Schlagwort-Archive: Politics

The effective first eight seconds

All presenters have the same hurdle to overcome. The first eight seconds are the key to further attention. At the very least, the audience remembers primarily the messages that are accommodated in this period. Therefore politicians strive to make effective public appearances during election times. These publicity events serve to convince uncertain and undecided voters that they are right. A clumsy impression costs votes. For this purpose, they formulate their content in a way that creates the desired effect.

It’s easy to observe tactics on TV shows.

  • Personal speech tempo
    In addition to posture, facial expressions, and gestures, speech expression conveys the speaker’s traits. Dynamic volume, pitch, and emphasis indicate the idea of the candidates. A rapid pace of speech, lack of interruption, and shortness of breath suggest uncertainty and unreliability. Speaking slowly with appropriate pauses conveys composure, confidence, and strong leadership. Since public speaking time is limited, gentle responses prevent especially the number of messages to be delivered and thus the risk of saying something clumsy.
  • No closed answers
    To make clever use of speaking time, interviewers like to have simple yes or no answers, but this would mean that candidates would have to be unequivocal about something – which goes against the opportunistic reasons of wanting to get elected. Instead of a clear answer, the speaking time is filled with standard phrases: e.g., Our voters wish, in all regions of our country, that we the party, the parliamentarians, the members in the states and constituencies to fulfill the expectations, what they elected us for.
  • Shamelessly demanding what they had not been done until now
    As long as an election extends what has been done before, those up for re-election can defer any unfinished tasks to the following term. Where it gets complicated is when significant changes are pending. Competitors denounce lack of results and grievances. In this case, it is a good idea to sing from the same song-sheet: e.g. There must finally be an end to this inactivity. We do not need even more regulations. We need to finally implement something.
  • Reflect allegations
    Some accusations regarding the failures of the past years are easy to prove. Explanations would seem like excuses. For this reason, an attack is the best defense. Especially when the new regulations disadvantage one’s clientele. The political opponent is simply indignantly accused of what one has practiced over the years: e.g., We must prevent the political opponent from curtailing the freedom of the voters with new laws and regulations.
  • Will alone does not bring change
    The issues that particularly interest voters only become apparent in the final stages of the election campaign. The publication of one’s election program should therefore take place as late as possible. That way, voters’ reactions to competing election programs can be used to adapt one’s own. The whole thing is then packaged in statements with We want. The listeners overhear the de facto inactivity based on the declared will: e.g., We are committed to thinking about how best to narrow down the problem in the next few days, and then discuss with everyone how we could find and finance a solution.
  • Assert as if
    As an alternative to the will, you can build the needed keywords into one’s speech. At the same time, they postpone implementation to the day the cows come home: e.g., Climate change is an essential issue for the world. We will set the course so that we are climate-neutral in 25 years.
  • Just keep talking
    Moderators make every effort to avoid the overlong, meaningless answers by repeating the question and, if necessary, interrupting the responders when they lapse into these long monologues. The experienced politicians are no longer put off by this. They include a lengthening phrase and simply continue to reel off their prepared messages: e.g., Let me say this because it is crucial to me. …

Bottom line: If the eight seconds of attention are filled skillfully, listeners remember the prepared statements. By speaking slowly, the small number of words can be better memorized. At the same time, less gets conveyed. If the candidates avoid simple yes-no answers and instead deliver “decisive” phrases, no one notices that they have not answered at all. Demanding something that could have been done so far shows a lack of respect for the voters who are being fooled in this way. When we listen carefully, we notice the opportunistic, momentary buzzwords. However, unwanted intentions are increasingly packaged with We want – how serious this keeps them is in the listener’s ear. If voters expect specific results, they will be promised – for decades after the next legislative session. The election campaign is a heyday for consultants. Especially coaches teach candidates body language, facial expressions, gestures, and intonation. For us voters, it is essential to keep our attention beyond the eight seconds. This is the only way we recognize the candidates.

!!!Go vote!!!

Who is responsible?

The voters break away from the established politicians. As counter measure they show muscles, by taking over the populist behavior of their political opponents. They use the same rabble-rousing that they actually criticize. Although the European Union, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, APEC and other free trade agreements continually integrate the regions to bigger bundles, more and more nationalistic movements emerge globally. This washes politicians to the top, who use basic insecurities of the voters, in order to receive their votes. But it is also a matter of those, who give their vote to those tendencies as well as the competitors, who are not taking these fears seriously and thus lose continuously votes to the new alternatives. The question that arises is: Who is actually responsible for this swing to the right?


Do populist movements win due to particularly good offers? Or do the voters desire exactly the offered solutions? Or do the established parties have simply no replies? Let’s look at the three groups.

  • The winners
    The new, political movements, generally called populists, discovered for themselves the virtual opportunities of the Internet and the mass media as a direct way to the voter. On the one hand they offer information that supplies new food for stereotypes – false reports concerning social benefits and wrong doing of refugees. At the same time, they reuse positive slogans and made it thereby even into the key media – starting with “we are the people” up to the disguise by using the brand of Anonymous for a Facebook account. Original contents and practical solutions are not available. However, the winners achieve to convince the electors and thus to change the political life.
  • The voters
    Since the political turn in Germany the political landscape is changing. On the one hand the large voter groups of the new federal states were integrated. At the same time the follow-up of the PDS brought a new political perspective into the frozen political arena. While the portion of non-voters between 1972 and 1983 varied between 8.9% and 10.9%, we have between 1990 and 2009 from 22.2% to 29.2% of electors that do not vote. This is a large potential that can be targeted by new political alternatives. It gets interesting within the next parliamentary elections. Does the portion of non-voters will go down noticeably? Which percentage will the new parties receive? The voters decide on the composition of the parliaments and are thereby the real responsible people. With their choice of a party, they give them the power – whether it offers solutions or not.
  • The losers
    Many years of political work, the wish to be re-elected, the party discipline and the imperishable memory of the media have softened the established parties. Politicians protect their position, by telling what the voters want to hear – even if this leads to the fact that one does not represent a personal opinion. On the one hand stable positions and values were solidified, but on the other hand the realpolitik after the elections shows that the realization of the noble goals falls behind the original aspirations. Professional politicians receive their performance review with the election. Who could be surprised that they align their speeches to political surveys. With few exceptions personal attitudes are withdrawn for the party discipline. The statements lose their actuality, if past quotations are pulled over years out of their context and used against the candidates. While at the beginning all established parties turned against the populism of the new ones, they notice that without this style, large groups of voter break off. Even so that they would like always be asked, there are no answers. Politicians use the speaking time, despite repetitive questioning to rattle off by heart learned texts. The established parties contribute substantially with their unclear positions and unreliable offers to the decline of the political culture.

Bottom line: Election results are made by voters. Politicians make more or less concrete offers, which try to tempt the voter. Currently a large part of citizens do not want to hear tales from the established parties.
The voters and the traditional professional politicians are responsible for these developments. The voters hide their decisions behind doubtful reasons: We show you, who has the power; I do not elect as a punishment for the parties; Those are right. The established political landscape lost its purpose due to decades of continuity and political routines as well as the career plans of the politicians.