Political Marketing has been proved as a powerful tool to win public offices in democratic countries. Even in Indonesia. The question however, how this tool so far, has contributed to the quality of our politics.
Quality of politics is determined by how well the process help the voters to get public policies that they want. In essence, the system should be able to capture and deliver people’s aspiration. It also provides enough room for control and improvement feedback.
Because people have different aspiration, the system has to ensure that the public policies are set according to what majority want. Of course, as long as the policies are not in violation to any constitutional rights in order to protect minorities’ interest.
So far, application of political marketing in Indonesia is observable in two forms. First, the political polling and second the media campaign. Political pooling deals with capturing the people aspiration while the media campaign influences people to vote for their candidates. In superficial level these are what people in other democratic countries do. So we are in the right track, yes? I don’t think so.
Indonesian democracy is still in the infant period. In a way we have to take a good care of it. While in the other side it is just plainly annoying. It is egocentric, loud, hungry for attention and do not know any better. If we want to nurture this baby, we should do it in a way to reduce these bad traits. Current application of political marketing in Indonesia just does the opposite.
Media campaign to run for public offices is inevitable. But the current practice is conducted in a way to express the narcissistic behavior of an infant. Look at the poster, billboard and all media channel. All you see is babies scream: I am a baby, pick me, pick me! Not that I don’t like a baby. Unless they are mine, I want them just to close their mouths.
The political pooling just make it worst. Instead of really trying to capture what people want, they just busy with popularity contest: I am the cutest, everybody like me la la la. Sometime they just manipulate the result to shape public preference. In doing so, they actually violate their code of conduct. But why should they care, they are just babies.
Nonetheless, we need to nurture the babies in hoping someday they turn out to become valuable to this nation. In doing so, we need to use the political marketing as it is suppose to do. To create value.