Putting Voters First
When people are hired for a specific job, they have the responsibility of serving different types of people. Doctors and nurses serve their patients. Teachers serve their students. They put those people and their needs first. Like students and patients, shouldn’t campaigns put voters first? After all, those who serve in office serve their constituents. They should know the needs of their constituents and do all they can do to serve those needs.
The “declaration of a new doctor” adopted by Imperial College School of Medicine states their commitment to accept the responsibility to be a servant in the medical profession: Now, as a new doctor, I solemnly promise that I will to the best of my ability serve humanity—caring for the sick, promoting good health, and alleviating pain and suffering. Just as doctors put the needs of their patients first, shouldn’t campaigns put the needs of voters first?
Teachers dedicate their lives to getting their students ready for the next phase of life. They mold minds, and put their students’ needs first. Teachers sacrifice day in and day out to make sure their students are taken care of. Shouldn’t we as consultants craft a campaign that meets the education requirements of our voters?
When learning about a candidate, voters need to remember that they are the ones who hire the candidate for a specific job. They need to analyze and critique what the candidate delivers. Who do you think will be the best fit for the job? Who has the experience? How well do they communicate? The requirements of the “employer” needs to be fulfilled.
As consultants, it is our job to make sure the candidate crafts a campaign that meets the needs of the voter. We need to make sure they have what they need to know to “hire” the candidate. Elected officials want to hear from their constituents – voters in their districts and states, as well as stakeholders with whom they have a trusted relationship, to learn about the potential impact of their public policy decisions.
Answering the questions of the voters is extremely important – that is how they get to know you, and base an educated decision on who they will vote for. Voters want authenticity and trustworthy people. They need transparency and accountability not somebody who plagiarizes someone who “everyone likes.” Presidential races are not like races for other offices. Plagiarizing another campaign can get you into trouble. Be authentic, be yourself. That is what voters want when potentially hiring a candidate.
We need campaigns that put voters and their needs first. As a government official, that is their job. Just like doctors put the needs of their patients first and teachers put their students first, we need campaigns to put voters first. The campaign that successfully does this, is the campaign that wins.