It's All About Quality

Posted by M ws On Wednesday, April 10, 2013 0 comments
It is about 25 days to GE 13. So far, apart from the usual accusations, in-fighting and the works, there has not been much been said about the necessity for all parties concerned to field candidates with quality in calibre, leadership, skills, knowledge, service etc.

According to this paper:

A final concern is with two of the mechanisms that may produce voter response to incumbent quality. One possibility is that voters are sufficiently aware of incumbent qualities to make independent evaluative judgments consistent with variation in incumbent quality.

A second is that voters react primarily to challengers, whose entry signals a weakness in incumbent performance or quality, and whose campaigns convey critical information about incumbents to voters. While we cannot fully specify the conditions of each of these mechanisms, our comparatively rich measures of challenger quality increase our control over the challenger-entry hypothesis, which can give us greater confidence that residual evidence of citizen response to incumbent quality is not due to uncontrolled variation in challenger quality.

 The question of mechanisms returns us to the importance of reassessing candidate quality to advance our understanding of political representation and the electoral process.

If challengers are essential in conveying information to voters about the quality of
incumbents, the emergence of strong challengers is all the more critical to the
congressional electoral process.

If, on the other hand, citizens have the capacity to judge their Representatives independently, our confidence in their ability to enforce the 2fundamental conditions of representative government is enhanced. This is true not least because House elections are typically not competitive and the entry of highly qualified challengers is the exception rather than the rule.

Thus, evidence that voters are sensitive to incumbent quality independent of challenger entry may increase our confidence in citizen control of the electoral process.

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For me, I believe that we should take a candidate-centred approach i.e. a detailed look at the candidate who should ideally be ready to have open dialogues or debate with constituents or candidates from opposing parties.

According to THIS PAPER:

The change from partisan to personal electoral politics is generally attributed to changes in the political environment that increased the salience of individual politicians' attributes and weakened traditional party organizations { changes in campaign advertising technologies such as the rise of television, the replacement of patronage with civil service employment, and an increase in the personal resources available to elected o cials for constituency service.

These factors led voters to see parties as increasingly irrelevant, and party attachments
weakened. Campbell (2007, p. 68) describes the process as follows:

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