April 6, 2016

Can Politics be Marketed like Coke or Condom?

Consumers of political marketing in democracies run on vote-counts face torrents of counterfeit to completely fake assurances of services to garner their votes.  Going by the prevalent level of disgust for politicians in most democracies anyone can safely conclude that the majority consumers feel cheated and exploited by the politicians who enjoy comforts of a President, Prime Minister and other exalted offices way higher up the ladder than those which achiever citizens obtain through hard work and diligent education.

In the era of Societal Marketing orientation when consumers are motivated to experience only those pleasures which would not harm their present society but also ensure a safe future for the coming generations how could hazardous political products be allowed to be marketed in the name of so called adult franchise? If a seller can’t escape the consequences of dangerous products why not penalize politicians and political parties for non-delivery of adequate services? If telcos can be penalized for call dropping & lack of 
connectivity why not hold the Modi government, all governments, to similar test?

When a customer is free to change the service provider in case Airtel , Vodaphone etc fail to ensure call dropping then why demand compensation for lack of services?  Will the Indian politicians demand similar punishment for a political party & politicians for cheating them with fake promises during election campaign? Why have two standards for same crime. It’s wrong to assume that its moral to market everything from religion to insurance. Marketers the world over have accepted the principle of not extending marketing concepts, principles and tool to various category of goods and services to ensure safety of consumers. For example categories like insurance, healthcare are not allowed to be marketed like Condoms and Coke. Political advertising and marketing is too serious a tool to be left at the disposal of unscrupulous politicians who have no regard for ensuring the adequate delivery.

Isn’t it more difficult to get a driver’s job in India than acquire a gift of high political office?  Will it be fair for Rahul Gandhi to become next PM of India without working as a minister till now? What did Modi do before he was made the CM of Gujarat? How could Narendra Modi be expected to lead India to better future if he failed to find a job during his youth? Political offices need people with high degree of expertise and skills besides missionary zeal to do something for a country. Yes there are minimum standards for someone becoming a PM in India but are they enough? Any Donald Trump can charm the voters with a political marketing campaign designed and run by professionals like me but is it good for the health and future of any democracy? Its time India wakes up and lays down clear qualifications-skills and work experience, for the high political offices or be prepared to remain a poor and inconsequential country.

Political marketing is very effective and pervasive discipline having considerable impact on a society therefore it must be held to highest degree of consumer/citizen accountability in a democracy for sake for evolving it into a republic. Election manifestoes and other promises must be brought under consumer rights and the apex courts must old public trial before each election to help citizens make informed choices. Consumer can avoid Coke & condoms but not politics.

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