#5PPRICE. POLITICAL How do voters calculate how much their vote is worth?
In politics, unlike commerce, the political parties (companies) do not fix the PRICE (VALUE) OF A VOTE, it’s fixed by the voters (consumers). Votes are the currency utilized to “buy” the candidates (products) that satisfy expectations.
To set the PRICE (VALUE) OF A VOTE, we must account the following factors:
Definition: “The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person”. It’s their being, roots, experiences, knowledge, behavior, skills, etc.
Through this lens or filter (the ethos) we perceive life and people. The ethos is the single most important factor to identify how voters will assess each candidate. For example, if a loved one fell victim to members of a particular party they’ll never vote for it, if members of their immediate family have always supported a given political party, there will be greater affinity towards it.
Some people may vote for a candidate just considering he’s the same religion, race, and sex or has the same sexual orientation that they have. That’s as deep as their examination will reach. Their ethos developed through life experiences doesn’t let them see “realities” in different ways.
If a person appreciates voting as a luxury knowing in other countries this right doesn’t exist; if their ethos allows people to believe that voting can create a difference; if it’s interpreted as a civic duty, or they feel some degree of confidence in the players and the political system, these citizens will vote.
On the other hand, if the voter has been channeled to fill his heart with hatred, he will not vote based on the qualities of the candidate, but will only base his vote on the damage that he may cause to those he abhors. This is one of the objectives of populism; transform the ethos through grudge and the creation of mirages and the distribution of superficial gifts intended only for bait.
Current and historical political/social situations and their actors
They influence in two ways, they feed and generate the inhabitants’ ethos, but at the same time they’re filtered by the same ethos.
The social political environment also influences the value that’s given to a vote and is constantly forming our opinions: the results of our political system; messages and actions made by the actors; corruption, political behavior (e.g. how has a congressman voted on vital issues, have they been involved in scandals, etc.), national or international triggers, in brief, all those circumstantial events that motivate or not a person to vote and by whom.
Current and future benefits (campaign promises)
This factor has to do with candidates and political party’s perceptions that can certainly be modified through campaigns.
There’s been given to much importance to political campaigns and they’re actually tremendously significant; but their real influence is only on a minor number of people, this argument is not diminishing their significance, since this number’s the one who has determined the winner in numerous elections. What we’re doing is determining the political campaigns reach.
Other triggers that con influence behavior of people who’s ethos makes them flexible are populist measures as gifts during the campaign, or proposals that really interest and voters truly believe that candidate will implement.
In politics the opportunity cost is conformed of: 1)The value and satisfaction that an alternative action to voting can deliver, 2) future expectations if a person doesn’t vote and 3) the risks of exercising the right to vote if they existed.
For countless humans watching TV, attending to the beach or hanging out with friends is simply more valuable than voting, since for them no matter who wins, nothing will change for the best. In contrast, to others the opportunity cost may be the loss of democracy, the radicalization of crime, a lamp in the corner of their block or a faucet needed in a public school.
The opportunity cost on the day of the election can be measured as: will there be transportation or do I walk to to the voting center? Should I stay home or: 1) incur in the risk of attending a voting center that has been taken by gangs, 2) attempt to vote even though gangs have threatened me and my family not to, 3) vote under fire in a civil war, etc. Another opportunity cost could be as simple as not voting because your candidate has already told the media he won, and as has happened before, he didn’t.
In a nutshell: the value that a citizen gives to their vote can vary from something as painful as the death of a family member or as significant as losing democracy or may depend on something as insignificant as watching a movie at home.
Through marketing you apply the appropriate strategies for each segment of voters and you must learn with exact science what factors can influence the people whose ethos is open to change their minds, don’t waste your time in those who’ll never transform their feelings.
But even more essential is that politicians forget that they’re always in the public arena; every action, every law, every bonus, trip or travel expenses they receive; every death or every month you delay in granting appointments in the health system, affects the decision of those whose ethos gives them the flexibility to select.
It is therefore vital that the marketing strategy is perennial, and that the products (political actors), genuinely meet the needs in the short, medium and long terms of their “consumers”.