Representation of Legislative Member Candidates of Partai Demokrat on Their Outdoor Political Advertising

By Sulityaningtyas, Tri; Suganda, Dadang et al. | International Journal of Linguistics, March 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Representation of Legislative Member Candidates of Partai Demokrat on Their Outdoor Political Advertising


Sulityaningtyas, Tri, Suganda, Dadang, Sobarna, Cece, Wahya, International Journal of Linguistics


Abstract

Political advertising is political marketing that serves to gain voters' support. Political leaders use advertising as a means of creating their self-images that depict they are ideal figures to lead the nation, thus deserving of being elected in the election. In political advertising, language becomes a powerful medium to instill ideology as well as to obtain and maintain power. Various linguistic devices are used to gain sympathy; attracting one's attention; creating perceptions concerning existing problems; and controlling the mind, behavior, and values of the public. This article aims to (1) examine how candidates and parties represent themselves in the language of political advertising in the Indonesian elections, (2) examine the pattern of relationship between the candidates and the public that was formed in the language of political advertising in Indonesian elections, and (3) examine the language manipulation that is used for political purposes in the election advertising in Indonesia. In the analysis, the representations of legislative candidates of Partai Demokrat (Democrat Party in Indonesia) were studied. Based on the analysis, the candidates of Partai Demokrat, who will fight for the region, city, or regency-where they will represent their constituencies-focus on unemployment issues and are mostly popular figures. Overall, in their political advertising, the public is always represented as the one that will be fought for, defended, and fostered. Also, the public is always represented as the underdog, subordinate, or marginal entity. On the other hand, the political parties and candidates are always represented as a strong, dominant and advantageous entity.

Keywords: Representation, Relation, Manipulation

1. Introduction

Language has a very important role in the world of politics. Language has become a powerful medium to instill ideology, gain power, and maintain power. Various linguistic devices are used to gain sympathy, such as by attracting one's attention, creating perceptions on existing problems, and controlling the mind, behavior, and values of the public.

Since the reform era, Indonesia has had two elections: in 2004 and 2009. The two elections were conducted under the new electoral system in which the candidates are directly chosen by the voters, and the winning candidates are the ones with the most votes. Consequently, each political party has always tried to find the most effective ways to get as many votes as possible for its candidates in every election. One way to gain the most votes is through the party's candidates' political messages or political advertising on which the party can rely to win the hearts and sympathy of the voters. Through political advertising, politicians compete to display their positive self-images. Thus, now political advertising serves as a self-imaging creating arena where the political leaders portray themselves as the ideal figures to lead the nation, and thus they are worthy of being elected in a general election. Political advertising helps the political figures in such a way that they are worthy to lead the nation.

Through political advertising, parties, legislative member candidates, presidential candidates, or candidates for regional leaders want to be quickly known by the voters. They believe that the continuous political advertisements will have a magical power to introduce themselves and persuade voters in an instant. According Jazeri (2009) "Tak kenal maka tak sayang"-the English equivalent for this Indonesian proverb as "Unknown, unloved"- seems to be the basis of thinking adopted by both the parties and candidates of political leaders to their political advertising in the mass media in order to be quickly known by the public. They apply various ways to introduce themselves, such as using advertisements on television, newspapers, radio, or even putting up billboards, posters, or banners. Through these political advertisements, they spread the visual and verbal promises implying that they can resolve the nation's big problems quickly if they are elected. …

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