Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The Importance of Candidates' Websites in Swiss National Elections between 2007 and 2011


Brändli, Matthias; Wassmer, Christian (2013). The Importance of Candidates' Websites in Swiss National Elections between 2007 and 2011. In: 7th ECPR General Conference, Bordeaux, 4 September 2013 - 7 September 2013.

Abstract

Candidates in election campaigns are able to choose from a number of instruments to make themselves heard. Besides more traditional campaigning instruments, such as canvassing, leafleting, or paid advertising, only recently established forms of online communication, such as websites, present a “widening of the political playing field” for political actors (Ward & Gibson, 2009). While there is an on-going debate, in- and outside of academia about the actual relevance of these new campaigning instruments and the consequences they might have on the candidates themselves, the media, and the electorate, studies which actually take the perspective of the candidates into account are rather scarce. Furthermore, one could argue that developments such as the attitudes towards new technologies can fruitfully be assessed by adopting a longitudinal perspective. In this study, we try to tackle these shortcomings by measuring the attitudes of candidates in the Swiss National Elections in 2007 and 2011 towards the various campaigning instruments they employed – on- and offline. Building on the theoretical framework developed by Ward and Gibson (2009), and Anstead and Chadwick (2009), we hypothesize that structural characteristics, of either the media or political system, determine the use and relevance of candidates’ websites in election campaigns. Surprisingly, however, we do not only find that the share of candidates using a website in their campaign is relatively constant, but also that the relevance candidates attribute to their website is remarkably stable between 2007 and 2011. In comparison with offline campaigning instruments, such as canvassing or leafleting, candidates’ websites are seen to be the least important instrument in use. However, when compared to more recent forms of online tools used for e-campaigning, such as Facebook or Twitter, candidates’ websites are much more relevant in the eyes of the candidates than these newly established instruments.

Abstract

Candidates in election campaigns are able to choose from a number of instruments to make themselves heard. Besides more traditional campaigning instruments, such as canvassing, leafleting, or paid advertising, only recently established forms of online communication, such as websites, present a “widening of the political playing field” for political actors (Ward & Gibson, 2009). While there is an on-going debate, in- and outside of academia about the actual relevance of these new campaigning instruments and the consequences they might have on the candidates themselves, the media, and the electorate, studies which actually take the perspective of the candidates into account are rather scarce. Furthermore, one could argue that developments such as the attitudes towards new technologies can fruitfully be assessed by adopting a longitudinal perspective. In this study, we try to tackle these shortcomings by measuring the attitudes of candidates in the Swiss National Elections in 2007 and 2011 towards the various campaigning instruments they employed – on- and offline. Building on the theoretical framework developed by Ward and Gibson (2009), and Anstead and Chadwick (2009), we hypothesize that structural characteristics, of either the media or political system, determine the use and relevance of candidates’ websites in election campaigns. Surprisingly, however, we do not only find that the share of candidates using a website in their campaign is relatively constant, but also that the relevance candidates attribute to their website is remarkably stable between 2007 and 2011. In comparison with offline campaigning instruments, such as canvassing or leafleting, candidates’ websites are seen to be the least important instrument in use. However, when compared to more recent forms of online tools used for e-campaigning, such as Facebook or Twitter, candidates’ websites are much more relevant in the eyes of the candidates than these newly established instruments.

Statistics

Downloads

68 downloads since deposited on 28 Mar 2014
20 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Event End Date:7 September 2013
Deposited On:28 Mar 2014 13:01
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 04:57
Publisher:European Consortium for Political Research
Related URLs:http://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=5

Download

Download PDF  'The Importance of Candidates' Websites in Swiss National Elections between 2007 and 2011'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 219kB