The Rise of Populism and Anti-Elitism Popularization as a Part of Democratic Campaign

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Some important changes in global politics has occurred for the last decade and this has impact on us. We all are involved to some extent in election campaigns or it has the impact on us. To observe the changes in election campaigning, better to look how it was evolved. As already discussed above, during the second age of political communication the Mass Party (MP) was replaced by professional electoral party (PEP). They were quite different by nature, even competing. Campaign strategies were also different. In the case of MP, party supporters engaged in local door-to-door contact and the decentralized organizing of meetings, rallies, discussions, etc. PEP used more efficiently technologies and technical professionals and they were engaged in strongly centralized and professionalized use of media. As a result, political campaigning has moved from the idea of polyphony to consensus.

During the third age of political communication, rise of populism and anti-elitist popularization can be observed. Popular culture became more audience based and political messages are spread through everything, including entertainment. Besides, complex process oriented political problems has been simplified and shifted into personal issues. Mediatization is another characteristic of this period. Media became main source for voters and also more autonomous than before. Political information competes for space and more and more investment are made in campaigning. Modernization caused the increased mobility among voters as well as increase of personalization. Serious political discussion suffers from entertainmentalization.

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Taking the example of Finland, it was for many years very stable and timing of voting decision has not changed much. Personalization has also not changed too much in Finland. There are several reasons for that. First, campaign financing in Finland is only lightly regulated. Second, Political television advertising in Finland has been allowed relatively earlier. Third, The state supports parties according to size in parliament. And lastly, party system is established since 1950s. Among unstable election campaigning systems can be named Central and Eastern European states that came out from soviet bloc and established themselves as a democratic state without traditional party systems.

Narrative theory serves as one of the characteristics of changed election campaign. It is currently enjoying a popularity in North America and throughout the world, with especially strong activity in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Scandinavia, Belgium, Israel, and China. Narrative theory starts from the assumption that narrative is a basic human strategy for coming to terms with fundamental elements of our experience, such as time, process, and change, and it proceeds from this assumption to study the distinctive nature of narrative and its various structures, elements, uses, and effects. The concept is adopted from the oldest form of communication –story telling. This theory believes that all meaningful communication is in the form of storytelling. Peoples past experiences influence our need for communication and also base our behavior. Thus narrative paradigm is very helpful in analyzing the nature of human communication. The concept upholds the idea that communication happens between a narrator and the listener in the form of a story. The story includes the events that the narrator wants to communicate with the listener and does not fit in a single category.

Narrative theorists study what is distinctive about narrative (how it is different from other kinds of discourse, such as lyric poems, arguments, lists, descriptions, statistical analyses, and so on), and how accounts of what happened to particular people in particular circumstances with particular consequences can be at once so common and so powerful. Thus a key concern is whether narrative as a way of thinking about or explaining human experience contrasts with scientific modes of explanation that characterize phenomena as instances of general covering laws. Narrative theorists, in short, study how stories help people make sense of the world, while also studying how people make sense of stories.

The internet has become the core element of election campaign. Communication technologies such as e-mail, websites, and podcasts for various forms of activism enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience. Many would agree that election campaigns are currently undergoing a period of change because of increased use of the internet. This has caused the development of digital marketing. Political parties around the world are learning that along with advertising on traditional mediums such as television and newspapers, they must invest in digital marketing if they want to compete with their rival parties. Over the past few years, we’ve seen an uptake in UK and US parties, in particular, using social media campaigns to defeat their opponents.

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