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Political parties and national governments communicate differently to their citizens depending on the issues being spoken about. The modes of communication take different forms and this calls for a need to analyze the communication strategies used in order to attain a common understanding between the communicating parties. Modern political speech seems so rhetoric and therefore an analysis of the rhetorical strategies adopted by the national governments and politicians plays a significant role in enhancing the understanding of the motives or intentions of the politicians (Jacobson, 2009). It is worthwhile noting that this evaluation does not only involve identification of linguistic features but an examination of the whole context of communication. This assertion implies that the cultural, historical and the pressing need for communication have to be put in consideration while analyzing political communication.
The citizens or the public is a major factor to be considered when assessing political communication. When politicians communicate, they usually have specific audiences to which they direct their intentions. This has an insinuation that the politicians have to be opportunistic in order to influence the ideologies and the understanding of the audience. For instance, Germany of post WW1 was disorganized and demoralized. Adolph Hitler communicated with his audience (public) and his speech was superb to the nationals (Constantinou, 2008). It is worth understanding that this was not because of his personal charisma and eloquence in speech delivery but because he communicated at the opportune time. The reverse could have occurred if he could have spoken to them when the nation was doing well economically. This is because people wanted to hear about how they could come out of the cultural shame and economic quagmire.
Political speech also involves use of intensification and downplay; all dependent on the motives of the politicians in conveying information to the audience. Intensification is a strategy used by politicians through repletion, composition and association of messages while downplay involves confusion, diversion and omission of some information. Repetition is effective because people feel familiar with and therefore leads to greater understanding of the information presented. Political parties mostly repeat key words, phrases or themes throughout a speech; they can also use internal repetition skills such as rhyme and alliteration. Use of slogans of their political parties is also another form of repetition used in order to intensify the message being presented. This has an implication that the audience may hear the message many times and thus become saturated with the message devoid of mindful endeavor (Tansey & Jackson, 2008).
Association is also an intensifier in political speeches; it involves linking an idea with others or products which the audience likes, respects, hates or fears depending on the intention of association. In many cases politicians are heard asserting their linkage with certain groups or agencies with which the audience recognizes and respects. This association is developed through national flags, use of metaphors, music or even literal historical or religious references and allusions. Composition is also an intensifying factor in speech presentations by politicians; the nature of the language used is mainly the factor considered. This can either be negative or positive, simple or abstract, change in tone of voice and special emphasis on some aspects in the speech. It is worthwhile noting that this aspect integrated body language and speech in the passage of information to the audience.
Politicians usually choose to intentionally exclude information about disadvantages, hazards and the side -effects of their proposals and ideologies. For instance, they may omit negative information of their side such as scandalous activities and criminal offenses. Their past mistakes and failures, and the strong points of their oppositions are usually omitted in their messages and speeches. This is meant to give them an edge over their rivals in the struggle for acquisition of political power. Diversion is another form of downplay used by the national governments in their communication strategies (Bull, 2003). This is meant to divert focus or distract attention of the politicians from key issues of interest. This may be attained through attacks on the personality and the past opposition figures rather than their relevant policies. Some are also noted to resolve to jokes or other form of entertainment in order to evade difficult topic and thus distract the attention of their audience.
Confusion is also a key aspect in political communication; this is where the politicians make their information very complicated and chaotic making the audience to become overloaded or tired and thus give up trying to follow. This could either be intentional or unintentional and can obscure significant information. Use of unfamiliar, ambiguous, technical jargon or rambling sentence sequence is one of the forms of confusion that are adopted by political orators. This analysis indicates that politicians have diverse intentions and motives and therefore their speeches are fabricated in a way to trigger the audience to accept their policies and sentiments. It is important to note that not all these aspects can be applied by a single politician at the same time; contexts and the audiences communicated to determine the mode of political speech that is adopted by the politicians.
Political issues are all handled through communication; and this has an implication that words are political weapons in any given political environment. The words spoken by individuals reflect how they perceive themselves and others. Propaganda involves language manipulation especially when individuals are unwilling to negotiate or when they are under intense emotional stress. Propaganda may either be aimed at the domestic audience or the opposition party, depending on the issue under consideration and the context of passing the message to them. Propaganda may be aimed at enhancing unity within a nation or a political party, silence the opposition, building morale and confidence among the people and stirring action (Smith & Mounter, 2008). Propaganda channeled to the enemy is always aimed at demoralizing them or to terrorize them. In spreading propaganda, politicians intensify their strengths and downplay the enemy's good points. They also downplay their weaknesses and intensify those of the enemy; this makes them to have an edge over others in the struggle for acquisition of power.
For needs of creating a shared understanding in politics, there must be a channel that is acceptable and enables the speakers and the audience to have mutual understanding. The language used by politicians varies depending on their motives and this has resulted in distortion of the message. The channels such as direct speeches to the public has been adopted as a major form of communication since the politicians can easily gauge the reception of the message by the audience and prepare to tackle any skepticism that may arise. The recipients of the information in this case are usually meant just to listen and support; this is attributed to the fact that there cannot be direct responses to each of the listeners' complaints or ideas as individuals addressed are usually huge numbers. In communicating with fellow individual politician, there are direct responses especially when formulating strategies within the government or political parties (Fourie, et al, 2008).
Communication is diverse and this aspect is closely evaluated by the national governments and political parties in conveying their messages to their stakeholders and other interested parties. Internal communication within such political organizations is meant to build up the ideals of the parties, setting definite courses of action that are expected to be followed in carving out strategy and goals to guarantee success, keeping politicians inspired and egging on all those involved in the governments activities. External communication on the other hand is aimed at 'marketing' or popularizing the political party, its members and the ideologies that it intends to implement if it acquires the support of the public. In most cases this information is fabricated in a way that seeks the approval of the public, for instance through use of humor and allusion to historical analogies (Gehrke, 2009).
Humor and historical analogies can be used both within the political party officials and the government and even during direct communication to the public. Humor could be expressed through jokes where by the political leaders use them in stimulating artistic approaches to problem solving by new perspectives and varying frames of reference. Reference to historical analogies is also as intriguing as joking and humor as they create new perceptions and conceptions among the listeners. Historical analogies are catchy as they make individuals identify themselves with the nation in which they reside. Politicians may also use these strategies in order to maintain the spirit of national identity and also act as a cognitive management aspect and thus project for the future plans and prospects to be dealt with.
From the analysis of the modes of communication, the strategies used in both internal and external communication, it is evident that politicians ought to be good communicators so as to convey their ideas. National governments and political parties are always established with aims of attaining and retaining political power. This is not an easy task as the public ought to be convinced through good communication models and strategies. Use of intensification on the strengths of the political parties and downplaying on the opponents' are some of the forms of linguistic aspects used by the politicians (Frey, 2003). Humor, historical analogies, propaganda and diverse communication models and linguistic prowess are some of the factors that are noted in good politicians. It is also noted that personal charisma and effective delivery of speech does not necessarily imply that one can influence the public. The messages presented by the politicians are always timely so as to respond to the needs of the citizens.