Elections 2016Kuwait

Slogans dominate campaigns


KUWAIT: As Kuwait prepares for parliamentary elections due on November 26th, campaign slogans aim to woo voters in all constituencies with lofty promises that seem to intrigue and entice the electorate. “Together we build a nation” one sign reads; ‘A new era and fulfillment for the nation” reads another. “The security of Kuwait comes first,” one candidate pledges while another argues that “Kuwait only has its voters.”

With 50 seats in Parliament up for grabs, many candidates have enlisted the aid of advertising companies to further their campaigns, with the conviction that a slogan can a long way in swaying voters’ minds. Moreover, many Kuwaiti academics see that a campaign slogan is a useful tool that can be employed to ensure a candidate’s success, adding that most slogans are selected on a random basis due to failure on a candidates’ part to understand the needs of voters.

Speaking to KUNA, media professor at Kuwait University (KU) Dr. Fawaz Al-Ajmi noted that campaign slogans are vital in the sense that they often reflect a candidate’s line of thought, adding that candidates should select appropriate slogans that illustrate their goals and thoughts.

On these slogans, he said that they could vary from one constituency to the other, as voters in each district have different needs and expectations.  “These slogans need to change to keep up with the times,” he added.

Meanwhile, psychologist Dr. Othman Al-Khoder said that a candidate’s slogan largely depends on knowledge. “Slogans found to be appealing in the West may not be met with the same zeal in Kuwaiti society,” he pointed out. Al-Khoder also noted that social media has been of great help to candidates to reach out to voters. “These slogans, when used right, can have an unduly influence on the electorate,” he added.

KU political science professor Dr. Hanan Al-Hajeri said that campaign slogans have greater significance in Western societies than in this part of the world. “There have been a select few cases in Kuwait where a slogan helped propel a candidate to victory,” she noted. “Campaign slogans have been used all across the globe for years, and they often reflect the status quo,” Al-Hajeri said. “Not much effort is put into these slogans,” she added. – Kuna

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