Narrow view of political marketing regard it as electioneering, i.e. a set of strategies and tools to trace and study public opinion, develop campaign communications and assess their impact. This is misleading and it undermines the true benefit of political marketing.
I would blame the capitalism as oppose to liberalism approach as the source of this different views. Capitalism, as we know it, only cares about winning. It doesn’t matter how they win the market. Political marketing as electioneering does the purpose. Why would they need more? Little they care about how this electioneering lowering the quality of our politics.
Liberalism on the other hand aims for the improvement of quality of life, including the quality of political process. There will be people who benefit from this process but the system make sure without further innovation they can be at the top for long period. This is free competition all about.
Electioneering does not create added value to the people. It only helps the political entities to seize the power. Sometimes, it cuts too many corners in terms of ethic and moral. If any, the benefit for people comes from how these political entities use the power later. However, this is beyond electioneering.
Any beneficial practice of marketing start with a big question on how we can make people live better. The product marketing tries to answer this question through their product innovation. The political entities should do the same.
Butler and Collins (1999) states there are three “product” of political market (a) its ideological platform and its set of policy proposals (b) the candidates for public offices (c) party leader, party officials and party member. These three products are the ones who are supposed to make people live better.
I know, how far we are from the day when we will really have this. In the time when we have Fahrihamzah, Sutan Bhatoegana, Marzuki Ali, Nurdiman Munir around, it is difficult to see the day will come. But hope is something we cannot afford to lose.
If for some miracles, a political party is able to wipe out thieves and crooks from their leader board, these three should become the subjects for innovation and capabilities building. A political party should spend a significant amount of their time to develop its policy proposals and human resource. Only then, they can make people live better.
As we lose hope the existing parties, probably, a new party such as Partai SRI is in a position to do it before it is too late.