Videostyle in International Perspective
Political candidates and parties in most democratic systems face the fundamental problem of how to communicate with and persuade voters to accept their leadership. Televised political ads or party political broadcasts have become important to many democratic systems because they provide a solution to this problem that also has the advantage of being under the direct control of the candidate or party. American presidential candidates are not the only ones to recognize that with political television advertising, candidates/parties determine the content and style of their messages and increase their chances to influence the outcome of the election.
Despite this fundamental advantage to political advertising, the roles of such messages, their content and style, vary across democratic systems. In Political Advertising in Western Democracies, Kaid and Holtz- Bacha ( 1995) discuss the various media, cultural, and political system differences that affect the role such messages play in a number of democratic systems. These differences often prompt researchers to throw up their hands in despair, lamenting that the differences are so great that no meaningful comparison is possible. Videostyle analysis, however, has rejected that premise and attempts to provide a compari-