The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of political party websites for e-electioneering and their impact on the outcome of the elections.
Empirical data for the study were collected from the websites of 11 major political parties of Pakistan using modified version of the coding scheme used by Gibson, Rommele and Ward for the evaluation of functionality and delivery of websites. Data were analysed using web content analysis method to achieve the objectives of this study. The study also ranked the party websites based on points scored for functionalities and delivery.
The study found that although Pakistani political parties have started using their websites for communication with their voters during the general elections but they have not utilized the full potential of the website functionalities for e-electioneering.
The study focused on content analysis of political party websites of Pakistan only. However, comparisons were made to other studies where possible to contextualize the results of this study in international perspective. It is suggested to replicate this study after ten years to study the changing behaviour of political parties.
Political parties might like to improve their websites in the light of findings of this study to spread their message more effectively to larger voter base.
Findings of the study will help in improving the readiness of political parties for e-electioneering and improved websites will help voters in making an informed decision during election. It will overall improve the electoral process in the country where democratic system is not very strong.
With the advent of internet, political parties are using their websites during elections for various purposes. This study, first ever in Pakistan on the topic, provides empirical evidence on the use of political party websites during May 2013 general election in Pakistan and presents its impact on the outcome of the election. The study will be valuable for political science researchers especially those focusing on Asia and Pakistan.
Naseer, M. and Mahmood, K. (2016), "Ready for e-electioneering? Empirical evidence from Pakistani political parties’ websites", Internet Research, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 901-918. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-04-2014-0099Download as .RIS
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