I’ve just read an article about political cosultants in Indonesia on Kompas newspaper today (June 14, 2010). A political consultant is a person or an institution that creates certain images of political candidates to attract voters in elections, be it national, provincial or regency.
Efforts a political consultant conducts to boost up votes:
1. Mapping votes by preliminary survey, focus group discussion, media discourse analysis
2. Influencing voters through advertising (televisions, radios, newspapers), non-media advertising (banners, pamphlets), socializations and empowerment programs
3. Monitoring voters by campaigners’ training and figure recruitment; training for election witnesses in order to be militant in balloting places; conducting quick count survey.
The cost to use the service of political consultants varies in accordance with different purposes. it costs candidates Rp 100 – 500 million to conduct only preliminary survey for election on regency level, which depends on the locations. the further the location (i.e. outside Java island), the higher the cost. National preliminary survey costs Rp 400 million to 2 billion.
Political advertising for governorial election costs candidates 1 – 5 billion rupiahs per month while presidential campaign through advertising costs candidates 5 – 10 billion rupiahs per month.
The most shocking fact is, for governorial election, one candidate should spend 20 billion rupiahs for political consultants to create and boost up his/her images, while presidential condidates 30 billion rupiahs.
Surprised? Well, you should be. The negative impact is how should we ask their integrity while they are in power when a political campaign costs candidates so much?
But, the positive side is to become a political consultant is a business opportunity. There are only four prominent institutions providing the service: Lingkaran Survey Indonesia led by Denny JA (http://www.lsi.co.id/), Fox Indonesia founded by Rizal Malarangeng (http://www.foxindonesia.co.id/) and Pol Mark Indonesia founded by Eep Saefulloh Fatah and Charta Politika led by Ir Luvie Triadi (previously, Bima Arya Sugiarto) (www.chartapolitika.com). I always prefer the positive side and I believe you do. Why do we not learn anything about political consultant and be one of them? We still have 4 years to election day 2014. Who knows we might be rich 🙂