The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between leadership and the party’s image and voters’ satisfaction and voters’ loyalty in the regional election of the North Konawe District, Indonesia.
The study design is quantitative methods (Creswell, 2010). It is an explanatory research, investigating the relationship between variables (Kothari, 2004). The study population was the voters who participated in the 2015 regional head election of North Konawe. The population in this study was 37,429 people spread over 12 districts and 135 villages, and the sample size of this study was 276 respondents, based on sample size formulation in (Bungin, 2008). The method used to analyze the data in this study is generalized structured component analysis (GSCA), which investigate comprehensively the inner model (hypothesis testing for the structural model) and the outer model (measurement model for unobservable variables). The Sobel test (under the GSCA model) was used to test whether a particular variable mediates the relationship between endogenous variables and exogenous variables.
The party’s image influences voters’ satisfaction. The party’s image will not directly influence voters’ loyalty, but it will influence voters’ loyalty with the mediating effect of voters’ satisfaction.
The findings of this study that makes the social security program as one of the themes in the competition reinforces previous studies such as in the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil (2012). Various jargons are often thrown around to gain votes and support from the poor. For example, the term “populist economy”, where free public health and education services are often declared in various political campaigns, both in the legislative member and regional head elections.
The results of this research, i.e. the influence of the party’s image for electoral interests, would reinforce the results of previous studies. Sometimes the politicians use the poverty program, which is apparently neutral, but actually for the sake of political interests (Gallego, 2015). The results of this study show that the manipulation of government programs is often done to help the politicians in mobilizing the voters. However, in practices, the voters? satisfaction and loyalty are interpreted differently. The voters do not always sell their votes because of what they receive; it could be that the voters receive the assistance by considering it as a fortune or wage in return for helping the politicians. It was proved by the results of this study that the incumbent lost the election.
Using the party’s image in a political contest has created serious implications in the development of democracy in Indonesia. Indonesia, which has chosen democracy as a political route, is still highly vulnerable to clientelistic practices. Although procedurally Indonesia has paved the main democratic consolidation after the reform, ranging from the legislative election to the presidential election to the regional head election, the practice of money politics is still occurring widely. The problem of vote-buying is more difficult to solve because law enforcement mechanisms are not conducted properly. For example, only three days were given to prove the allegation of vote-buying. Of course, this short time makes it difficult to prove the practice of money politics at lower levels.
The originality of this research can be seen from the following explanation: based on the results of data processing, there are interesting things observed, with the party’s image as the exogenous variable, voters’ satisfaction as the intervening endogenous variable and voters’ loyalty as the pure endogenous variable. This means that more and more community empowerment will increase the desirability of a candidate. This is unique in itself, where with this result, it can be concluded that North Konawe communities are more affected by the nature of the aid empowerment, durable and sustainable/long-term rather than momentary relief (cash).
Suaib, E., Jusoff, K., Abdullah, M.Z., Zuada, L.H. and Suacana, I.W.G. (2017), "The effect of the party’s image relationship to voters’ satisfaction and voters’ loyalty", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 59 No. 6, pp. 1013-1028. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLMA-09-2016-0078Download as .RIS
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