The Two Main Factors that Determines the Winner in Any Election

October 01, 2019

The Two Main Factors that Determines the Winner in Any Election

If you live in Canada, you know that there is an election right around the corner. Canadian's go to the polls on Monday, October 21st, and if anything can be said about this election is that it's been a lesson in leadership missteps.

Regardless, there are two factors that determine who wins an election. It doesn't matter provincial or federal, these factors hold true every time. Further, it doesn't matter what part of the world an election is being held, these two still play a major role in the outcome.

In watching the political machines over the years, I've noticed that the party that manages these two factors the best, end up taken the podium. Primarily because the management of these two factors are ultimately on the minds of voters the most. We often think that 'issues' are what matter to people, but I think that is fundamentally flawed. Its essentially what's behind the issues that needs to be addressed, and that's where the astute politician gains their greatest traction with voters.

So, what are the two factors that are key for every political win? Here they are:

1. The Winner Has Learned How to Best Manage the Fear Factor

Any platform that elevates the fear factor is a surefire ticket to losing. Ever hear the adage, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't?" That is why Incumbents have an advantage over others vying for their jobs.

When political opponents propose slash and burn policies and create negativity among voters, it heightens the fear factor among voters. People become more fearful of a country run by parties who are looking to subtract, control, or in some way 'balance' things out, because in their minds, what they are hearing is a potential threat to their livelihood. 

Never underestimate the power of fear. It is the main reason we are seeing the rise of platforms that are built more on attacking opponents instead of presenting better options. In fact, what we are seeing lately is innuendos and slurs against opponents that aren't even based on facts, yet the smear tactics continue.

Many people will talk about the government's need to get expenses in order, balance the books, or get a handle on rising costs etc., but rarely do we want them if it threatens our lifestyle in any way. 

A message from any political hopeful that smells primarily of slash and burn policies will ultimately evoke a sense of doubt for the future and the fear that goes along with it. Which leads to my next point.

2. They Winner Has Learned How to Best Manage the Hope Factor

Why do so many campaigns tout the message of change? Because, when an electorate has grown weary of a present government, change is equal to hope! The only way an incumbent loses is when the hope factor becomes greater than the status-quo.

That is why we are eager to hear platforms and promises. Both are messengers of political hope, of the potential for better days and a turning of the tide. Hope is always what resonates in a voter's mind because its such an antidote to fear.

The like-ability of a particular candidate is often framed in terms of integrity, trust, etc., but for me, those are code words for hope. The more a candidate exhibits those qualities, the more they are working for our benefit, for our future, and for the improvement of the world we live in. Not just for power and self-advancement.

As alluded to above, hope is the only factor that can curb the fear factor. Of the two, hope is the one that generates the most traction in any campaign and the one that will bring people to set aside any lingering fears and take a chance.

In the years that I've observed political campaigns, I cannot recall a single time when these two factors did not play a role in a legitimate, free, democratic vote. Let's see if these continue to hold true as Canadians head to the polls.


1 Response

Shirley Burrows
Shirley Burrows

October 02, 2019

I don’t vote, but this is so vital. Thanks Jon

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