

This example is not exclusive to PDIP. See below.


Joking aside, I think that banner is a testament of how dire our democracy is. That voters are anonymous, imitative, uncritical people whose votes are easily swayed by popular culture. That is, if this manner of campaign is effective.

Political campaign, I think, is no longer exclusive to political science and debates. The more campaign political parties apply in our daily lives, mostly through the media (television, internet, radio), the more it has entered the realm of media and (popular) culture.

Political campaign, historically, was actually developed from the basic idea of propaganda. That a single idea should be repeated, instilled, consistently projected in order to change the 'mind' of the audience. Although effects may be measured, I choose to advocate for the idea that the audience are not a mindless, uncritical mass easily swayed. Part of (that) audience are people with sound judgements which should be approached in a careful manner.

But then again, from the perspective of the political organisation, it really depends on whose vote you are trying to gain. If I were them, and I'm being a devil's advocate when I'm saying this, trying to gain the votes of many (lower educated, lower income, which comprise most of the country's population) the easiest way would perhaps be by endorsing the campaign with as many icons of popular culture (as is the case of Cynthia Lamusu's father).

It makes you think, doesn't it? That the manner a political party chooses in its campaign is actually a manifestation of their goals. For political parties which goal is to gain as many voters, then the simplest of options is best. But for political parties which goal is to bear the aspirations of many, campaign will be formed accordingly.

Note: I have no strong political stance nor a political position. I have no loyalty towards any party and my vote is based on information and consideration instead of blind loyalty.

Which makes me wonder... PKS has consistently attributed the same symbols, meaning and text in their advertising - which lead to the latest controvery of employing newspaper headlines on political disputes between parties.

Their courageous political stance led me, a self-proclaimed critical voter, to open their website and read their vision and mission. Browse through online material to find out how the media has portrayed their demonstration, how they organise their mass and what they fight for (and how!).

Aside from what their actual goal is, PKS has employed a very intelligent, careful, critical campaign strategy which either is a testament to what they believe in or a testament to how brilliant their campaign manager is.

The optimist in me has decided.

Oh. This is no endorsement. This is a trigger to an open debate on something that truly matters.

1 comment:

I fait accompli you! said...

Those campaign banners and/or billboards made me cringe. My preferences aside, I'm glad that at least one party is employing a more intelligent campaign, and moving towards educating voters, rather than banking on celebs.