“In an election campaign, sleep is for the weak.”
Jess Phillips, Politician
Advantages & Disadvantages of Election Campaigns
Election campaigns have become quite popular over the past decades in many countries all over the world.
Politicians often try to convince the general public to vote for them in the upcoming elections through those campaigns.
Even though political campaigns can have several benefits, there are also some problems related to them.
In this article, the pros and cons of election campaigns are examined.
Advantages of Election Campaigns
- Election campaigns as effective tool to get more votes
- May be helpful to convince indecisive voters
- Can improve the popularity of a candidate
- Politicians can talk to the general public
- May lead to a higher level of political interest among the local population
- People may regain trust in politicians
- May help to make people aware of serious problems
- Important to show political attitude
- May have a multiplier effect
- May help to raise the overall level of tolerance towards minorities
Election campaigns as effective tool to get more votes
One advantage of election campaigns is that politicians might be able to get more votes.
Quite often, significant financial budgets are used to convince the general public to vote for certain candidates of a party.
Studies have shown that election campaigns can have a significant positive impact for a candidate in terms of winning an election.
This is not surprising since if a candidate will be on TV or on other media channels more often, people get a feeling that this person is quite popular and that they may want to vote for him, at least in case he is able to present his ideas in a sympathetic manner.
May be helpful to convince indecisive voters
Political campaigns can have a serious impact on the outcome of elections, especially in regions where many people are still indecisive regarding their voting decision.
In those regions, election campaigns may be a main factor to convince people to vote for a certain party and therefore to win the overall election.
Can improve the popularity of a candidate
Also for candidates who are rather new in the political system, election campaigns can help quite a lot since they can significantly improve the level of popularity of a candidate.
Moreover, many political candidates might actually have pretty good ideas, but they will often not be able to communicate those ideas to the local population without having proper political campaigns.
Thus, especially for politicians who are not quite renowned and popular yet, political campaigns can have a huge impact on their success in upcoming elections.
Politicians can talk to the general public
Depending on the kind of political campaign, politicians may also be able to directly speak to the general public.
This is often quite important since people want to really get to know politicians before they vote them and if a politician takes the time to talk to people 1:1, many people will highly appreciate this and the chances that the candidate will get many more votes increase significantly.
Therefore, if you currently set up your election campaign, make sure that you get the opportunity to really talk to people in your region so that they are able to get to know you on a personal level.
May lead to a higher level of political interest among the local population
Through election campaigns and the events related to it, more people may become interested in the political discourse and the overall awareness regarding the importance of politics in general may increase as well.
Hence, especially in regions where people are rather uninterested in politics, election campaigns may also have the nice side effect that people become more aware of their political influence and that it is important to engage in political discussions.
People may regain trust in politicians
The older people get, the more frustrated they are regarding our political system on average.
This is due to the fact that those older people experienced many different political regimes, yet no regime had been able to fulfill the expectations of the general public in a sufficient manner and therefore, many people lost trust in our politicians over time.
Especially in such a case, election campaigns may be necessary to get back this trust and to ensure a working democracy.
May help to make people aware of serious problems
Many people in our nowadays society have so much to do in their daily life that they are no longer up-to-date regarding our big global problems.
For instance, while we all know that protecting our planet and slowing down climate change may be important, many people still don’t take action since they are often trapped in a quite lethargic state.
In such a case, election campaigns are quite important to raise the awareness of the general public on those important topics so that a change towards an eco-friendlier behavior will be possible in the future.
Important to show political attitude
Many people may not even know for what the different parties really stand for and what values they represent.
In order to communicate those values to people who are rather uninformed, it might be curial to set up election campaigns in order to convince those people of the values that are represented by the politician or by the respective political party.
May have a multiplier effect
Even though politicians often only speak to a rather limited number of people in political campaigns, those campaigns can still be quite important since people talk to each other and positive aspects of those campaigns may cause a multiplier effect, which may lead to an exponential effect regarding the increase in popularity of a certain candidate.
May help to raise the overall level of tolerance towards minorities
Another benefit of election campaigns is that they might also be helpful to raise the overall level of tolerance towards minorities in a country.
For instance, if a candidate of a party has a foreign ethnic background or belongs to a religious minority and presents his arguments quite well, chances are that the general public will become aware of the fact that people who belong to a certain minority are still valuable members of society.
In turn, the overall level of discrimination towards minorities may decrease significantly over time.
Disadvantages of Political Campaigns
- May not help for people who already have a strong political opinion
- Effectiveness of those campaigns depends on the regions
- Election campaigns are expensive
- Campaigns may be financed by lobbyists
- Unpleasant political outcomes
- Money may become a main factor for election success
- May do more harm than good
- Success depends on the team behind the political campaign
- May not reach the right audience
- Plenty of money is wasted in such campaigns
- Money could be better spent on other important things
May not help for people who already have a strong political opinion
Apart from the many important advantages of election campaigns, there are also some issues related to those political constructs.
One problem of political campaigns is that they may be rather useless for people who already have a quite strong political opinion regarding whom they want to vote.
If the concentration of people that already have those strong opinions is quite high, election campaigns will usually be quite ineffective.
Effectiveness of those campaigns depends on the regions
Whether an election campaign will be successful or not also strongly depends on the geographic region.
For instance, there are regions in a country where it is part of the local traditions to vote for a certain party and candidates who belong to another party may have a quite hard time to convince people to vote for them in those regions.
Election campaigns are expensive
Another downside of election campaigns is that they are quite expensive.
Many millions or even billions of dollars are often spent on main political campaigns like the presidential election campaigns.
Yet, the true effect of those campaigns may be hard to measure and this money might be better used for other political purposes instead.
Campaigns may be financed by lobbyists
Lobbying is quite common in political discourse.
However, when it comes to election campaigns, lobbying can be a serious problem.
If those election campaigns are mainly financed by lobbyists, chances are that they will expect significant favors in return once the respective candidate had been elected.
However, those favors are not necessarily aligned with the preferences of the general public and therefore, election campaigns that are financed by lobbyists may be quite harmful to the overall quality of life of the general public in the long run.
Unpleasant political outcomes
Since election campaigns can also result in a flawed perception of the general public regarding the goals and ambitions of politicians, chances are that elections that are mainly won due to good election campaigns may also lead to unpleasant political outcomes.
Money may become a main factor for election success
Another issue of election campaigns is that money often plays a huge role in the level of success in an election. The candidate with the most money will often win the race.
However, this might be considered to be quite problematic and unfair since the candidate with the best argument should win the election, independent of whether he is able to spend large sums of money on his campaign or not.
May do more harm than good
If politicians are quite poor communicators, election campaigns may actually even do more harm than good.
It’s all about presenting oneself in the best possible way to the general public and if a politician is not able to present himself or herself properly, those campaigns may end in a disaster for the respective political candidate.
Success depends on the team behind the political campaign
The success of a political campaign also significantly depends on the teams that are responsible for those campaigns.
If a political candidate is able to form the best campaign team, his or her chances increase significantly to win the election.
May not reach the right audience
It is also crucial to make sure that the respective political campaign reaches the right audience.
It all comes down to the need to convince people that can be convinced.
For instance, you will most often not be able to convince people who voted for a certain party for many years or even decades.
Therefore, reaching those people with your campaign may not make too much sense since the ROI of your money will be quite low.
Instead, you want to target people who are still indifferent since those people are much easier to convince to vote for you.
Plenty of money is wasted in such campaigns
In those election campaigns, plenty of money is also wasted on a regular basis.
Since those campaigns often do not target the right audience, the campaign budget is often spent in a quite inefficient manner and could have been better used for other purposes instead.
Money could be better spent on other important things
Election campaigns are often quite expensive and plenty of money is spent on those campaigns on a regular basis.
These huge sums of money could be better used for social purposes or to improve the overall infrastructure of a country instead.
Therefore, election campaigns can also be regarded as a waste of money and this money may be missing for other important projects which would really make a great impact in the lives of many people.
Top 10 Election Campaign Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Election Campaign Pros
|Election Campaign Cons
|Political campaigns can help winning elections
|Not useful if people have strong opinions
|Useful for voters who are still indecisive
|Waste of money
|Promotion of new political ideas
|Effectiveness depends on the region
|May improve popularity of a candidate
|Funding by lobbyists is a big problem
|Important if a candidate is rather unknown
|Poor political outcomes
|May restore trust in politicians
|Money is a main factor for success of campaigns
|Can help to increase tolerance in society
|Campaigns may not reach the right audience
|Important to share political values
|Money could be better spent on other things
|Campaigns are expensive
|Raising awareness towards problems
|Campaigns may do more harm than good
Do We Need Election Campaigns?
We can conclude from the previous discussion that election campaigns can make sense under certain circumstances.
However, quite often, plenty of money is wasted in those campaigns which could be used much better for other important projects to improve the overall quality of life of the general public.
Therefore, there might be better ways to win elections than spending large sums of money for those political campaigns which will basically have no long term returns for the general public at all.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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